Department of Pediatrics, La Sapienza, University of Rome. firstname.lastname@example.org
The hypothesis that certain foods or allergens might bring about convulsions has been suggested repeatedly in the literature over the last century. Some clinical studies have highlighted an unusually high prevalence of allergic disorders in patients with epilepsy. This paper reports the consistent disappearance of partial idiopathic epilepsy symptoms in a nine-year-old patient as a result of diet free of cow’s milk protein. This case appears to confirm the possible role of food allergy in certain types of epilepsy in patients of pediatric age.
Department of Paediatrics, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy. email@example.com
OBJECTIVES: The possibility that certain foods or allergens may induce convulsions has already been reported in the literature. None of the relevant studies has, however, shown a close correlation between allergy and epilepsy, most reports being anecdotal and open to various causal hypotheses. The case-control study reported here was undertaken to test the hypothesis that epilepsy is linked to allergy. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Seventy-two epileptic children and a group of 202 controls in the same age bracket were investigated for allergy together with their immediate families. RESULTS: The study revealed significantly higher rates of eczema in the mothers and rhinitis in the siblings of the patients studied as well as generally higher incidence of allergic pathologies in both of these groups with respect to the relevant controls. A significantly higher incidence of allergy to cow’s milk and asthma was also documented in the epileptic children with respect to the control group. Prick tests gave a significantly higher rate of positive results for cow’s milk proteins in the cases examined with respect to the controls. The total serum IgE of a random sample of cases and controls showed no difference in mean values. CONCLUSION: The study appears to bear out the hypothesis of a higher incidence of allergy in the children with epilepsy and their immediate families than in the controls and their families.
Department of Neurology, Medical College and Hospitals, Calcutta.
· Pelliccia A, Lucarelli S, Frediani T, D’Ambrini G, Cerminara C, Barbato M, Vagnucci B, Cardi E. Partial cryptogenetic epilepsy and food allergy/intolerance. A causal or a chance relationship? Reflections on three clinical cases Minerva Pediatr. 1999 May;51(5):153-7
Neurological and Psychiatric Sciences Department, University of Rome, La Sapienza.
The possibility that certain foods or allergens may induce convulsions has already been reported in the literature. None of these studies has, however, shown a close correlation between food allergy and epilepsy, most reports being anecdotal and open to various aetiological hypotheses. The present report concerns 3 children with cryptogenetic partial epilepsy, diagnosed by means of electroencephalography, with behavioural disorders (hyperactivity, sleep disorders and writing difficulties). In these patients, instead of using anticonvulsive agents, treatment was based upon a cows milk-free diet, working on the hypothesis that there could be a casual relationship between intolerance to this food item and the epileptic symptoms. An improvement was observed in the children’s behaviour and moreover, the electroencephalographic anomalies disappeared. Upon double blind oral provocation tests, these patients did not present an immediate reaction, but only after a few days. starting the controlled diet again led, in all cases, to disappearance of the electroencephalogram. In conclusion, it would appear feasible to hypothesize the role of food intolerance in the onset of convulsive crises, even if limited to certain types of epilepsy such as the cryptogenetic partial form.
· PMID: 9176122Epilepsy precipitated by food sensitivity: report of a case with double-blind placebo-controlled assessment. [Clin Electroencephalogr. 1981] PMID: 7337954
· [Allergologic aspects of epilepsy] [Neurol Neurochir Pol. 1975]
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