This is a prospective study to determine whether the Atkins diet reduces seizures, creates
ketosis, and is well tolerated in adults with epilepsy. Approximately 30 patients will be
enrolled, expecting 20 to complete the 6-month study. The investigators plan to establish
the seizure baseline and type, initiate the Atkins diet, then monitor its administration in
terms of seizure reduction, ketosis, and side effects for a 6-month period.
Patients are seen in the Johns Hopkins General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) and started
on a modified Atkins diet (15g/day of carbohydrates). Medications remain unchanged and labs
are drawn. Followup is at 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months into the study. After 1 month,
carbohydrates and medications can be altered. Ketosis (urine) is measured by patients
semiweekly, weight weekly, and seizures daily and recorded on a calendar.
This study is ongoing with approximately 20 patients of 30 enrolled as of February 2006.
- Ages 18 and over
- Weekly seizures or 4 times per month
- Use of at least 2 anticonvulsant drugs
- Prior use of the Atkins diet for > 1 week
- Prior use of the ketogenic diet within the past year
- Kidney, heart disease, renal disease
- Body mass index (BMI) below 18.5
- Status epilepticus within the past 6 months
- 2 week seizure-free period within the past 6 months