New Insights in Clinical Medicine

An Update on the Ketogenic Diet, 2012

Ayelet Halevy, Lilach Peleg-Weiss, Roni Cohen and Avinoam Shuper


The ketogenic diet has been in use for the last 90 years, and its role in the treatment of epilepsy in the pediatric population has been gaining recognition. It can be helpful in many types of epilepsies, even the more severe ones, and has a beneficial effect on the child’s alertness and cognition, which can be impaired by both the condition and the medications needed for controlling it. Parental compliance is good in spite of the inconveniences inherent in following the diet. The significant advancements in understanding the nature of the diet are in better defining when its use is contraindicated and in validating its application in severe epilepsies in infancy, such as infantile spasms. Although most neurologists do not consider it as being the preferred first-line therapy, it is often a reasonable option when two medications have already failed.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2012;3(1):e0005