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Epilepsia. 2007 Jan;48(1):66-71.

Vitamin D status in children with intractable epilepsy, and impact of the ketogenic diet.

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1
Division of Neurology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Department of Pediatrics and Neurology, University of Pannsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. bergqvist@email.chop.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The aim of this study was to describe vitamin D status in children with intractable epilepsy prescribed newer antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) before initiation of and during 15-month treatment with the ketogenic diet (KD).

METHODS:

Serum vitamin D (25-OHD and 1,25-OHD) and parathyroid hormone (PTH) were assessed in prepubertal children with intractable epilepsy before initiation of and during KD therapy. Three-day weighed dietary records including KD and vitamin and mineral supplementation were obtained at baseline and at 1 month.

RESULTS:

Forty-five children (aged 5.1 +/- 2.7 years) were enrolled. Before KD therapy, 4% had deficient and 51% had insufficient serum 25-OHD levels. Vitamin D intake was less than recommended in 47%. Adequate vitamin D intake, fewer AEDs, and generalized seizures were associated with higher serum 25-OHD levels (p < 0.01). After 3 months on the KD, 25-OHD levels increased (p < 0.001), and PTH declined (p < 0.001). Over the next 12-month period, 25-OHD levels steadily declined (p < 0.001), and PTH did not significantly change.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children with intractable epilepsy treated with newer AEDs had poor vitamin D status. Their status improved over the first 3 months of KD therapy with vitamin D supplementation and slowly declined thereafter.

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