Elizabeth Felton, MD, PhD: Monitoring Ketogenic Diets in Adults With Epilepsy

January 10, 2020

The assistant professor of neurology at the University of Wisconsin provided insight on the additional oversight required when caring for adult epilepsy patients who remain on the ketogenic diet.

“If a patient is going to start on childhood and continue into adulthood or if they start in adulthood and continue long term, there are a lot of things we have to watch for. There are a lot of potential side effects of a ketogenic diet.”

The side effects and lifestyle adjustments associated with the ketogenic diet can complicate the transition from pediatric to adult epilepsy care. While many pediatric patients choose to discontinue the diet as they enter adulthood, those who remain on the diet may be at risk for mineral deficiencies as well as a higher risk of osteoporosis.

In these cases, dieticians are key to maintaining good health, along with continued seizure control. A dietician can help make treatment decisions alongside an epilepsy specialist, including diet modifications, as well as periodic monitoring through bloodwork.

Elizabeth Felton, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Wisconsin, spoke with NeurologyLive at the 73rd annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES), December 6-10, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland, about the role that dieticians can play in the care of adult epilepsy patients who elect to remain on the ketogenic diet post-transition from pediatric care.

For more coverage of AES 2019, click here.