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Jeff Sutherland

Twice the Energy with Half the Stress

Facing Reality: Many simple and effective cures for complex diseases are ignored by medical science

Medical resistance to innovation

Forman R.

Med Hypotheses 1981 Aug;7(8):1009-17

A certain amount of resistance to new ideas is normal and functional in science providing the innovations have a means of being tested. A number of differences between medicine and pure science are noted which can result in some medical innovations being ignored or rejected without an adequate assessment. Historical and current instances of resistance to innovation are given. Social-organizational factors in medicine appear to favor the acceptance of theoretically glamorous, pharmaceutical, and high technology innovations over simpler and less profitable ones.

First Do No Harm (1997)

Based on a true story that’s both inspirational and devastating, First Do No Harm stars Meryl Streep as a mother who goes to extraordinary lengths to help find a cure for her epileptic son. When the family’s insurance runs out, Streep immerses herself in medical research. In a last-ditch effort to save her son, she takes him to Baltimore for a controversial treatment.

Efficacy of the ketogenic diet for infantile spasms

Kossoff EH, Pyzik PL, McGrogan JR, Vining EP, Freeman JM.

Department of Neurology, Pediatric Epilepsy Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. [email protected]

Pediatrics 2002 May;109(5):780-3

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine whether the ketogenic diet is safe, well-tolerated, and efficacious in the treatment of infantile spasms.

METHODS: During a 4-year period, 23 children with infantile spasms, aged 5 months to 2 years, were started on the ketogenic diet; 9 (39%) had symptomatic infantile spasms, and 16 (70%) had hypsarrhythmia. Children had an average prediet exposure to 3.3 anticonvulsants. Two children were enrolled before any medication had been tried. Seizure reduction was analyzed retrospectively, using parent reports and electroencephalograms (EEGs) when available.

RESULTS: At 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, 38%, 39%, 53%, and 46%, respectively, of all patients currently on the diet were >90% improved (3 were seizure-free at 12 months); 67%, 72%, 93%, and 100% were >50% improved. Fifty-six percent remained on the diet at 12 months, 46% of whom were >90% improved and 100% were >50%. Fifty percent of those with hypsarrhythmia and follow-up EEGs had EEG improvement. Fifty-seven percent had their medications reduced or discontinued by 12 months. Fifty-seven percent had improvement in development, which was correlated with seizure control. Independent factors that predicted improvement included age younger than 1 year and previous exposure to 3 or fewer anticonvulsants. No child has died, and 7 children had diet-related adverse reactions (nephrolithiasis, gastroesophageal reflux).

DISCUSSION: The ketogenic diet is a safe, well-tolerated, and possibly effective potential alternative to other therapies for infantile spasms.

Kudos to Thomas Levy, MD, JD for putting this together in his book Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, & Toxins. “Sadly, it would seem that many pediatricians and pediatric neurologists do not know what is in the most current issues of their primary and specialty journals.”