This recent CBC News article: How a high-fat diet helped curb a Laval child's daily seizures claims a neurologist, Dr. Bradley Osterman changed the diet of a really young girl to treat her epileptic seizures due to Anti-NDMA receptor encephalitis.

It claims her seizures reduced in frequency after four weeks on the diet, and have not returned for a year and a half.

I couldn't find anything related to the case or to the neurologist other than this "Departmental Acknowledgement" from the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, McGill University, praising the doctors' teamwork early in the case.

  • 2
    I'm not sure that's reasonable to ask for confirmation for a case like this. Case reports sometimes get published, but much more often they do not. Perhaps you need to clarify what part of this story you find suspicious and why. The PMC article found by Daniel says "The ketogenic diet is well established as therapy for intractable epilepsy." and you don't seem to doubt the doctor exists and had that patient, so what are you asking about exactly? Nov 12, 2017 at 6:45
  • Sorry, I fail to see the notable claim in here: one case does not make a case. Who says her seizures would not have reduced in frequency without (any) treatment?
    – user22865
    Nov 12, 2017 at 10:28
  • @DanielRHicks: If you have an answer, please post it. I deleted a bunch of links without any context, so that every single reader doesn't need to follow them all to work out that it was a pseudo-answer.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 12, 2017 at 23:57
  • 3
    @JanDoggen: I absolutely agree that this one anecdote is poor evidence, because there was no control to see if the seizures would have got better, and it isn't clear if she was undergoing other treatments at the same time. But I think it is clear that the article is claiming it is the result of her diet. [This makes the question a bit odd - 'is this one anecdote true?' instead of 'Does a ketogenic diet generally work in these cases?'.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 13, 2017 at 0:01

1 Answer 1


It's not terribly clear from the question what part of this story you doubt. Assuming it's the general effectiveness of ketogenic diet in treating epilepsy, there are several reviews in pubmed which affirm it:

  • One found by Daniel: "The ketogenic diet is well established as therapy for intractable epilepsy."
  • Another: "Ketogenic diet is an established and effective non-pharmacologic treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy."
  • Yet another article proposing an alternative diet, also acknowledges at the start that "one third of patients presents an intractable form of epilepsy and fails to respond to pharmacological anti-epileptic strategies. The ketogenic diet is a well-established non-pharmacological treatment that has been proven to be effective in reducing seizure frequency in the pharmaco-resistant patients."
  • The CDC also acknowledges it: "When medicines do not work and surgery is not possible, other treatments can help. These include vagus nerve stimulation [...] Another option is the ketogenic diet, a high fat, low carbohydrate diet with limited calories."
  • I'm looking forward to reading those links in more detail and seeing why the high fat or low carbs is helpful. Nov 16, 2017 at 15:00
  • 1
    @PoloHoleSet: it seems it's mainly because starving the brain of sugar reduces overall activity. You can't overdo it, of course. Those articles don't go a lot into the how. For a layman's version of how see blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/… Nov 16, 2017 at 16:42
  • Thanks! Still looking forward to reading it, so thanks for the research and the links. Nov 16, 2017 at 16:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .