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The ketogenic diet in children 3 years of age or younger: a 10-year single-center experience

Kim, S. H.; Shaw, A.; Blackford, R.; Lowman, W.; Laux, L. C.; Millichap, J. J.; Nordli, D. R., Jr.

Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 21; 9(1):8736


The ketogenic diet (KD) is an effective treatment option for intractable epilepsy. Here, we reviewed the last 10 years of our experience with the KD and characterized its use in patients under 3 years of age. Medical records of all patients under the age of 3 years who were treated with the ketogenic diet from April 2004 to June 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. One hundred and nine patients with drug-resistant epilepsy were included. The mean age at the initiation of the KD was 1.4 +/- 0.8 years old. The youngest patient was 3 weeks old. After 3 months, 39% (42/109) of patients responded to the KD and experienced more than 50% seizure reduction. Of those 42 patients, 20 (18%) achieved complete seizure control. Patients with a genetic etiology showed a better response to the KD in seizure reduction than the other patients (p = 0.03). Age at initiation of the KD was not related to eventual seizure outcome (p = 0.6). The KD continues to be an effective, safe, and well tolerated treatment option for infants with intractable epilepsy.

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