August 18, 2023

The Modified Atkins Diet for Epilepsy: Two Decades of an “Alternative” Ketogenic Diet Therapy

Abstract found on PubMed

In 2003, the first case series of six patients treated with an Atkins diet for epilepsy was published in the journal Neurology. The concept was a simple, outpatient-initiated diet in which ketosis could be maintained by eating high-fat foods while tracking and limiting daily carbohydrate counts based on food ingredient labels. Twenty years later, after dozens of studies encompassing hundreds of patients, including several randomized controlled trials, the Modified Atkins Diet is a proven method of providing ketogenic dietary therapy for epilepsy. It is a diet therapy of choice for adolescents and adults, is being investigated for new-onset epilepsy, and is researched for neurological conditions other than epilepsy. Adverse effects do exist but may be less common than the classic ketogenic diet. This review will cover the history, clinical trials, implementation, current utilization, and future directions of this “alternative” ketogenic diet therapy on its 20-year anniversary.

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