Harnessing the power of metabolism for seizure prevention: Focus on dietary treatments

Adam L. Hartman, Carl E. Stafstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The continued occurrence of refractory seizures in at least one-third of children and adults with epilepsy, despite the availability of almost 15 conventional and novel anticonvulsant drugs, speaks to a dire need to develop novel therapeutic approaches. Cellular metabolism, the critical pathway by which cells access and utilize energy, is essential for normal neuronal function. Furthermore, mounting evidence suggests direct links between energy metabolism and cellular excitability. The high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet has been used as a treatment for drug-refractory epilepsy for almost a century. Yet, the multitude of alternative therapies to target aspects of cellular metabolism and hyperexcitability is almost untapped. Approaches discussed in this review offer a wide diversity of therapeutic targets that might be exploited by investigators in the search for safer and more effective epilepsy treatments.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "The Future of Translational Epilepsy Research".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-272
Number of pages7
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-deoxy-d-glucose
  • Anaplerosis
  • Calorie restriction
  • Dietary treatments
  • Epilepsy
  • Ketogenic diet
  • MTOR
  • Metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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