Ketogenic Diets in Parkinson’s and Alzeimer’s

June Speaker at the Cafe Scientifique

Cafe Scientifique Tauranga are pleased to welcome Dr Matthew CL Phillips from the Department of Neurology, Waikato Hospital.

Aging is accompanied by a mild energy production decline at many structural levels (molecule, organelle, and cell) in cells throughout the body. In Parkinson’s (PD) and Alzheimer’s (AD), this decline is pathologically accelerated in certain neurons. Since they are multi-targeted, metabolic therapies such as calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, and high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets may be able to restore the energy decline; ketogenic diets are probably the most sustainable of these options in PD and AD. In 2017, we developed a protocol to support 47 people with PD randomized to either a low-fat or ketogenic diet for 8 weeks. By the end of the study, the ketogenic group showed clinically and significantly greater nonmotor score baseline improvements (41% compared to 11%), particularly in urinary problems, pain, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and cognitive impairment. In mid-2019, Waikato Hospital will coordinate The Alzheimer’s Dietary Study, a similar randomized controlled study in patients with mild AD run over 12 weeks. Given that the diets with the best evidence for benefit in AD are considerably lower in fat and higher in carbohydrate than a ketogenic diet, we are keen to see which diet may be more beneficial in AD. We are still seeking enthusiastic participants with mild AD, and their partners, willing to join us in this exciting, world-first study.

Cafe Scientifique Presentation:

Day and Time:  Mondays 17th June 2018  7pm-9pm
Doors open 6.30pm.
Venue: Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Tauranga
Cost: There is a $5 entry fee, which includes light refreshments.

For more information:

Matthew Phillips is a full-time neurologist based in Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand. His main interest is to explore the role of intermittent fasting and dietary modification as potential therapies in a variety of neurological disorders. In 2017, his team completed the world’s first randomized controlled study involving a ketogenic diet in people with Parkinson’s disease, recently published in the journal Movement Disorders. In 2019, his team will conduct a similar randomized controlled study in people with Alzheimer’s disease.