Dietary therapies for epilepsy

Eric H Kossoff, Huei Shyong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Since their introduction in 1921, high-fat, low-carbohydrate "ketogenic" diets have been used worldwide for refractory childhood epilepsy. Approximately half of the children have at least half their seizures reduced, including 15% who are seizure free. The mechanisms of action of dietary therapies are under active investigation and appear to involve mitochondria. Once perceived as a last resort, modifications to initiation and maintenance, as well as the widespread use of pre-made ketogenic formulas have allowed dietary treatment to be used earlier in the course of epilepsy. For infantile spasms (West syndrome) specifically, the ketogenic diet is successful about 50% of the time as a first-line treatment. New "alternative" diets such as the modified Atkins diet were created in 2003 and can be started more easily and are less restrictive. They may have particular value for countries in Asia. Side effects include constipation, dyslipidemia, growth slowing, acidosis, and kidney stones. Additionally, neurologists are studying ketogenic diets for conditions other than epilepsy, including Alzheimer′s disease, autism, and brain tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalBiomedical Journal
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Fingerprint

Ketogenic Diet
Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet
Infantile Spasms
Epilepsy
Seizures
Kidney Calculi
Constipation
Autistic Disorder
Dyslipidemias
Acidosis
Brain Neoplasms
Alzheimer Disease
Mitochondria
Therapeutics
Fats
Maintenance
Diet
Growth

Keywords

  • Atkins
  • children
  • diet
  • epilepsy
  • ketogenic
  • ketosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Dietary therapies for epilepsy. / Kossoff, Eric H; Wang, Huei Shyong.

In: Biomedical Journal, Vol. 36, No. 1, 01.2013, p. 2-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kossoff, Eric H ; Wang, Huei Shyong. / Dietary therapies for epilepsy. In: Biomedical Journal. 2013 ; Vol. 36, No. 1. pp. 2-8.
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