Clinical Experience of Ketogenic Diet on Children With Refractory Epilepsy

Acta Paediatr Taiwan. Mar-Apr 1999;40(2):97-100.

Abstract

Thirteen children with refractory epilepsy received a ketogenic diet (medium chain triglyceride oil diet) as an alternative therapy since September 1997. Their seizure patterns included (1) generalized tonic-clonic seizures, (2) myoclonic seizures, (3) generalized tonic + atonic seizures, (4) complex partial seizures, (5) generalized clonic + atonic + myoclonic seizures, (6) head nodding + myoclonic + gelastic seizures, and (7) generalized tonic-clonic + myoclonic + atonic seizures. Major concerns emphasized on the efficacy and side effects of the diet. Clinical observation one month after the diet revealed that 53.8% of the patients had a > 75% reduction in seizure frequency and 76.9% of the patients had a > 50% reduction in seizure frequency. Six patients had some degrees of improvement in cognitive function and/ or school performances. The most common side effects were body weight loss (n = 6) and diarrhea (n = 5). Others included bad temper (n = 1), abdominal cramps (n = 2), nausea (n = 2), bad body smell (n = 1), and renal stones (n = 1). Even after discontinuation of the diet, 61.5% of patients still had a > 50% reduction in seizure frequency. We concluded that the ketogenic diet deserves a trial in children with refractory epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet Therapy / adverse effects
  • Epilepsy / diet therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ketosis*
  • Male
  • Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Triglycerides / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Oils
  • Triglycerides