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Who should think about trying the ketogenic diet for epilepsy?

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The ketogenic diet has been curbing seizures since it was first developed in the 1920s. About half of kids who follow it have a big drop in how many they get. As many as 1 in 7 stop having seizures completely.

The diet helps with many types of epilepsy, but works especially well with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, myoclonic astatic epilepsy (Doose syndrome), and others. Some pediatric epilepsy syndromes respond very well to the ketogenic diet and most adult epilepsies do not.

Because the ketogenic diet is so demanding, doctors usually recommend it only if a child has already tried two or three medications and they haven't worked.

SOURCES:

Epilepsy Foundation: "Ketogenic Diet."

UpToDate: "The ketogenic diet and other dietary therapies for the treatment of epilepsy."

The Charlie Foundation for Ketogenic Therapies: "Classic Ketogenic and Modified Ketogenic."

Boston Children's Hospital: "Epilepsy Center: Ketogenic Diet."

Epilepsy Foundation (Greater Chicago): "Ketogenic Diet."

Reviewed by Christopher Melinosky on July 24, 2019

SOURCES:

Epilepsy Foundation: "Ketogenic Diet."

UpToDate: "The ketogenic diet and other dietary therapies for the treatment of epilepsy."

The Charlie Foundation for Ketogenic Therapies: "Classic Ketogenic and Modified Ketogenic."

Boston Children's Hospital: "Epilepsy Center: Ketogenic Diet."

Epilepsy Foundation (Greater Chicago): "Ketogenic Diet."

Reviewed by Christopher Melinosky on July 24, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What foods can your child eat on the ketogenic diet for epilepsy?

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