In this section I am giving information on different treatment plans that I have found through research.  This information is for reading only and anything discussed here should be spoken about with a doctor prior to any attempt at treatment.  This information will hopefully serve as a resource and area where you can get questions and potential plans of action for treatment to be discussed with your child's doctor and medical care team. 


1) 1/3 - 1/4 of patients with OS showed normal MRI.
2) MRI in OS frequently shows pathologies such as atrophic or destructive  nature. Hemimegalencephaly is one of the example.
3) MRI findings should be understood as secondary to epileptogenesis.
4) Primary mechanism is neurophysiological, not morphological. Many cases of OS shows focal spikes, but essentially  OS is caused by
subcortical mechanism.  OS belongs to generalized epilepsy syndrome.
5) MEG findings  are also secondary importance, and no value for diagnosis of OS.
6) For the diagnosis of OS, indispensable findings are early onset frequent tonic spasms and suppression-burst EEG which appear
irrespective for waking and sleep.
- taken from correspondence email from Dr. Ohtahara

    Medication is usually the first line treatment plan for treating Ohtahara Syndrome. There are several anti seizure medications available now and a variety of combinations may help against the seizures.  With the diagnosis of OS, comes a battle with difficult seizures, they can be very hard to control.  Many patients are on a variety of medications, several at a time. Some have reached seizure freedom on medications. It is unknown why some do and some do not reach seizure freedom even if on the same medications. What works for one child, may not work for another child.  It is so important to continue follow up with the primary doctor on your child's medical team and of course ask many questions.  Below I have links to some studies I have found on treatment of OS with medications and their effects.  These may also be found under downloads.

http://eng.hi138.com/?i117642  Corticotropin hormone therapy Ohtahara syndrome (ACTH)
http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/10403219  Treatment of infantile spasms: results of a population-based study with vigabatrin as the first drug for spasms
Successful treatment of Ohtahara syndrome with chloral hydrate
High-dose vitamin B6 treatment in West syndrome (Infantile Spasms)
http://www.epires-journal.com/article/S0920-1211%2805%2900299-8/abstract   Zonisamide in the management of epilepsy—Japanese experience
http://caocao.myipcn.org/science/article/pii/S0387760411000349  Vitamin B6 treatment of intractable seizures
http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/10403219  Treatment of infantile spasms: results of a population-based study with vigabatrin as the first drug for spasms

These are just a few articles I have come across in my many searches.  It is advised to speak to your doctor about any treatment plans before implementing. 


I have put together this information to hopefully shed more light on a treatment that may be beneficial to some children with difficult seizure disorders. I am only writing this to give information and this should not be used as a diet guide or medical advice. It is advised that you should speak with your doctor along with a nutritionist before proceeding with any treatments.

Our bodies use the carbohydrates we consume by converting them into glucose. The glucose moves around our bodies and is an important part of our brain function. When our bodies are without glucose, the body, specifically our liver, takes fat and changes it to fatty acids and ketone bodies. These ketones pass through the body, to the brain and replace the glucose. Ketone bodies are three water soluble compounds that are produced as by products when fatty acids are broken down in the liver and kidney (wikipedia). This mimics what takes place when one is fasting. The body has a 24 hr. store of glucose, so when not being replaced this process begins. This is where the the ketogenic diet comes into play. There is not enough research to know for sure why in some cases the diet has worked to stop or reduce seizure activity in children.

The ketogenic diet is a high fat, adequate protein, low carbohydrate diet that started its development in the 1920s. This diet remained very popular for treatment of difficult seizure disorders in children, but lost its appeal when new anti-convulsant drugs were developed. It was still used but gained more popularity when Hollywood producer, Jim Abrahams, took his son Charlie to Johns Hopkins Hospital to start the diet. The diet worked for Charlie. Jim Abrahams began the Charlie Foundation to bring awareness and research to the public about the ketogenic diet (http://www.charliefoundation.org/).

The ketogenic diet is a treatment plan that should be discussed with your doctor and a nutritionist. Again, it is unknown why the diet works and why the diet does not work on some children. This is just to give a broad overview of the diet and to help with some awareness. The following is a link to one study on the ketogenic diet that shows much improvement, up to 90% decrease of seizures in some cases on the diet (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422%2808%2970092-9/fulltext). Through the sources below you will find much more information and other sources such as books, diet guides, tools, etc. I have included these resources because I have found them helpful in answering the questions I had about the diet and this is one source where you can find several links for more info.

Other resources for ketogenic diet:

http://www.charliefoundation.org (Foundation for ketogenic diet awareness and resources)

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422%2808%2970092-9/fulltext (article on study of Ketogenic diet).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21400932 (The ketogenic diet as an effective treatment for Ohtahara syndrome)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketogenic_diet#cite_note-Neal2008-5 (Wikipedia definition, overview of Ketogenic diet)

http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/answerplace/medical/treatment/diet/ (Epilepsy Foundation information on Ketogenic diet)

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/3/535.full ( This is a paper giving more detailed information on the diet's history and other useful information)

*more information to be added soon about VNS and possible surgery options*