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October 10, 1966

Ketogenic Diet in Childhood Epilepsy

JAMA. 1966;198(2):210. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110150158052

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To the Editor:—  The value of the ketogenic diet in the treatment of some refractory epilepsies in children is well established, but the mechanism of action is not clearly defined. Some authors have equated the beneficial effect with the degree of ketosis whereas others have stressed the importance of acidosis and diuresis. In an article in a recent issue of the Archives of Neurology (15:177, 1966), Dr. Anatole S. Dekaban reports an elevation of lipids in the plasma of 11 children with seizures benefitted by the diet and advocates repeated determinations of plasma lipids as an index of the response to therapy.Previous studies of the mechanism of anticonvulsant action of the ketogenic diet (Millichap, J.G.; Jones, J.D.; and Rudis, B.P.: Amer J Dis Child107:593, 1964; and Millichap, J.G., and Jones, J.D.: Epilepsia5:239, 1964) have shown that control of seizures may be obtained without significant