Ketogenic Treatments for ALS

Neurologist explains why he uses a ketogenic diet in treating ALS

The cause of ALS remains unknown, but what is clear is that for some unknown reason, there is a progressive failure of energy production of the motor neurons, the nerve cells that connect the brain to the muscles.

It is known that a diet that converts metabolism to a ketogenic state, meaning burning fat not carbohydrates, is effective in protecting nerve cells and preserving their ability to make energy. With that in mind, ALS researchers explored the effectiveness of a ketogenic, high fat diet, in the treatment of the mouse model of ALS and demonstrated some pretty remarkable results. This remarkable report from researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York was the first to show a substantial benefit in the treatment of ALS in the animal model using a ketogenic diet.

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Brain scans show potential to diagnose autism in infancy

Children with autism tend to be diagnosed around age 4, after a child begins to socialize and speak. But the earlier a child is diagnosed, the better. Early-intervention speech and behavioral therapy programs have shown promise at reducing symptoms. Now, new research shows such a diagnosis could be predicted as early as one year old — based on scans of infants’ brains.

Diagnosing autism very early in a child’s life might mean better interventions and outcomes. On average, children aren’t diagnosed with autism until they are four years old — once their brain has begun to expand, and once they begin behaving differently than neurotypical children — though some are diagnosed as early as their second birthday, Pletcher noted.

“Our findings are pre-symptomatic, certainly pre-consolidation of the diagnosis,” said Dr. Joseph Piven, who leads the eight-center Infant Brain Imaging Study Network, which did the research. “That’s a giant step in the field.”

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Gary Taubes : Calories vs Carbohydrates

Gary Taubes Calories vs Carbohydrates: Clearing up Confusion over Competing Obesity Paradigms

The science of obesity has been dogged for a century by a controversial question: is the condition an energy balance problem or a hormonal one? Do we accumulate excess fat merely because we consume more calories than we expend — we eat too much and exercise too little — or do we accumulate excess fat because the homeostatic mechanisms regulating fat metabolism and storage are out of whack. If the latter is the case, then positive energy balance (overeating) is an effect of getting fat, not a cause, and the prime environmental suspect for the cause of excess adiposity is the carbohydrate content of the diet and its effect on insulin signaling. This video by author Gary Taubes covers how we might tell these two scenarios apart and potential experiments to resolve this century-old conflict.

CDC: Excess sugar increases risk of death

We knew it helped make us fat, but in a study released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), excess sugar is also blamed for significantly increasing our risk of death from heart disease.

The study focused on refined sugar, which is found in non-diet soda, cakes, cookies and candy.

“The risk of cardiovascular disease death increases exponentially as you increase your consumption of added sugar,” says the study’s lead author, Quanhe Yang, a senior scientist with the CDC.

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