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Seizure. 2009 Jun;18(5):359-64. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2009.01.004. Epub 2009 Feb 4.

Comparison of seizure reduction and serum fatty acid levels after receiving the ketogenic and modified Atkins diet.

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Pediatric Neurology Department, Lille University Hospital, Lille, France.


The ketogenic diet (KD) and the modified Atkins diet are effective therapies for intractable epilepsy. We compared retrospectively the KD and modified Atkins diet in 27 children and also assessed serum long chain fatty acid profiles. After 3 months, using an intent-to-treat analysis, the KD was more successful, with >50% seizure reduction in 11/17 (65%) vs. 2/10 (20%) with the modified Atkins diet, p=0.03. After 6 months, however, the difference was no longer significant: 7/17 (41%) vs. 2/10 (20%) (p=0.24). We observed a preventive effect of both diets on the occurrence of status epilepticus. After 1 and 3 months of either diet, responders experienced a significant decrease in serum arachidonic acid concentration compared to non-responders. The KD and modified Atkins diet led to seizure reduction in this small pilot series, with slightly better results after 3 months with the KD, but not after 6 months. The decrease of serum arachidonic acid levels might be involved in the anticonvulsive effects of KD or modified Atkins diet.

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