Mitochondrial disorders are a clinically heterogeneous group of disorders that are caused by defects in the respiratory chain, the metabolic pathway of the adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) production system. Epilepsy is a common and important feature of these disorders and its management can be challenging. Epileptic seizures in the context of mitochondrial disease are usually treated with conventional anti-epileptic medication, apart from valproic acid. However, in accordance with the treatment of intractable epilepsy where there are limited treatment options, the ketogenic diet (KD) has been considered as an alternative therapy. The use of the KD and its more palatable formulations has shown promising results. It is especially indicated and effective in the treatment of mitochondrial disorders due to complex I
deficiency. Further research into the mechanism of action and the neuroprotective properties of the KD will allow more targeted therapeutic strategies and thus optimize the treatment of both epilepsy in the context of mitochondrial disorders but also in other neurodegenerative disorders.
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