Diet Enriched With Omega3 Fatty Acids Alleviates Convulsion Symptoms in Epilepsy Patients

Source: Epilepsia. 43(1):103-104, January 2002.

Summary: Researchers investigated whether taking a dietary supplement that contained omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA's) would alleviate and/or reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in people with central nervous system diseases who were taking anticonvulsant drugs. Participants were patients hospitalized in Israel, all of whom had profound mental retardation and epilepsy secondary to another primary central nervous system disease. Researchers developed a spread containing 65 percent n-3 PUFA's that was added to the daily diet. Of the 21 patients, only 5 were willing to eat the spread. They ate it at breakfast for 6 consecutive months. Researchers examined their medical features, drug therapy, and seizure frequency before and after the 6-month trial. All five patients showed significant improvement and alleviation in seizure frequency and strength. There were no adverse effects noted among any of the participants. The researchers conclude that n-3 PUFA's can alleviate symptoms of human epilepsy, although the biologic mechanism of this activity remains unknown. 1 table, 11 references.

Source: Seizure. 11(1):33-39, January 2002.

Summary: Researchers investigated the effects of epilepsy on psychological adjustment, coping behavior, and transition to adulthood among 36 people age 16 to 21 years with epilepsy and a control group of 31 of their peers. Participants were recruited from neurologists' offices. Each participant received a mailed questionnaire that measured psychological adjustment (self-efficacy, negative and positive affect, use of coping style, self-esteem, and strategy related to transition to adulthood) and adolescent coping. Participants with epilepsy also provided information on acceptance of illness, seizure severity, use of coping style, perception of control over seizures, and strategy related to epilepsy. Data analysis indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between the groups on measures of self-esteem, affect, and self-efficacy. Members of the group with epilepsy had significantly more non-productive coping than members of the control group. The control group had significantly more problem-solving coping and significantly more bias toward using problem solving than the group with epilepsy. There were no significant differences between the two groups on measures of psychological adjustment, although psychological adjustment was found to be related to coping response in the group with epilepsy. The researchers conclude that the experience of having epilepsy among older adolescents has no significantly detrimental effect on psychological adjustment unless combined with a stressful situation, such as transition to adulthood. 4 tables, 26 references.

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