What is the role of ketogenic diet in the treatment of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)?

Updated: Aug 21, 2018
  • Author: David Neal Franz, MD; Chief Editor: Amy Kao, MD  more...
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The ketogenic diet is composed of a 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, or higher ratio of fats (ketogenic foods) to proteins and carbohydrates (antiketogenic foods). In general, the benefits of the diet for people with epilepsy include fewer seizures, less drowsiness, better behavior, and need for fewer concomitant AEDs.

Several case series and retrospective reviews have noted benefit of the ketogenic diet and similar diets for seizures in TSC. [31, 32, 33]

The diet is not always successful. The following 3 factors are associated with successful implementation of the diet:

  • Dedicated, compliant family willing to alter the entire family's lifestyle

  • Family able to follow (without wavering) the strict guidelines of the diet

  • Team of professionals (centered around a dietitian) trained and experienced in the use of the diet

Potential serious adverse effects include dehydration and clinically significant metabolic acidosis when the diet is initiated, renal stones, osteoporosis, and abnormal lipid profile.

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