Hopkins Children's Center Expands Network Providing Unusual Diet

September 2, 1994
Media Contact:Debbie Bangledorf
Phone: (410) 223-1731
E-mail: dbangled@welchlink.welch.jhu.edu

Fifty physicians, nurse clinicians and dieticians from the United States and Canada will meet in Baltimore September 9-11 to learn to prepare and manage a complicated high fat, low- protein and low-carbohydrate diet that eliminates relentless seizures in many children. The goal of the conference is to return attendees to their hospitals or private practices to make the diet available to their patients, according to John M. Freeman, M.D., professor of pediatric neurology at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and one of the diet's developers.

The Ketogenic Diet reproduces the effects of starvation by forcing the body to burn fat rather than sugar. It was an accepted means of controlling seizures until the introduction of sophisticated medications in the 1950s when the diet was abandoned by most centers.

Freeman and his colleagues have demonstrated that the diet is effective in children and eliminates the need for drugs and other treatments permanently in some of them. The training session is the first of several planned at six-month intervals as part of the development of a network of professionals who can prescribe and monitor the diet. Hospitals or private practices represented at the first meeting are in Nova Scotia Boston New York City, Atlanta, South Bend, Los Angeles and Houston.

A brief factsheet about the Ketogenic Diet is enclosed. If you would like to speak with Freeman and members of his staff before or after the training sessions, please call us.

Support for the meetings is provided by the Charlie Foundation, a California organization founded by Hollywood producer Jim Abrahams, whose son Charlie was helped by the diet at Hopkins.

Note: B-roll is available of patients helped by the diet and their families.


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