Across all studies, 32% of ketogenic diet-treated patients and 29% of modified Atkins diet-treated patients achieved 50% or greater seizure reduction. Also, 9% of the ketogenic diet and 5% of the modified Atkins diet-treated patients achieved greater than 90% seizure reduction.
Fast facts on Epilepsy
- Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition characterized by recurrent seizures
- Epilepsy affects about 2.3 million adults and 467,711 children 0-17 years of age in the US
- About 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy at some point in their lives
- About 150,000 new cases of epilepsy will be diagnosed in the US each year.
The positive effect on seizures occurred quickly with both diets, within days to weeks. The results persisted long term, but unlike in children, the effects appear not to last after discontinuation of the diet.
The side effects of both diets were similar and not severe. Hyperlipidemia, the most serious, reversed after treatment discontinuation, and weight loss was the most common side effect.
Klein comments, “Unfortunately, long-term use of these diets is low because they are so limited and complicated. Most people eventually stop the diet because of the culinary and social restrictions.”
“However, these studies show the diets are moderately to very effective as another option for people with epilepsy,” he adds.
In both the ketogenic diet and modified Atkins diet studies, retention was poor with 51% of ketogenic diet-treated and 42% of modified Atkins diet-treated patients ending the diet before study completion. Even those with 75-100% seizure frequency reduction eventually stop the diet due to culinary and social restrictions.
The authors conclude that for treatment of refractory epilepsy, current data do not provide an evidential basis for the ketogenic diet and modified Atkins diet use. Until more data are available, they should only be used as a last resort.
Ketogenic diet and modified Atkins diet treatment show moderate effectiveness, but in some patients, the effect is remarkable.
Medical News Today recently reported omega-3 fish oil could reduce seizure frequency for epilepsy patients. A study claims epilepsy patients could reduce seizure frequency by consuming low doses of omega-3 fish oil every day.