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Neurosci Lett. 2012 Feb 2;508(1):22-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.12.002. Epub 2011 Dec 13.

Ketogenic diet protects against epileptogenesis as well as neuronal loss in amygdaloid-kindling seizures.

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Department of Neurology, Second Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.


Ketogenic diets (KD) have shown beneficial effects in terms of anticonvulsant and anti-epileptogenic properties in several experimental models. However, few studies have investigated the consequences of KD with regards to the anti-epileptogenic and neuroprotective effects in kindling-induced seizures. Here, postnatal day 28 male Sprague-Dawley rats received one of two experimental diets for 4 weeks: (a) a 'classic' 4:1 KD; and (b) a normal regular rodent chow diet (ND). Fully-kindled seizures were achieved by daily electrical stimulation in the amygdala. Seizure stage and after-discharge duration (ADD) were assessed daily. The after-discharge threshold (ADT) was measured every 5 days. The effects of the two diets on neuronal loss were observed before kindling and 20 days after stimulation by Nissl staining. We found that the progression of seizure stage and ADD was delayed by KD. KD prevented the ADT decrease on day 5. The incidence of generalized seizures was lower in the KD group compared to the ND group. The neuronal density was decreased in the ipsilateral hilus of the dentate gyrus (DG) and CA1 area, as well as the contralateral CA1 area before kindling in the KD group. However, KD prevented neuronal loss in the ipsilateral CA1 area 20 days after stimulation. Our data suggest that KD can protect against epileptogenesis by preventing both after-discharge generation and propagation in kindling seizures. In addition, KD also possesses a neuroprotective function during kindling although it changes hippocampal development in early life.

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