Theme 5: Hormonal and Dietary Therapy

Neurotherapeutics

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 402-405

The ketogenic diet: Proposed mechanisms of action

  • Kirk NylenAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology and University of Toronto Epilepsy Research Program (UTERP), University of Toronto
  • , Sergei LikhodiiAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology and University of Toronto Epilepsy Research Program (UTERP), University of Toronto
  • , W. McIntyre BurnhamAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology and University of Toronto Epilepsy Research Program (UTERP), University of TorontoDepartment of Pharmacology Email author 

Summary

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet used to treat drug-resistant seizures, especially in children. A number of possible mechanisms of action have been proposed to explain the anticonvulsant effects of the diet. Four of these hypothetical mechanisms are discussed in the present article: the pH hypothesis, the metabolic hypotheses, the amino acid hypothesis, and the ketone hypothesis.

Key Words

Epilepsy ketogenic diet pH hypothesis metabolic hypothesis amino acid hypothesis ketone hypothesis