Ketogenic diet, which is quite a rage nowadays, was devised to treat people with epilepsy. The diet is a high-fat and low-carb diet that is popular for its purported health benefits for humans, including rapid weight loss. The diet is however, quite controversial for its use for achieving quick weight loss. A new study has now looked at more traditional uses of the diet, saying that the diet may help kids and infants with genetic epilepsy. The study said that ketogenic diet could be used to reduce epileptic seizures in kids who developed epilepsy due to confirmed genetic abnormalities.
The 2019 study titled, "The ketogenic diet in children 3 years of age or younger: a 10-year single-center experience" was published in the journal Scientific Reports. The researchers looked at the response to ketogenic diet in kids with various types of epilepsy. The youngest patient to start the ketogenic diet was a mere three weeks old and the results combined the results seen in a total of 109 kids. Close to 20 per cent of the kids were seen to have gained complete control over seizures after just three months on the ketogenic diet. Another 40 per cent had significant reduction in seizures, but it was observed that in kids with genetic causes of epilepsy, the results were the most favourable.
Nearly half of the kids with epilepsy resulting from genetic causes, experienced over 50 per cent reduction in seizures, after following the ketogenic diet. The study concluded by saying, "The KD continues to be an effective, safe, and well tolerated treatment option for infants with intractable epilepsy. Tolerability may be enhanced by using a liquid-based diet in this age group, the role of expressed breast milk in which should be further elaborated. The availability of new diagnostic studies such as genetic testing could promote early and effective use of the KD by identifying patients who might favorably respond to the KD. Future studies with larger patient sample sizes require multi-center collaboration and would further refine our understanding of which genetic abnormalities and epilepsy syndromes respond best to the ketogenic diet."
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