Ketogenic diet treatment increases longevity in Kcna1-null mice, a model of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy

Epilepsia. 2016 Aug;57(8):e178-82. doi: 10.1111/epi.13444. Epub 2016 Jun 27.


Individuals with poorly controlled epilepsy have a higher risk for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). With approximately one third of people with epilepsy not achieving adequate seizure control with current antiseizure drugs, there is a critical need to identify treatments that reduce risk factors for SUDEP. The Kcna1-null mutant mouse models risk factors and terminal events associated with SUDEP. In the current study, we demonstrate the progressive nature of epilepsy and sudden death in this model (mean age of mortality (± SEM), postnatal day [P] 42.8 ± 1.3) and tested the hypothesis that long-term treatment with the ketogenic diet (KD) will prolong the life of Kcna1-null mice. We found that the KD postpones disease progression by delaying the onset of severe seizures and increases the lifespan of these mutant mice by 47%. Future studies are needed to determine the mechanisms underlying the KD effects on longevity.

Keywords: Disease progression; Kv1.1 knockout; Mortality; Seizures; Survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid / blood
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Blood Glucose
  • Death, Sudden / etiology*
  • Diet, Ketogenic / methods*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / complications*
  • Epilepsy / genetics*
  • Kv1.1 Potassium Channel / deficiency*
  • Kv1.1 Potassium Channel / genetics
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • Longevity / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic


  • Blood Glucose
  • Kcna1 protein, mouse
  • Kv1.1 Potassium Channel
  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid