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Patients with epilepsy tend to have unprovoked seizures. While most patients can be easily helped with antiepileptic medication, about 1 in 3 people will continue to have seizures despite medications. These seizures can also get in the way of a person's everyday life and impact their function and independence. While some patients can be treated with surgery, others have few treatment options.
Some studies have shown that a special diet can reduce seizures. Often referred to as the Ketogenic diet, this is a low carbohydrate, high fat diet which has been proven to help reduce seizures in patients with epilepsy. There are many centres providing this diet for children. However, we have created the first adult epilepsy diet clinic in Ontario. In adults we sometime us a more liberal form of the ketogenic diet called the Modified Atkins Diet which is not as strict as ketogenic diet but is very efficacious. This diet has been shown to help reduce seizures in adults with various types of epilepsy (focal or generalized).
If you think this diet therapy may be right for you, please read
our brochure and ask your doctor to refer you to the Epilepsy Diet Clinic.
For more information on epilepsy diet therapy, including recipes, please visit Dr. Bercovici's
The following investigations should be performed before you are seen at the Epilepsy Diet Clinic at TWH
Previous investigations of your epilepsy including: (Unless all of your workup has been done at UHN)
Note: if you cannot complete the tests well in advance of your appointment please notify the clinic because we may need to postpone your appointment.
Please allocate 2-3 hours for the initial visit as it will likely involve review of your medical history and diet. Follow up visits can be 1-2 hours in duration depending on how you have responded to the diet and the amount of changes that need to be made.
As a tertiary care centre UHN prides itself in not just excellent clinical care but also world renowned research. From time to time you may be asked to participate in a research study. This is very important in this new and expanding field and will greatly benefit future patients. Please note that participating in research is voluntary and will not impact your care. Please let one of your team members know if you have any questions or concerns.
Learn more about
what you can expect when you have a clinic appointment.
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Visit our health information section.
We are very excited to provide diet therapy as part of our comprehensive epilepsy program. This is the first official adult epilepsy diet clinic in Ontario and we hope this will help our patients with epilepsy who have had a difficult time controlling seizures with other conventional therapy. We are proud of the team of clinicians working hard to make this clinic possible
Co-director UHN Epilepsy Program: Dr. Taufik Valiante, Neurosurgeon
Co-director UHN Epilepsy Program: Dr. Danielle Andrade, Neurologist
Community Liaison Support
As this clinic serves patients from large geographic area we recommend patients be in touch with their local epilepsy chapter
We are proud to collaborate with
Matthews Friends, a nonprofit organization supporting the Ketogenic Diet. They now have a Canadian Chapter located in Mississauga but they support patients from all over Ontario.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.