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Ketogenic Diet and Epilepsy
Article

Safety and Effectiveness of the Prolonged Treatment of Children with a Ketogenic Diet

1
Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Pediatric Service, San Rafael Hospital, 28016 Madrid, Spain
2
Department of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Niño Jesús Pediatric Hospital, 28009 Madrid, Spain
3
Department of Neurology, Niño Jesús Pediatric Hospital, 28009 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020306
Received: 5 December 2019 / Revised: 18 January 2020 / Accepted: 22 January 2020 / Published: 24 January 2020
Background: The ketogenic diet (KD) is an effective treatment against drug-resistant epilepsy in children. The KD is a diet rich in fats that produces anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects that reduces seizures and improves the cognitive state. Nevertheless, it can produce side effects that sometimes can be serious. Further, the effect on growth is quite controversial when used for an extended period of time. The aim of this paper was to assess the effectiveness, side effects, and repercussions in the development of children who have been treated with a KD for more than 2 years. Methods: Observational descriptive study of 26 pediatric patients on a KD, with data collection at baseline, at 3, 6, and 12 months, and then once a year. Number of seizures, type of seizures, anti-seizure drugs, anthropometry, side effects, and alterations in laboratory assessment were monitored. Results: In every assessment, about 60%–75% of the patients experienced a reduction in number of seizures of over 90%, and at least 50% experienced side effects, of which digestive issues, alteration in the lipid metabolism, and hypercalciuria were the most common. The KD significantly affected height after 2 years of treatment. Conclusions: The KD is an effective treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy. Its side effects, although common, are very mild; therefore, this constitutes a very safe treatment for children of all ages. More studies are needed to identify and prevent potential causes of growth retardation in children on the KD. View Full-Text
Keywords: ketogenic diet; drug-resistant epilepsy; GLUT-1; growth ketogenic diet; drug-resistant epilepsy; GLUT-1; growth
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ruiz Herrero, J.; Cañedo Villarroya, E.; García Peñas, J.J.; García Alcolea, B.; Gómez Fernández, B.; Puerta Macfarland, L.A.; Pedrón Giner, C. Safety and Effectiveness of the Prolonged Treatment of Children with a Ketogenic Diet. Nutrients 2020, 12, 306. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020306

AMA Style

Ruiz Herrero J, Cañedo Villarroya E, García Peñas JJ, García Alcolea B, Gómez Fernández B, Puerta Macfarland LA, Pedrón Giner C. Safety and Effectiveness of the Prolonged Treatment of Children with a Ketogenic Diet. Nutrients. 2020; 12(2):306. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020306

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ruiz Herrero, Jana, Elvira Cañedo Villarroya, Juan J. García Peñas, Beatriz García Alcolea, Begoña Gómez Fernández, Laura A. Puerta Macfarland, and Consuelo Pedrón Giner. 2020. "Safety and Effectiveness of the Prolonged Treatment of Children with a Ketogenic Diet" Nutrients 12, no. 2: 306. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020306

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