Elizabeth Felton, MD, PhD: Ketogenic Diet Considerations in Transition to Adult Epilepsy Care

January 9, 2020

The assistant professor of neurology at the University of Wisconsin discussed the challenges of transitioning patients on the ketogenic diet from pediatric to adult epilepsy care.

“The conversations around transition should really happen as early as age 11 or 12. But what we don’t have is a lot of guidance on how to do transition for ketogenic diet.”

Pediatric patients with epilepsy often struggle with the transition to adult care, as many different moving parts must be coordinated and transferred correctly to ensure continuity of care. For patients on the ketogenic diet, this transition can be especially complicated, as adult practitioners may not be as familiar with non-pharmacologic therapies or may assume that patients have a desire to transfer to more traditional treatments.

At the 73rd annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES), December 6-10, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland, Elizabeth Felton, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Wisconsin, discussed her experience as an adult neurologist and epilepsy specialist with managing the transition of patients on the ketogenic diet from pediatric to adults care.

She noted the challenges that these patients often face, including assumptions about their preferred therapeutic approach, as well as the preparation that goes into seeing a new specialist and potentially switching over to a modified diet. In an interview with NeurologyLive, she detailed what can be done to ensure a smoother transition.