In a recent study published in The Lancet Neurology, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of ketogenic diets compared to anti-seizure medications in lowering seizure frequency among newborns with drug-resistant epilepsy.
Study: Classic ketogenic diet versus further antiseizure medicine in infants with drug-resistant epilepsy (KIWE): a UK, multicentre, open-label, randomised clinical trial. Image Credit: SewCreamStudio/Shutterstock.com
Epilepsy is commonly observed in the first two years of life, and young children are especially vulnerable to long-term neurological damage. Although early seizure management improves developmental outcomes, many infant epilepsies have a poor prognosis.
A ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, is a non-drug therapy option for drug-resistant epilepsy. Previous research has shown that it can increase seizure reduction and independence among pediatric and adult individuals recalcitrant to anti-seizure medications.
About the study
In the present phase 4, open-label, multicenter, open-label, randomized clinical trial, researchers assessed the effectiveness of a ketogenic diet on the number of seizures per day compared to anti-seizure medicine among infants aged below two years with drug-recalcitrant epilepsy.
The study included infants aged less than two years with drug-refractory epilepsy (described as 4.0 seizures each week unresponsive to two previous pharmacological treatments such as corticosteroids and anti-seizure medicines) from 19 United Kingdom (UK) hospitals.
The team excluded individuals with metabolic conditions that contradict ketogenic diets, progressing neurological diseases, severe gastroesophageal reflux disease, or past therapy with ketogenic diets.
After one to two weeks of observation, subjects were randomized to the ketogenic diet group or the anti-seizure drug group for eight weeks using computer-generated procedures with no stratification. Pediatric care nurses were uninformed of their group assignment, but study participants were.
The primary study outcome of the study was the seizure count each day (median) from the sixth and eighth weeks….