The Ketogenic Diet is a carefully calculated diet, high in fat, low in protein, and virtually carbohydrate-free which is used for the treatment of difficult-to-control seizures in children. This diet was first formulated in the early 1920's and has proven to be very effective. However, many centers stopped using the diet to control seizures as new medications were developed. We have continued to use the ketogenic diet at Johns Hopkins and have refined the methodology to produce a text and a computer disc which enables families to calculate the diet more easily.
The diet is a medical therapy and should be used only under the careful supervision of a physician and/or dietician. The diet carefully controls caloric input and requires that the child eat only what has been included in the calculations to provide 90% of the day's calories as fats. The diet is currently offered only to children and adolescents although protocols are being planned for adults.
Families interested in learning more about the Ketogenic diet may contact the Charlie Foundation for Pediatric Epilepsy (1-800-367-5386) to obtain a copy of a free videotape about the diet. A book entitled "The Epilepsy Diet Treatment: An Introduction to the Ketogenic Diet" may be purchased from Demos Publications, 386 Park Avenue South, Suite 210, New York, NY 10076 (1-800-532-8663). If after reviewing this information, a family wishes to have their child considered for the Ketogenic diet, we suggest requesting the child's physician to write us a letter summarizing the case. We will then decide if more information would be appropriate and will contact the family. Correspondence should be sent to:
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
600 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287-7247
Families who are using or are about to initiate the diet through other centers may wish to purchase The Ketogenic Diet Computer disc that is designed to assist dieticians planning new ketogenic diets and to help parents who wish to make a change their child's meal plans. This is a Windows based program requiring at least an IBM compatible 386 machine. The cost for the disc for dieticians is $150 and $75 for parents. To order, send the cost of the disc plus a $5 handling fee to: The Ketogenic Diet Program, c/o Epilepsy Association of Maryland, 300 East Joppa Road, Suite 1103, Towson, Maryland 21286-3018 (410-828-7700).