Back to Journals » Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment » Volume 15

Current Perspectives On The Role Of The Ketogenic Diet In Epilepsy Management

Authors Goswami JN, Sharma S

Received 27 August 2019

Accepted for publication 18 October 2019

Published 25 November 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 3273—3285


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Jyotindra Narayan Goswami,1 Suvasini Sharma2

1Department of Pediatrics, Army Hospital (Research & Referral), New Delhi 110010, India; 2Neurology Division, Department of Pediatrics, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Associated Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital, New Delhi 110001, India

Correspondence: Suvasini Sharma
Neurology Division, Department of Pediatrics, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Associated Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital, Connaught Place 110001, New Delhi Tel +91-9910234344

Abstract: Drug-refractory epilepsy is a commonly prevalent pediatric neurological illness of global significance. Ketogenic diet (KD) is a time-tested therapeutic modality for refractory epilepsy, which has reemerged as a robust alternative to anti-epileptic pharmacotherapy. There is a growing body of evidence which supports the anti-seizure efficacy, safety profile and feasibility of KD use in childhood epilepsy. In addition, this modality has been recognized to reduce anti-epileptic exposure, improve cognition and behavioral profile of patients as well as improve the quality-of-life of care-givers. Current indications of KD include refractory epilepsy syndromes, selected metabolic disorders (such as pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency) and a host of varied neurological entities. KD research has broadened the knowledge-base about its mechanisms of action. Four types of KD are in vogue currently with varying nutritional constitution, palatability, administration protocols and comparable efficacy. KD initiation and maintenance are the result of concerted effort of a team of pediatric neurologist/epileptologist, nutritionist and patient’s primary care-giver. Consensus is being formulated about various practical aspects of KD such as patient-selection, parental counseling, baseline work-up, dietary prescription, nutritional supplementation, concurrent anti-epileptic drug administration, follow-up and treatment-duration. Novel applications of KD include its use in neonatal epilepsy and super-refractory status epilepticus and tailor-made formulations such as cooking oil-based KD in predominantly rice-fed populations. Increasing body of clinical experience, improved nutritional designs and translational research are promoting KD as a major therapeutic modality. Currently, KD forms a core essence in the armamentarium against refractory epilepsy. In this review, we summarize the recent advances and current perspectives in the use of KD in refractory epilepsy.

Keywords: Modified Atkins Diet, low glycemic index diet, ketosis, intractable epilepsy, epileptic encephalopathies, ketogenic diet, epilepsy

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]