Since 1922 I have given children with idiopathic epilepsy a diet sufficiently high in fat to produce ketosis, as manifested by diacetic acid in the urine. Originally, the diet was tried in order to maintain the ketosis that possibly was responsible for the good therapeutic effect of starvation, but it was soon found to have a more definite curative effect than starvation. The diet, which was originally worked out by Wilder,1 gave striking results from the first. Even the skeptic was convinced of its efficacy by seeing attacks of petit mal occurring hourly disappear with the establishment of adequate ketosis, and return if for some reason the diet failed to produce the necessary degree of ketosis. That the greater number of epileptic patients would not be affected was to be expected, in view of the fact that the nature of the disease is unknown. The preliminary results promised definite
HELMHOLZ HF. THE TREATMENT OF EPILEPSY IN CHILDHOOD: FIVE YEARS' EXPERIENCE WITH THE KETOGENIC DIET. JAMA. 1927;88(26):2028–2032. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680520018008
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