Determining the Needs of Epilepsy Patients and Healthcare Providers in Ketogenic Dietary Therapy

In Canada, the delivery of the ketogenic diet for epilepsy patients is inefficient and labor-intensive for registered dietitians, neurologist, and epilepsy specialists. This limits the number and geographical range of patients that can receive the therapy.

Capstone Summary:

The Ketogenic diet has been used since 1921 to treat certain forms of childhood epilepsy that do not respond to medication 1. More recently, it has also been used effectively in the treatment of adult epilepsy 2. Many world-renowned medical institutions have implemented diet clinics and administrative protocols specializing in the ketogenic diet (for example, Johns Hopkins, UHN, SickKids Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital). Although this diet has been implemented in the treatment of epilepsy for decades, to date there have been no nationwide studies to identify challenges and boundaries met by administering diet clinics. There is a need to identify gaps and hurdles faced by healthcare providers, patients, and families using ketogenic therapy in Canada. For instance, established clinics generally require inpatient initiation of the diet as well as continual monitoring and follow-ups by registered dietitians 3. The existing process limits the number of patients that can benefit from this dietary therapy. Given current technological and digital advancement in-home monitoring systems and diagnostic tools, more efficient use of existing healthcare resources in that field would help expand the number and geographical distribution of patients benefiting from this dietary therapy.

he Ketogenic diet has been used since 1921 to treat certain forms of childhood epilepsy that do not respond to medication 1. More recently, it has also been used effectively in the treatment of adult epilepsy 2. Many world-renowned medical institutions have implemented diet clinics and administrative protocols specializing in the ketogenic diet (for example, Johns Hopkins, UHN, SickKids Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital). Although this diet has been implemented in the treatment of epilepsy for decades, to date there have been no nationwide studies to identify challenges and boundaries met by administering diet clinics. There is a need to identify gaps and hurdles faced by healthcare providers, patients, and families using ketogenic therapy in Canada. For instance, established clinics generally require inpatient initiation of the diet as well as continual monitoring and follow-ups by registered dietitians 3. The existing process limits the number of patients that can benefit from this dietary therapy. Given current technological and digital advancement in-home monitoring systems and diagnostic tools, more efficient use of existing healthcare resources in that field would help expand the number and geographical distribution of patients benefiting from this dietary therapy.

Capstone Team: 

Ms. Samar Mouaaz, BSc MHScTR BSc MHScTR

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Sick Kids Hospital Kisoji Biotechnology Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Sick Kids Hospital Kisoji Biotechnology
Research Technician Research Technologist Research Associate Research Technician Research Technologist Research Associate

 

Ms. Alexandra Panicucci, Honours BSc MHScTR Honours BSc MHScTR

Think Research University of Toronto Think Research University of Toronto

 

Capstone Supervisor:

Prof. Joseph Ferenbok, PhD

Translational Research Program Temerty Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto
Revolutionary Translator Director

Capstone Advisory Committee:

Sandy Schwenger, BSc (Hons) in Medical Biophysics from the University of Western Ontario RD

m-Health Solutions Inc.
Innovation Translator CEO m-Health Solutions Inc.

Jennifer Fabe,

KetoSuite
Co-Founder

Eduard Bercovici, MSc, MD, FRCP(C)

Southern Ontario Epilepsy Clinic
Neurologist

"In the TRP, you’re engaged as soon as you learn the material. You’re immediately putting what you learn into practice in and outside of class.”

 - Katie Tucker, Cohort 2017