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Call for greater awareness of Ketogenic Diet Therapy

May 26, 2015 - 12:55 PM

Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition and Matthew’s Friends Ketogenic Dietary Therapies charity join to call for greater awareness of Ketogenic Diet Therapy (KDT) for control of drug-resistant epilepsy and support for thousands of children

Over 63,000[1] children in the UK have epilepsy

19,000 may benefit from a ketogenic diet

Approximately 500, or less than 3% are currently on the diet


 

London, 14 May 2015: Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition (AMN), the UK’s leading provider of medical nutrition products, today partnered with ketogenic dietary therapies charity Matthew’s Friends to raise awareness of Ketogenic Diet Therapy (KDT) in controlling and managing drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children, ahead of National Epilepsy Week, 17th – 23rd May.

Dietary control of drug-resistant epilepsy through a ketogenic diet, which is a high fat, low carbohydrate, adequate protein diet, has been shown to be highly effective and could play a key role in managing the neurological disorder in these cases.

Nutricia AMN and Matthew’s Friends held a roundtable discussion in London to explore how to tackle the low awareness of KDT, the lack of sufficient information in the public space and a need for more trained professionals, including dietitians and neurologists, who are able to administer and support KDT.

Although there are a few tertiary centres with KDT services for the management of epilepsy in the UK, most of them have significant waiting lists of patients wanting to commence the diet.

Emma Williams MBE, CEO and founder of Matthew’s Friends, said: “Whether you are experiencing seizures, or are seeing a loved one suffer from them, it is an incredibly traumatic and terrifying experience.

“Our objective is to ensure that all those with drug resistant epilepsy are able to gain access to KDT should they wish to try this therapy and be supplied with the right information in order to make an informed decision.

“As well as a lack of awareness, there is a real need for more trained professionals, including dietitians and neurologists who are able to administer and support KDT.

“I was told that my own son Matthew would be dead by the age of 12 or have to be in a residential home as his epilepsy was so severe, but thanks to his time on the ketogenic diet, he is now approaching 21, still lives at home with me and is a very happy young man – all thanks to food – I cannot emphasise enough just how important it is that every person with drug resistant epilepsy has the opportunity to try this therapy should they so wish”.

Rebecca Stratton, Medical Director at Nutricia AMN, said: “Studies have shown that KDT can significantly reduce seizures which could lead to improvements in quality of life for children with refractory epilepsy.

“In fact, research suggests that over one third of patients have a greater than 50% reduction in seizures, and more than 5% have a greater than 90% seizure reduction. Some patients may become seizure free.[1]

“This is a critical issue and we support the call by Matthew’s Friends for greater awareness and access including more tertiary centres and trained professionals providing KDT services. Nutricia also encourage further research and development into the use of dietary management options for epilepsy.”

The panel also discussed the role of medical nutrition more generally and the vital role it can play in delivering improved health outcomes, whether managing a long-term condition such as epilepsy, dementia or COPD, or recovering from an illness.

Experts making presentations at the event included:

  • Emma Williams MBE, founder and CEO of Matthew’s Friends
  • Susan Wood, Registered Dietitian at Matthews Friends Clinics
  • Joanna Hill, Product Development Manager - Paediatric Powders Nutricia AMN
  • Sarah Manley, Group Marketing Manager, Metabolics and Ketogenics at Nutricia AMN

 

Matthew’s Friends – Ketogenic Dietary Therapies

Matthew’s Friends Charity and Clinic is a charity solely dedicated to medical ketogenic dietary therapies for children and adults.

Matthew’s Friends has a distinguished medical board, chaired by Professor Helen Cross, the Prince of Wales’s Chair of Childhood Epilepsy. It has raised over £70,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital’s (GOSH) research into the Ketogenic Diet, as well as providing funding for numerous centres around the UK. 2011 saw the registration of Matthew’s Friends New Zealand and 2014 saw the registration of Matthew’s Friends Canada, as the organisation expands to include these regions as well as being involved with over 20 other countries worldwide in supporting the use of ketogenic dietary therapies.

The charity has now expanded its remit to help adults that are not responding to medication with the use of the Modified Atkins Diet and Low Glycemic Index Treatment and works with the leading experts in this field. More recently the charity is now working in the field of certain types of brain cancer and ketogenic dietary therapies, although it is early days in the field, the contribution that Matthew’s Friends makes towards making these diets more widely available and ensuring it is properly supported is internationally recognised by both parents and medical professionals.

Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition (AMN)

Nutricia AMN is the market-leading provider of medical nutrition products and services for patients whose health benefits from foods developed for special medical purposes. Whether managing a long term condition or recovering from an illness, dietary intervention can play an important role in delivering improved health outcomes. Nutricia AMN’s products and services are specially designed for this purpose, making a difference to the lives of people who need them both in hospital and in their own homes through the Nutricia Homeward service in the UK.

We believe that advanced medical nutrition is integral to healthcare, and work closely with organisations and medical professionals to ensure patients have access to the right nutritional care when they need it most.

As part of the Danone Group, Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition expands and completes Danone's mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible.

For more information on KDT or medical nutrition, please see here.


[1] Joint Epilepsy Council of the UK and Ireland, 2011 Report: Epilepsy prevalence, incidence and other statisticshttp://www.epilepsyscotland.org.uk/pdf/Joint_Epilepsy_Council_Prevalence_and_Incidence_September_11_%283%29.pdf

[2] Neal et al. Lancet Neurol. 2008 Jun;7(6):500-6. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(08)70092-9.

Press contacts:

Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition

Anthea Jackson
Head of Corporate Affairs
Mobile: 07768507547
Email:  anthea.jackson@nutricia.com 
Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition
www.nutricia.co.uk

Matthew’s Friends

Emma Williams MBE, CEO/Founder

Mobile: 0788 4054811

Email: emma@matthewsfriends.org

www.matthewsfriends.org

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