Low Carb Diet and Epilepsy

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The Ketogenic Diet: One Decade Later

"The past decade has been an amazing one for those interested in the KD. Its increasing use in children with difficult-to-control seizures has opened new vistas for these children and also for our understanding of epilepsy. Its potential use in adults by using a less restrictive Atkins diet may make a difference to this population as well. The diet's documented efficacy and tolerability have opened new horizons as it is tried for a variety of ills from brain tumors to migraine, and from head trauma to neurodegenerative diseases. Most exciting is the realization that beliefs concerning a high-fat diet making people fat and dyslipidemic have been proven false. Researchers are rediscovering that ketone bodies are not necessarily bad and that glucose is not necessarily good. A whole new era of metabolic research has opened up. It is not completely clear where it will lead, but its promise is exciting."

Full Text: Freeman JM, Kossoff EH, Hartman AL, The Ketogenic Diet: One Decade Later. Pediatrics. 2007 Mar;119(3):535-43.


A Prospective Study of the Modified Atkins Diet for Intractable Epilepsy in Adults

"A modified Atkins diet appears to demonstrate preliminary efficacy for adults with intractable epilepsy, especially in those who lost weight."

Abstract: Kossoff et al, A Prospective Study of the Modified Atkins Diet for Intractable Epilepsy in Adults. Epilepsia. 2008 Feb;49(2):316-9. Epub 2007 Oct 5.


When do seizures usually improve with the ketogenic diet?

"The KD works quickly when effective, typically within the first 1-2 weeks. Starting the KD after a fasting period may lead to a more rapid, but equivalent long-term seizure reduction, confirming prior reports."

Abstract: Kossoff et al, When do seizures usually improve with the ketogenic diet? Epilepsia. 2008 Feb;49(2):329-33. Epub 2007 Nov 19


Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and the Ketogenic Diet

"Twelve children, ages 8 months to 18 years, were identified. Eleven (92%) children had a >50% reduction in their seizures at 6 months on the diet, and 8 (67%) had a >90% response. Five children had at least a 5-month seizure-free response. Diet duration ranged from 2 months to 5 years (mean, 2 years)."

Full Text: Kossoff et al, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and the Ketogenic Diet. Epilepsia, 46(10):1684-1686, 2005