Ketogenic Diet for the Management of Epilepsy Associated with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex in Children

J Epilepsy Res. 2017 Jun 30;7(1):45-49. doi: 10.14581/jer.17008. eCollection 2017 Jun.


Background and purpose: In the present study, we reviewed the outcome of ketogenic diet (KD) use for the management of epilepsy in children with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).

Methods: A total of 12 children with intractable epilepsy associated with TSC who were treated with KD at our hospital between March 1, 2008 and February 28, 2015 were retrospectively enrolled.

Results: The mean age at the time of KD initiation was 73.1 ± 38.0 months. Patients were medically refractory to a mean of 4.8 ± 1.7 antiepileptic drugs. Nine patients (75.0%) had a history of infantile spasms. At 3 months after KD initiation, 10 patients (83.3%) had > 50% seizure reduction. Moreover, 7 patients (58.3%) exhibited qualitative improvements in cognition and behavior after KD initiation, as reported by caregivers/parents. The mean duration of dietary therapy was 14.8 ± 12.8 months. Half of the patients in this study eventually underwent epilepsy surgery due to persistent seizures or seizure relapse.

Conclusion: KD is an important non-pharmacological treatment option for patients with intractable epilepsy associated with TSC. KD may improve cognition and behavior in addition to reducing seizure frequency.

Keywords: Children; Epilepsy; Ketogenic diet; Tuberous sclerosis complex.