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Ketogenic diet therapy for managing medically refractory epilepsy in Canada

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Speakers: Jennifer Fabe, BSc. MSc. RD and Dr. Eduard Bercovici, MSc, MD, FRCP(C)

In adults and children with epilepsy, half of those who attempt the ketogenic diet will experience a greater than 50% reduction in seizure frequency and may even become seizure free. As well, it has been recently described in a provincial study that ketogenic diet therapy for epilepsy decreases health care utilization and health care spending.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Provide a brief overview epilepsy and review of basic science mechanism of the ketogenic diet therapy for seizure control
  2. Review the indications, contraindications and clinical adverse effects of the ketogenic diet therapy used in patients with epilepsy
  3. Provide a general overview of the initiation methods and monitoring parameters of the ketogenic diet.Appreciate the challenges of maintaining the ketogenic diet therapy, both from the patient/caregiver and health care provider perspectives
  4. Describe the national and international efforts, resources and access to proper training, education and support for health care professionals, patients and families.

About the Speakers

Jennifer Fabe is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition with a Master's thesis research focus in nutrition and neuroscience. She is a registered dietitian in the Division of Pediatric Neurology at McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. She has been the lead dietitian for the hospital's ketogenic diet program since 2001, helping families affected by epilepsy use medically supervised ketogenic diet to manage seizures. Jennifer contributes to her ketogenic community through many collaborative efforts.

She has pioneered the development of 'Low Ratio, Slow Outpatient' initiation protocol for ketogenic diet therapy. She has provided training to various centres in Canada and internationally on this outpatient method, is the co-developer of medical ketogenic diet app (KetoSuite) and upcoming cookbook, co-author of many PEN-Approved education tools with Dietitians of Canada, co-author on diet section of Ontario Guidelines for management of epilepsy, and participates in ongoing research for Low and Slow Outpatient Initiation Methodology.

Jennifer continues to be a sought-after educator in the field of ketogenics for community, clinical and professional organizations; appointed president of the Canadian chapter of the Matthew's Friends; and is an invited speaker at national and international scientific conferences on the subject. Recent participations in McMaster Pediatric Nutrition Days Conference (2019), KetoCollege (2017 – United Kingdom), Global Symposium for Ketogenic Diet Therapies (2018 Jeju Island, South Korea and upcoming 2020 Brighton, UK).

Dr. Eduard Bercovici began his studies at the University of Toronto in neuroscience. He was interested in epilepsy early on and completed his Masters thesis in neuropharmacology of epilepsy. After completing medical school and neurology residency he went back to finish an extra year of Epilepsy fellowship at the Toronto Western Hospital.

During his training he became interested in ketogenic diet therapy for epilepsy. Armed with what he learned at Sick Kids and from his travels to Johns Hopkins epilepsy diet program he established the first Adult Epilepsy Diet Clinic in Canada at University Health Network. Working with UHN program's dietitian and nurse this clinic hopes to provide another treatment path for those with difficult to control epilepsy.

He has been devoted to the community being involved with patients groups and speaking to them about different facets of epilepsy care. He currently sits on the board of Epilepsy South Central Ontario and is a medical advisory board member to f Matthews' Friends Canada.

In addition to seeing patients he is affiliated with the University of Toronto as a lecturer / clinician teacher and is devoted to teaching students and other doctors about epilepsy. He has travelled throughout Ontario visiting community epilepsy organizations to speak to patients about different aspects of epilepsy from diet, to women's health and other topics. To improve our knowledge in epilepsy he participates in ongoing research.

** Original Source: "CNS Education Webinars" Thursday, May 30, 2019


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Last Updated: May 30, 2019

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Eduard and Fabe May 30 2019.pdf File
Ketogenic diet therapy for managing medically refractory epilepsy in Canada Video
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