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The Modified Ketogenic Diet For Adults With Refractory Epilepsy: An Evaluation Of A Set Up Service

K. Martin-McGill, M. Jenkinson, Catrin Tudur Smith, A. Marson
Published 2017 · Medicine

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PURPOSE The ketogenic diet (KD) has been proven to be effective in children with refractory epilepsy and is recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). There is no randomised control trial (RCT) evidence for the clinical or cost effectiveness of KD in adults, for whom the KD is not currently recommended. We assessed the feasibility of the modified ketogenic diet (MKD) in adults with refractory epilepsy along with the willingness of patients to participate in a future RCT. METHODS The service evaluation was undertaken in two parts; questionnaire and diet evaluation. RESULTS 102 patients completed a questionnaire, of which 51 patients were willing to try the MKD for 3 months to assess effect on seizures. Forty three patients were willing to participate in a clinical trial to investigate deliverability, efficacy and tolerability. Thirty seven of which would still be willing to participate if the trial were randomised. Of the 17 patients who commenced the diet, 9 completed the 12 week period, 7 of which stayed on the diet for the longer term. Constipation (n=6) and loose stools (n=3) were the only reported adverse effects. CONCLUSION Our results indicate that there is demand for a ketogenic diet service in adults. The MKD is well tolerated, feasible and financially viable to deliver to adults with epilepsy in the NHS. There is also interest in and willingness to participate in a UK based RCT that would ultimately inform decisions about commissioning appropriate services.
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