Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 115, Issue 7, pp 1011–1017 | Cite as

Ketogenic diet prevents cardiac arrest-induced cerebral ischemic neurodegeneration

  • K.-K. Tai
  • N. Nguyen
  • L. Pham
  • D. D. Truong
Parkinson's Disease and Allied Conditions - Original Article


Ketogenic diet (KD) is an effective treatment for intractable epilepsies. We recently found that KD can prevent seizure and myoclonic jerk in a rat model of post-hypoxic myoclonus. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that KD can prevent the cerebral ischemic neurodegeneration in this animal model. Rats fed a standard diet or KD for 25 days were being subjected to mechanically induced cardiac arrest brain ischemia for 8 min 30 s. Nine days after cardiac arrest, frozen rat brains were sectioned for evaluation of ischemia-induced neurodegeneration using fluoro-jade (FJ) staining. The FJ positive degenerating neurons were counted manually. Cardiac arrest-induced cerebral ischemia in rats fed the standard diet exhibited extensive neurodegeneration in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, the number of FJ positive neurons was 822 ± 80 (n = 4). They also showed signs of neurodegeneration in the Purkinje cells of the cerebellum and in the thalamic reticular nucleus, the number of FJ positive neurons in the cerebellum was 55 ± 27 (n = 4), the number of FJ positive neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus was 22 ± 5 (n = 4). In contrast, rats fed KD showed no evidence of neurodegeneration, the number of FJ positive neurons in these areas were zero. The results demonstrate that KD can prevent cardiac arrest-induced cerebral ischemic neurodegeneration in selected brain regions.


Ketogenic diet Cerebral ischemia Neurodegeneration Fluoro-jade Seizure Epilepsy Cardiac arrest 



The study was supported by funding from the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center Foundation, the Parkinson’s and Movement Disorder Foundation, and the UCB Pharma. We thank Dinh Hoang for his technical assistance. We also thank Rosa Harmon and Tony Razo of the Memorial Health Services for providing the animal care.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Parkinson’s and Movement Disorder Research LaboratoryLong Beach Memorial Medical CenterLong BeachUSA
  2. 2.The Parkinson’s and Movement Disorder InstituteFountain ValleyUSA

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