Twenty to thirty percent of children with epilepsy continue to suffer from seizures, even
when treated with currently available anticonvulsant medications. Children with
Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) are particularly handicapped by atonic-myoclonic seizures.
Preliminary data suggest that even when other medications have failed, these seizures may
respond rapidly and dramatically to a high-fat-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet. The purpose
of the study is to assess if the classic ketogenic diet is efficacious in reducing seizure
frequency, medication toxicity, and improves quality of life.
The ketogenic diet (KD) is a form of therapy for seizures that involves a brief period of
fasting followed by a very carefully controlled high fat-low protein and carbohydrate diet.
Studies suggest it is useful in children whose seizures could not be controlled by any of
the medicines available. This study is designed to test, in a carefully controlled fashion,
how well the diet works in children with "drop" seizures. Children who experience 15 or more
drop seizures each day, despite having used at least two medications, may be eligible to
participate. This study requires children to undergo periods of fasting and to maintain a
carefully controlled diet. Parents of participating children monitor their children's diets
and keep daily meal and seizure diaries.
- >15 myoclonic or atonic seizures a day
- EEG with Lennox-Gastaut pattern
- <15 atonic or myoclonic seizures a day
- on >3 medications
- previously on diet and/or evidence of metabolic disorder