First Do No Harm A Ketogenic Diet Movie

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Directed by Jim Abrahams, this is about a boy whose severe epilepsy, being unresponsive to medications with terrible side effects, is controlled by the ketogenic diet. Aspects of the story mirror Abrahams' own experience with his son, Charlie.

Starring Meryl Streep, Fred Ward, Seth Adkins, Allison Janney, Margo Martindale, Oni Faida Lampley, Leo Burmester, Tom Butler Mairon Bennett, Michael Yarmush, Millicent Kelly, and  Diana Belshaw, the film tells a story in the life of a Midwestern family, the Reimullers. Moreover, this is about a boy with severe epilepsy and unresponsive to medications with terrible side effects. Lori (played by Meryl Streep) is the mother of three children and the wife of Dave (Fred Ward), a truck driver. Then the youngest son, Robbie (Seth Adkins), has a sudden unexplained fall at school. A short while later, he has another unprovoked fall while playing with his brother, and is seen having a convulsive seizure. Robbie is started on phenobarbital, an old anticonvulsant drug with well-known side effects, including cognitive impairment and behavior problems. Meanwhile, the Reimullers discover that their health insurance is invalid.

Commenting on the film, Dr. John Freeman said, "The movie was based on a true story and we see this story often. He later noted that the film had "fueled a grassroots effort for more research". The film was first aired on CityTV and ABC for public viewing on 16 February 1997.

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