Doctors are not sure why the ketogenic diet helps prevent seizures. But the diet has prevented epileptic seizures in many children who did not respond to treatment with antiepileptic medicines, including children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Another benefit of the ketogenic diet for some children is that it may reduce or end the need for medicine and thus avoid the side effects that result from medicine.
A review of the results from many studies of the ketogenic diet found that 4 out of 10 children on the ketogenic diet have one-half the number of seizures they had before being on the diet. Some children have an even greater reduction.
In one study, children on the ketogenic diet had about one-fourth as many seizures as kids who were not on the diet. So a child who was not on the diet had 4 seizures for every 1 seizure that a child on the diet had.
No one knows why the ketogenic diet prevents seizures in some children and not in others or why it has been more successful with children than with adults. If you have a child with uncontrolled epilepsy, you may wish to discuss with your child's doctor whether a ketogenic diet might be an option.
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