Ketogenic Diet: Treating Epilepsy and Mental Health

Ketogenic Diet & Epilepsy Treatment

While some may view the idea of using diet to treat mental health conditions as unconventional or even heretical, the ketogenic diet has a long-standing history of effectively treating epilepsy.

In 1921, Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic developed the ketogenic diet with the sole purpose of mimicking the fasting state to stop seizures long-term.

The early results were extraordinarily positive, with 50% of patients becoming seizure-free and another 35% experiencing a significant reduction in seizure frequency.

Although the ketogenic diet fell out of favor in the 1950s with the advent of pharmaceutical treatments, it was resurrected in the 1970s at Johns Hopkins for treatment-resistant epilepsy cases.

Even today, about 30% of people with epilepsy don’t respond to current treatments, and the ketogenic diet has proven effective for many of these individuals.

The success of the ketogenic diet in treating epilepsy has provided a foundation for Dr. Palmer’s work in exploring its potential for treating mental health conditions.

Decades of neuroscience research have revealed that the ketogenic diet influences neurotransmitter levels, calcium channel regulation, gene expression, brain inflammation, and the gut microbiome.

It also improves insulin resistance and lowers glucose and insulin levels, which can have a significant impact on brain function.

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