The ketogenic diet is highly effective and well tolerated in infants with epilepsy. - GreenMedInfo Summary
The ketogenic diet in infants - Advantages of early use.
Epilepsy Res. 2015 Oct ;116:53-8. Epub 2015 Jul 9. PMID: 26354167
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of the ketogenic diet (KD) in infants (<1.5 years of age) compared with older children.
METHODS: Patients with complete follow-up data of≥3 months after initiation of the KD were analyzed retrospectively. Infants<1.5 years at initiation of the KD (Group A) were compared with children>1.5 years (Group B).
RESULTS: 127 children were screened, 115 (Group A: 58/Group B: 57) were included. There were no significant differences between groups with respect to responder rates (63.8% vs. 57.9% at 3 months), but more infants became seizure free (34.5% vs. 19% at 3 months; 32.7% vs. 17.5% at 6 and 12 months). This result remained stable also after termination of the KD (30.6% vs. 3.9% at last follow-up) (p=0.000). Looking at infants<9 months of age separately (n=42), this result was even stronger with significantly more infants being seizure free at 6 and at 12 months (p=0.005, p=0.014, respectively). In addition, a significantly higher number of infants remained seizure free in the long-term (p=0.001). No group differences between infants and children with respect to safety were observed. Overall 52/115 patients (45.21%) reported side effects, but withdrawal of the KD was only necessary in one infant. Acceptance of the KD was better in infants compared with children at 3 months (0 vs. 14, p=0.000), but became difficult when solid food was introduced (16 vs. 14; n.s.).
SIGNIFICANCE: According to our results, the KD is highly effective and well tolerated in infants with epilepsy. Seizure freedom is more often achieved and maintained in infants. Acceptance of the diet is better before the introduction of solid food. Therefore, we recommend the early use of the KD during the course of epilepsy.