Low glycemic index treatment in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy

Brain Dev. 2017 Sep;39(8):687-692. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2017.03.027. Epub 2017 Apr 18.


Objective: Low glycemic index treatment (LGIT) is a newly developed dietary therapeutic option for epilepsy that is less restrictive than the ketogenic diet (KD). Our objective was to determine the efficacy and tolerability of LGIT.

Methods: From March 2014 to February 2015, 36 patients received LGIT at Severance Children's Hospital. One-year seizure outcomes and side effects were evaluated.

Results: A total of 36 patients were assessed. Fourteen were female. Common diagnoses were Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (33%, 12/36) and Dravet syndrome (14%, 5/36). The median age at the initiation of the LGIT was 12.6years (min.=1.5, max.=28, interquartile range (IQR) 8-17). After 3months of therapy, 20 (56%) patients experienced a 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency, which was maintained in 19 (53%) patients for 1year. Two (6%) patients became seizure-free after 3months of LGIT; they remained seizure-free for 1year. These two had Dravet syndrome and generalized epilepsy. Only three (8%) patients discontinued treatment within 1year. Adverse events were rare, and two patients (6%) reported transient diarrhea.

Conclusions: LGIT effectively reduced seizure frequency in the present study, although seizure freedom was infrequently achieved. LGIT may be considered as a therapeutic option for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, particularly those who find KD effective but intolerable.

Keywords: Children; Epilepsy; Ketogenic diet; Low glycemic index treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / diet therapy*
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Seizures / diet therapy
  • Seizures / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome