Ketogenic diet effects on cognition, mood, and psychosocial adjustment in children

D. A. J. E. Lambrechts*, M. J. M. Bovens, N. M. de la Parra, J. G. M. Hendriksen, A. P. Aldenkamp, M. J. M. Majoie

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Introduction The ketogenic diet (KD) is increasingly used for the treatment of refractory epilepsy. The aim of this study was to evaluate possible adverse effects of the diet on cognition, behavior, psychosocial adjustment, and quality of life in school-aged children and adolescents. Method Fifteen subjects were assessed before diet initiation. After approximately 6 months, on diet treatment 11 patients (73%) were reassessed. We used a combination of individually administered psychological tests for the children and parent report questionnaires. Results Five of 15 patients had a seizure reduction of more than 50%. Cognition showed a small trend toward improvement in most patients. Psychosocial adjustment, on the other hand, showed small trends toward worsening. For mood, two areas showed a larger change, revealing more mood problems although this was not on a statistically significant level. Conclusion In this small group of children, there is no indication that the KD has a negative impact on cognition or social adaptation at short term. There is a tendency toward an increase in mood problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-108
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Volume127
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • ketogenic diet
  • children
  • epilepsy
  • quality of life
  • cognition
  • hostility

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