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Pediatrics. 2001 Jul;108(1):129-33.

Experience with the ketogenic diet in infants.

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Epilepsy Center, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, USA.



To evaluate the effectiveness, tolerability, and adverse effects of the ketogenic diet in infants with refractory epilepsy.


A retrospective review of 32 infants who had been treated with the ketogenic diet at a large metropolitan institution.


Most infants (71%) were able to maintain strong ketosis. The overall effectiveness of the diet in infants was similar to that reported in the literature for older children; 19.4% became seizure-free, and an additional 35.5% had >50% reduction in seizure frequency. The diet was particularly effective for patients with infantile spasms/myoclonic seizures. There were concomitant reductions in antiepileptic medications. The majority of parents reported improvements in seizure frequency and in their child's behavior and function, particularly with respect to attention/alertness, activity level, and socialization. The diet generally was well-tolerated, and 96.4% maintained appropriate growth parameters. Adverse events, all reversible and occurring in one patient each, included renal stone, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, alteration of mentation, and hyperlipidemia.


The ketogenic diet should be considered safe and effective treatment for infants with intractable seizures.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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