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Epilepsia. 2010 Jun;51(6):1083-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2009.02388.x. Epub 2009 Oct 20.

The ketogenic diet in treatment of two adults with prolonged nonconvulsive status epilepticus.

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Department of Neurology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Prolonged status epilepticus (SE) can be refractory to conventional interventions, with high rates of subsequent morbidity and mortality. A high fat, low protein, low carbohydrate ketogenic diet (KD) has been used successfully to treat intractable epilepsy. However, its possible role in prolonged SE has not been well described. We report successful use of the KD in two adult patients with prolonged nonconvulsive SE (NCSE) refractory to multiple other interventions. Our observations suggest induction of ketosis may be a novel strategy to safely and effectively treat status in adults even after weeks to months of refractory seizures. Although there are few data regarding the use of the ketogenic diet in the treatment of adult epilepsy syndromes, it may be an option for the treatment of adults with refractory, prolonged SE.

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