Posts Tagged ‘pediatric neurology’

Christina George’s Mayo Clinic Story – How the Ketogenic Diet Stopped Her Seizures

June 15, 2010

Larry and Paulette George had never seen a seizure before when their 7 month old daughter, Christina, began having more than 100 seizures a day. They tried medication after medication, but the seizures wouldn’t stop.

Paulette’s sister had heard something about a diet for seizures and mentioned it to them, but when they asked their physician, they were told that it was unsafe. Paulette and Larry were desperate to help Christina and after learning that the ketogenic diet was developed at Mayo Clinic, they flew 1,200 miles from their home in Texas to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, seeking answers and hope. They eventually moved to Wisconsin to be only a day’s drive from Mayo Clinic.

At 2 1/2 years old, Christina was autistic and didn’t speak. The ketogenic diet stopped the seizures and paved the way for her to have brain surgery at Mayo Clinic. She has not had a seizure since 2001. Today, Christina is a beautiful, healthy, smart and active 12 year old.

Here’s a video of Paulette describing their journey:

Paulette is passionate about sharing Christina’s story in order to help other families dealing with seizures and increase the awareness of the ketogenic diet. She recently released a book about their journey entitled, Good Morning, Beautiful: Winning the Battle Over Seizures. The book’s title refers to the song by Steve Holy — Christina sang the words to the chorus of that song as some of her very first words after the ketogenic diet had stopped her seizures.

Paulette will be at the Barnes & Noble near the Mayo Clinic campus in downtown Rochester, Minn. for a book signing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22. More information is available at

Grateful Family Says Mayo Clinic Care and Ketogenic Diet Brought Their Son Back To Them

November 2, 2009

Less than a year ago, four-year-old Max Irvine was having hundreds of seizures a day … he couldn’t walk, talk or chew his food. A previously healthy and active preschooler, Max has epilepsy. The Irvines were told by one epilepsy specialist that their son would become mentally incompetent from his seizures. Thankfully, they refused to believe this devastating news.

Under the guidance of Mayo Clinic pediatric neurologist Elaine Wirrell, M.D., the Irvines say they experienced a miracle. They took Max off all his epilepsy medications and relied on the ketogenic diet, a high-fat, low-protein, non-carbohydrate diet, to inhibit his seizures. The day he took his last pill, he started to walk again — that evening he began talking again — and he hasn’t had another seizure since.

In the video below, Max’s parents, Troy and Kristine Irvine, tell their Mayo Clinic story.

Please note: If the ketogenic diet is effective, some, but not all, children may be safely weaned from their medications. This decision must be discussed with a neurologist prior to any attempt to withdraw medication.

This story was submitted by Elizabeth Rice, Mayo Clinic in Rochester communications consultant in Public Affairs.

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CBS News Features Mayo Patient with Niemann-Pick Disease Type C

March 3, 2009

Earlier this week, CBS Evening News featured the story of Mayo Clinic patient Dillon Papier and his family. Six-year-old Dillon has Niemann-Pick disease type C, a  rare inherited disease that affects approximately 1 in 150,000 people. Niemann-Pick disease type C has been called childhood Alzheimer’s.


Click here or the graphic above to view the CBS story, which also includes an interview with Marc Patterson, M.D., a Mayo Clinic pediatric neurologist who is leading research into this disease. You also can see an extended interview with Dr. Patterson, in which he describes Niemann-Pick Type C in more detail, on the Mayo Clinic Podcast blog.