Use of the modified Atkins diet in infantile spasms refractory to first-line treatment

Seizure. 2012 Jan;21(1):45-8. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2011.08.009. Epub 2011 Sep 14.


This prospective, open label, uncontrolled study was performed to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of the modified Atkins diet in children with refractory infantile spasms. Fifteen consecutive children aged six months to three years having daily infantile spasms in clusters with electroencephalographic evidence of hypsarrhythmia despite treatment with hormonal treatment (oral corticosteroids/adrenocorticotrophic hormone) and/or vigabatrin, and at least one additional anti-epileptic drug were enrolled. Children with known or suspected inborn errors of metabolism or systemic illnesses were excluded. Carbohydrate intake was restricted to ten grams/day. Among these 12 boys and three girls (median age-24 months), 13 had symptomatic etiology. After three months of diet, six children were spasm free. The time to spasm freedom after diet initiation ranged from two days to two months. The most frequent adverse effect observed was constipation. The modified Atkins diet was found to be effective and well tolerated in children with refractory infantile spasms ( identifier: NCT01006811).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Spasms, Infantile / diet therapy*

Associated data