• Neurology Patient Stories

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

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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