Winthrop-University Hospital is holding a mini-med school adult education program...

Winthrop-University Hospital is holding a mini-med school adult education program consisting of five classes on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning next week. Each class centers on parts of the body and how they work. Credit: Bloomberg News

A recent Harvard study, highlighted in Newsday's "How diet can fight epilepsy" [News, May 28], symbolizes the hope and frustration of clinicians and patient advocates like us who care for individuals with epilepsy.

While the study helps us better understand the ketogenic diet -- high in fat and extremely low in carbohydrates -- that we prescribe for select individuals, new medicines with similar mechanisms of action but better side-effect profiles are desperately needed.

As a recent Institute of Medicine report pointed out, epilepsy occurs in as many as one in 26 people, but funding for research in epilepsy diagnosis and treatment is woefully inadequate. Hopefully, breakthroughs such as those from the Harvard study will motivate legislators to allocate much more funding to finally find a cure for this common but challenging condition.

Dr. Alan B. Ettinger

Thomas M. Hopkins

Garden City

Editor's note: The writers are the president of the professional advisory board and the executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Long Island.


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