Turk J Pediatr. 2022;64(3):435-445. doi: 10.24953/turkjped.2020.3091.
BACKGROUND: We evaluate here the effect of the ketogenic diet (KD) on children with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) in terms of clinical effectiveness, anthropometric measurements, and some electroencephalogram (EEG) and biochemical findings.
METHODS: Included in the study were 18 children (median age 70 months, 61.1% female) who received the classical KD and modified Atkins diet (MAD) for at least one year due to DRE. The patients` demographic and laboratory data; weight, height and body mass index values; EEG and electrocardiographic findings; abdominal ultrasonography findings; and biochemical parameters were recorded at baseline and at 12 months after the initiation of the diet. A reduction of ≥50% in the number of seizures was accepted as a response to KD.
RESULTS: Classic KD was chosen for 14 patients (77.8%), and MAD for four patients (22.2%). The response to KD therapy (≥50% reduction) was 55.5% (n = 10) (p = 0.008), and one patient even became seizure-free. By the 12th month of treatment, 10 patients had experienced a reduction of more than 50% in epileptiform discharges, as indicated by EEG findings. There was no difference in seizure reduction between the patients who received classical KD and MAD. A total of 11.1% of the children lost weight during KD treatment. The most common side effect was constipation (n = 10, 55.6%). At the end of one year of treatment, total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) LDL-C levels had increased dramatically, while fasting blood glucose levels had decreased significantly.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that KD treatment provides good clinical efficacy in the treatment of pediatric DRE, and can significantly reduce the frequency of epileptic discharges. Also, total cholesterol and LDL-C levels increased significantly, and fasting blood glucose levels decreased significantly compared to the baseline levels.