Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ketogenic Diet Helps Schizophrenic Rats

High-fat butter sculpture of an ear mouse.
Almost a century ago, the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet (KD) was invented as a way to help people with epilepsy control their seizures. It works better than any known medicine at reducing or eliminating even the most refractory seizures. As if that weren't enough, recent studies show its promise for treating a host of other neurologic and psychiatric disorders as well: Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, MS, and depression. A new study now suggests the KD might one day help people with schizophrenia, too.

The research, conducted at Australia's James Cook University and published in the December 2015 issue of Schizophrenia Research, found that rats on the high-fat, low-carb diet show "fewer behaviors that resemble schizophrenia" than other rats, says the study's lead author, professor Zoltan Sarnyai.

In addition to its positive psychiatric effects, says Sarnyai, the diet has another suite of benefits, too: rats on the treatment also lost weight. "It works against the weight gain, cardiovascular issues and type-two diabetes we see as common side-effects of drugs given to control schizophrenia," says Sarnyai in a James Cook University press release. This is still very early stage research, but the  JCU team is hoping to launch a controlled clinical trial on humans suffering from schizophrenia,the release reports.


Unknown said...

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marian jack said...

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