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Use of the Atkins Diet for Adults With Intractable Epilepsy

This study has been completed.
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Information provided by:
Johns Hopkins University Identifier:
First received: July 15, 2005
Last updated: January 26, 2010
Last verified: February 2007
This is a prospective study to determine whether the Atkins diet reduces seizures, creates ketosis, and is well tolerated in adults with epilepsy. Approximately 30 patients will be enrolled, expecting 20 to complete the 6-month study. The investigators plan to establish the seizure baseline and type, initiate the Atkins diet, then monitor its administration in terms of seizure reduction, ketosis, and side effects for a 6-month period.

Condition Intervention
Epilepsy Behavioral: Atkins diet (15 grams/day carbohydrates)

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Use of the Atkins Diet for Adults With Intractable Epilepsy

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Johns Hopkins University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Seizure reduction

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Ketosis
  • tolerability

Estimated Enrollment: 30
Study Start Date: June 2004
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2007
Detailed Description:

Patients are seen in the Johns Hopkins General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) and started on a modified Atkins diet (15g/day of carbohydrates). Medications remain unchanged and labs are drawn. Followup is at 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months into the study. After 1 month, carbohydrates and medications can be altered. Ketosis (urine) is measured by patients semiweekly, weight weekly, and seizures daily and recorded on a calendar.

This study is ongoing with approximately 20 patients of 30 enrolled as of February 2006.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Ages 18 and over
  • Weekly seizures or 4 times per month
  • Use of at least 2 anticonvulsant drugs

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Prior use of the Atkins diet for > 1 week
  • Prior use of the ketogenic diet within the past year
  • Kidney, heart disease, renal disease
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Pseudoseizures
  • Pregnancy
  • Body mass index (BMI) below 18.5
  • Status epilepticus within the past 6 months
  • 2 week seizure-free period within the past 6 months
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00121927

United States, Maryland
Johns Hopkins Hospital GCRC
Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 21287
Sponsors and Collaborators
Johns Hopkins University
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Principal Investigator: Eric H Kossoff, MD Johns Hopkins University
  More Information

Additional Information:
Publications: Identifier: NCT00121927     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 04-02-27-08
Study First Received: July 15, 2005
Last Updated: January 26, 2010

Keywords provided by Johns Hopkins University:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Drug Resistant Epilepsy
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases processed this record on August 21, 2017