The Charlie Foundation was established in 1994 in order to raise awareness about the ketogenic diet as a treatment for childhood epilepsy. The modern success of the diet has led to new demands on the medical community. In order to meet these demands, the Charlie Foundation has expanded its priorities to include educational programs for dietitians and neurologists as well as support for clinicians and researchers working to perfect its administration and discover its mechanisms.
For over eighty years it has been known and documented by many of this country’s finest medical institutions that after the failure of the first antiepileptic drug the ketogenic diet controls epilepsy in children with difficult to control seizures at a significantly higher rate than any drug or combination of drugs.
The Epilepsy Foundation of America reports, “When carefully managed by a medical team familiar with its use, the diet helps two out of three children who are treated on it and may prevent seizures in one out of three children.”
While such observations suggest a powerful and general mechanism of action, little is known about how or why the diet works, and which of its many metabolic effects are critical for an antiepileptic response.
Nearly half a million children in America live with epilepsy. A renewed interest in the ketogenic diet has brought together many of the best minds in pediatric epilepsy research to combat this centuries old problem.
The Charlie Foundation’s role is to facilitate investigations, educate professionals, and inform families about the current status of the ketogenic diet. Hopefully these efforts will bring us closer to preventing, controlling, and curing pediatric epilepsies