Ketogenic diet for epilepsy | Epilepsy Society

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The ketogenic diet is one treatment option for children or adults with epilepsy whose seizures are not controlled with AEDs. The diet may help to reduce the number or severity of seizures and may have other positive effects.

Up to 70% of people with epilepsy could have their seizures controlled with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). For some people who continue to have seizures, the ketogenic diet may help. However, the diet is very specialised. It should be carried out with the care, supervision and guidance of trained medical specialists.

What is the ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet (KD) is a high fat, low carbohydrate, controlled protein diet that has been used since the 1920s for the treatment of epilepsy. The diet is a medical treatment and is usually only considered when at least two suitable medications have been tried and not worked. 

The ketogenic diet is an established treatment option for

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Modified Atkins Diet | Epilepsy Foundation

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What is the modified Atkins diet?

The modified Atkins diet (often abbreviated in the literature as “MAD”) is a change to the traditional “classic” ketogenic diet to make it less restrictive. Along with the MCT (medium chain triglyceride) diet and LGIT (low glycemic index treatment), it is one of three “alternative diets” used to treat patients with epilepsy.

Its history goes back to the early 2000s.  Some families who had used the ketogenic diet for many years eventually stopped weighing and measuring foods. They had noticed that ketones still remained high and seizures stayed under control. It was first formally studied in children and adults who had never tried the ketogenic diet at Johns Hopkins Hospital by Dr. Eric Kossoff and colleagues in 2002. The first paper on this diet was published in 2003. A larger series of 20 children was published in December 2005.

This diet is now over

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