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How a Modified Atkins Diet for PWS Changes the Microbiome [2019 CONFERENCE VIDEO]

In this video, Johns Hopkins researchers discuss their study on the modified Atkins diet for PWS and on important changes in the microbiome.

Have you ever wondered what is the optimal diet for a person with PWS? We may not be able to answer that question just yet, but in this 29-minute video, Dr. Anne Scheimann from Johns Hopkins shares preliminary data from her study on the Modified Atkins Diet (MAD) for PWS and on important changes it may have in the microbiome. They review diet strategies for PWS, go over the specifics of the MAD study, and share results related to weight changes and the microbiome. If you're short on time, scroll down for time stamps to find the portions you're most interested in.


Presentation Sections With Timestamps

00:28 Background: What is PWS?

00:47 Diet Strategies in PWS - example

01:38 Rationale for Consideration of Ketogenic Diets in PWS

03:00 Diet Comparison: Modified Atkins, Ketogenic and Standard Diets

03:47 Sample Modified Atkins Diet

04:30 Diet Study Design (funded by FPWR)

04:50 Methods, Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

05:20 Results

06:00 Study Patient Demographics

06:19 Study Results

  • Weight was maintained or reduced during diet.
  • Cholesterol increased, LDL increased
  • Triglycerides were stable
  • Hemoglobin A1C stable
  • Insulin decreased

07:25 Microbiome Study

08:11 Why is the microbiome important?

08:52 Microbiome and Obesity

09:31 Microbiome and Behavior

10:10 Modified Atkins Diet in PWS – Microbiome Analyses

11:00 Microbiome Analyses – Pre and Post Diet with Parent Comparison Data

15:44 Conclusions

  • A small numbers of patients participated in the study, however weight maintenance/loss was observed for the majority of patients. A shift in lipid profile and improvement in insulin resistance was also observed. While an impact upon gut microbiome was observed, it not yet known if this is beneficial or not.

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Topics: Research

Susan Hedstrom


Susan Hedstrom is the Executive Director for the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. Passionate about finding treatments for PWS, Susan joined FPWR in 2009 shortly after her son, Jayden, was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Rather than accepting PWS as it has been defined, Susan has chosen to work with a team of pro-active and tireless individuals to accelerate PWS research in order to change the future of PWS. Inspired by her first FPWR conference and the team of researchers that were working to find answers for the syndrome, she joined the FPWR team in 2010 and led the development of the One SMALL Step walk program. Under Susan’s leadership, over $15 million has been raised for PWS related research.