The role for ketogenic diets in epilepsy and status epilepticus in adults

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29 Scopus citations


Ketogenic diet (KD) therapies are high fat, low carbohydrate diets designed to mimic a fasting state. Although studies demonstrate KD's success in reducing seizures stretching back nearly a century, the last 25 years have seen a resurgence in diet therapy for the management of drug-resistant epilepsy in children as well as adults. With ≥50% seizure reduction efficacy rates in adults of 22–55% for the classic KD and 12–67% for the modified Atkins diet, diet therapy may be in many instances comparable to a trial of an additional anti-epileptic medication and potentially with fewer side effects and other health benefits. Moreover, ketogenic diets offer promising new adjunctive strategies for the treatment of acute status epilepticus in the intensive care setting. Here, we review the efficacy and utility of ketogenic diets for the management of chronic epilepsy and refractory status epilepticus in adults and offer practical guidelines for diet implementation and maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-160
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neurophysiology Practice
StatePublished - 2017


  • Drug-resistant epilepsy
  • Epilepsy
  • Ketogenic diet
  • Modified Atkins diet
  • Refractory status epilepticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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