Frequently asked questions about diet therapy for adults with epilepsy
Can the ketogenic diet be an effective therapy for adults?
The diet can work for adults. A study in 1930 at the Mayo Clinic included 100 adults, of 16 to 51 years of age. Fifty-six percent had a >50% response and 12% became seizure-free. In 1999 another adult study which included 20 adults ranging in age from 19 to 45 years was conducted through theMayo Clinic. At 8 months, 6 had a >50% seizure reduction and 3 had a >90% improvement, similar to studies of children.
Is the Modified Atkins diet effective for adults?
In 2008, Eric Kossoff, M.D. and colleagues from Johns Hopkins published their results of treating thirty adults, with ages ranging from 18 to 53 years on the Modified Atkins diet. Forty seven percent had a >50% seizure reduction after 1 and 3 months on the diet and 33% had >50% reduction after 6 months. Ten subjects (30%) discontinued the diet prior to 3 months. The side effects of the diet included increased cholesterol (mean 187 to 201 mg/dL), blood urea nitrogen (BUN; 13 to 16 mg/dL), and urine calcium to creatinine ratio (0.14 to 0.19). They concluded that a "modified Atkins diet appears to demonstrate preliminary efficacy for adults with intractable epilepsy, especially in those who lost weight".