Ketogenic diets: an update for child neurologists

J Child Neurol. 2009 Aug;24(8):979-88. doi: 10.1177/0883073809337162. Epub 2009 Jun 17.


The ketogenic diet, modified Atkins diet, and low-glycemic-index treatment have all emerged over the past decade as important therapeutic options for children with intractable epilepsy. Whereas only a decade ago the ketogenic diet was seen as an "alternative'' treatment of last resort, it has become more frequently used throughout the world. The past year alone 2 randomized and controlled trials of the ketogenic diet were published, as well as the use of the ketogenic diet for new-onset epilepsy (infantile spasms), and a 26-member international consensus statement guiding optimal clinical management. There has been an equally dramatic increase of interest into mechanisms of action using various experimental models. Researchers are also highly interested in using diets for neurologic disorders other than epilepsy, including autism and brain tumors. This review will update child neurologists on the recent advances in the use of ketogenic diets.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Diet, Ketogenic* / adverse effects
  • Diet, Ketogenic* / methods
  • Epilepsy / diet therapy*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / diet therapy
  • Patient Selection