Historic American Epilepsy Society Meeting in New Orleans!

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Epilepsy News From:

Monday, December 31, 2018

Following the October 2018 Ketogenic diet biannual conference in Jeju, it would have been difficult to imagine that the December 2018 American Epilepsy Society (AES) Annual Meeting could come remotely close to matching the ketogenic diet excitement and content. However, it was not only a meeting full of ketogenic diet but history was made on Saturday night, December 1, with the first major symposium devoted to ketogenic dietary therapies at the “Pediatric State of the Art Symposium.”

There were three major events at this year’s AES meeting worth highlighting.

Friday, November 30: Dietary Therapies “SIG” (Special Interest Group)

This annual, 90-minute session at AES was coordinated by Drs. Amy Kao and Dominic D’Agostino. There were superb lectures from

  • Dr. Mackenzie Cervenka - update on the Jeju meeting and increasing use of ketogenic dietary therapies for adults
  • Dr. Antoaneta Balabanov - use of dietary therapies for adults at Rush Medical Center
  • Dr. David Ruskin - use of cerebrospinal fluid metabolomics to differentiate ketogenic diet responders and nonresponders
  • Dr. Christopher DeGiorgio - use of omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D for epilepsy

Saturday, December 1: Pediatric State of the Art Symposium

Metabolism-Based and Ketogenic Therapies for Epilepsy: A Translational Approach

The 2.5 hour, first-ever symposium included 6 speakers from the USA, Canada, UK, and France and encompassed topics ranging from basic science, translational work, clinical trials, adverse effects, nutritional guidance, and possible anti-inflammatory benefits.

  • Dr. Susan Masino from Trinity College covered “Cellular metabolism as a paradigm for experimental therapeutics in epilepsy.”
  • Dr. Kristina Simeone from Creighton University then tackled “Metabolic approaches for treating complications and comorbidities of epilepsy.”
  • Dr. Elizabeth Donner from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto spoke on “Clinical evidence for metabolism-based therapies in children: trials and guidelines.”
  • Dr. Anita Devlin from Newcastle UK lectured on “Ketogenic Diet for infants?”
  • The fifth speaker was Robyn Blackford RD, LDN, from Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago talked about “Safety and prevention of risks from the use of metabolism-based therapies.”
  • Finally, Dr. Stephane Auvin from Robert-Debre University Hospital in Paris ended the symposium with a basic and clinical science lecture, “Are there anti-inflammatory effects of metabolic therapies?”
Dr. Jong Rho
Dr. Jong Rho speaking at the State of the Art Symposium


AES 2018 Speaker Panel
Symposium Speakers

(Back row) – Eric Kossoff, Jong Rho – (Front row) – Susan Masino, Robyn Blackford, Kristina Simeone, Stephane Auvin, Elizabeth Donner, Anita Devlin

Monday, December 3: Ketogenic Diet Posters and Walking Tour

Finally, on December 3, there was a “ketogenic diet” poster day. As usual, there were many posters (48 listed on the AES website specifically for 2018) with topics ranging from providing the ketogenic diet in Ethiopia and Zambia, neutropenia, a case of scurvy, the role of a social worker on the ketogenic diet team, relationship between dietary fat intake and serum lipid values, and use in adults and those with diabetes. A well-attended “walking tour” was led by myself at 1 p.m. and we visited 6 posters.

Upcoming Webinar on Ketogenic Diets

Please consider joining our webinar, “Ketogenic Diets: High Fat for Fewer Seizures,” on January 23, 2019, at 8 p.m. EST!

Authored by: Eric Kossoff MD on 12/2019

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