Dr. Ron Thibert Answers Your Questions
Ron Thibert, DO
Director, Angelman Syndrome Clinic
Director, Dup15q Center
Ronald Thibert, DO, MsPH is a Pediatric Epileptologist with a interest in the treatment of epilepsy in children with autistic spectrum disorders. He is the director of the Angelman Syndrome Clinic and the Dup15q Center for MGHfC and the Lurie Center.
Q: The diet seems so complicated prior to getting the hang of it – so where do we begin?
Thibert: The diet is complicated and can be difficult but the important thing is to not get discouraged – it can take as long as 3-6 months to really start working. Dietary therapy should always be done under the supervision of a doctor and dietitian with experience in dietary for epilepsy. There is a list of centers in the US on the Charlie foundation website. So the best way to start is to be seen by a doctor and a dietitian and then make changes gradually.
Q: In your experience, is the LGIT one of the most effective therapeutic diets you have seen?
Thibert: Yes, the LGIT (or ketogenic diet) is definitely one of the best options for treating seizures in Angelman syndrome. We have had an ~70% success rate (children with 90-100% seizure reduction) with another ~20% having 50-90% reduction. These rates are higher than any medication but the diet can be difficult to do properly. The 2 diets we use are the LGIT and the ketogenic diet. We typically start with LGIT (unless there is a g-tube) since it is easier to do then convert to the ketogenic diet if needed. There are other diets available but in our experience these are the most effective.
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