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Revista de Nutrição

Print version ISSN 1415-5273


MARTINS, Luciana Duarte et al. Effect of the classic ketogenic diet on the treatment of refractory epileptic seizures. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2012, vol.25, n.5, pp.565-573. ISSN 1415-5273.

OBJECTIVE:The ketogenic diet is used as a therapeutic alternative for the treatment of epilepsy in patients with refractory epilepsy. It simulates biochemical changes typical of fasting. The present study verified the nutritional impact of the ketogenic diet on children with refractory epilepsy. METHODS: Nutritional status data (dietary, biochemical and anthropometric measurements), seizure frequency, and adverse events were collected from the medical records and during outpatient clinic visits of children over a period of 36 months. RESULTS: Of the 29 children who initiated the ketogenic diet, 75.8% presented fewer seizures after one month of treatment. After six months, 48.3% of the patients had at least a 90.0% decrease in seizure frequency, and 50.0% of these patients presented total seizure remission. At 12 months, eight patients continued to show positive results, and seven of these children remained on the ketogenic diet for 24 months. There was an improvement of the nutritional status at 24 months, especially in terms of weight, which culminated with the recovery of proper weightforheight. There were no significant changes in biochemical indices (total cholesterol and components, triglycerides, albumin, total protein, creatinine, glycemia, serum aspartate transaminase and serum alanine transaminase). Serum cholesterol levels increased significantly in the first month, fell in the following six months, and remained within the normal limits thereafter. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, patients on the classic ketogenic diet for at least 24 months gained weight. Moreover, approximately one third of the patients achieved significant reduction in seizure frequency, and some patients achieved total remission.

Keywords : Epilepsy; Ketogenic diet; Nutritional status.

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