21 September 2015
News Category: 

The Royal Melbourne Hospital is calling for adults aged between 18-75 years with diagnosed epilepsy to participate in a dietary therapy trial, investigating if the modified Atkin’s diet reduces epileptic seizures.

The Modified Atkin’s Diet for Epilepsy (MADE) trial involves adults with epilepsy who experience two or more seizures per month to consume a high fat, low carbohydrate diet over a three month period. In the initial phases, carbohydrate is limited to 15-20g per day and fats are strongly encouraged.

The modified Atkin’s diet has similarities to the Ketogenic diet, where previous studies have shown to reduce the amount of seizures in children with epilepsy.

It is less restrictive than the Ketogenic diet and typically includes more protein, such as meat, poultry, fish, pork and eggs. The high fat component includes ingredients such as cream, butter or margarine, avocado and vegetable oils, while carbohydrate foods such as rice, cereals, pasta and potatoes are limited.

Participants in the trial will be seen regularly by a dietitian and neurologist during clinic visits. The dietitian will also assist with carbohydrate counting, meal planning and preparation.

For further information about the MADE trial, email made@mh.org.au.

Eligibility criteria

  • Aged 18-75 years
  • Diagnosed epilepsy, experiencing two or more seizures in four weeks
  • No changes in epilepsy medication or vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) settings for one month

Ineligibility criteria

  • Under 18 years of age
  • Body mass index < 18.5kg/m2
  • Patients with cluster seizures or who are unable to count or describe their seizures
  • Patients experiencing myoclonic or absence seizures only
  • Patients experiencing non-epileptic seizures
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Fatty acid or amino acid oxidation disorders
  • Pre-existing renal and/or liver failure
  • Currently on the ketogenic diet
  • Prior history of eating disorders
  • Females who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Media Contact

For more information about this story, contact Communications on (03) 9342 7000 or email mh-communications@mh.org.au