Although highly effective for the treatment of intractable epilepsy, the ketogenic diet is not always included in the treatment option hierarchy presented to families, in part due to perceptions that children will find the high-fat/low-carbohydrate regimen unpalatable. This study assessed if children with seizures exhibit food preferences compatible with the diet, as well as if caregivers were accurate in predicting preferences. Children aged 2-17, with (n = 29) and without (n = 30) a history of seizures, participated in a paired choice food preference assessment while parents estimated child preferences verbally. Children with seizures exhibited significantly higher preferences for fat versus carbohydrate foods compared with controls, and parents demonstrated low accuracy. Future studies could use similar assessment methods to prospectively track whether such preferences predict diet compliance and/or efficacy. Research into the underlying metabolic basis for this preference and possible related neurophysiological mechanisms in seizure etiology and treatment is warranted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Behavioral Neuroscience