Application of a Ketogenic Diet in Children With Autistic Behavior: Pilot Study

Athanasios Evangeliou, MD; Ioannis Vlachonikolis, MD; Helen Mihailidou, MD; Martha Spilioti, MD; Astrinia Skarpalezou, MD; Nikolaos Makaronas, MD; Ahilleas Prokopiou, MD; Panagiotis Christodoulou, MD; Georgia Liapi-Adamidou, MD; Emmanouel Helidonis, MD; Stylianos Sbyrakis, MD; Jan Smeitink, MD

A pilot prospective follow-up study of the role of the ketogenic diet was carried out on 30 children, aged between 4 and 10 years, with autistic behavior. The diet was applied for 6 months, with the continuous administration for 4 weeks, interrupted by 2-week diet-free intervals. Seven patients could not tolerate the diet, whereas five other patients adhered to the diet for 1 to 2 months and then discontinued it. Of the remaining group who adhered to the diet, 18 of 30 children (60%), an improvement was recorded in several parameters and in accordance with the Childhood Autism Rating Scale. Significant improvement (> 12 units of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale) was recorded in two patients (pre-Scale: 35.00 ± 1.41[mean ± SD]), average improvement (> 8–12 units) in eight patients (pre-Scale: 41.88 ± 3.14[mean ± SD]), and minor improvement (2–8 units) in eight patients (pre-Scale: 45.25 ± 2.76 [mean ± SD]). Although these data are very preliminary, there is some evidence that the ketogenic diet may be used in autistic behavior as an additional or alternative therapy. (J Child Neurol 2003;18:113–118).

I sent this email to Board Members Nancy Alar, Danielle Tolzmann, Char Brandl, and Erin Finger — from Alvin Kutil
Have you heard of anyone using the ketogenic diet for their autistic children?
What success did they have?
Have any Wisconsin Autism Doctors applied this protocol?

To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of any doctors having any knowledge or experience in this area.
What experience has any of you had with gluten-free, casein-free, or soy free diets on children or adults on the spectrum?

There is some indication that GABA and glutamate can impact those on the spectrum. Low levels of GABA means a high level of glutamate, which can have an adverse reaction to brain development and sensory problems, and could cause tinnitus in children and adults. The limbic system and temporal area of the brain may be involved, and I would suspect that a SPECT scan could help diagnose potential problems.

SPECT: An acronym that stands for Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography, a nuclear medicine procedure in which a gamma camera rotates around the patient and takes pictures from many angles, which a computer then uses to form a tomographic (cross-sectional) image.

Definition of SPECT – MedicineNet

Please forward this to the other board members not included in this email!

For those of you who read this email at my News Blog or Autism Blog, please let me know if you have experience with Ketogenic, doctors who are familiar or have studied it and its application to ASD or tinnitus, Please let me know what your results were and whether the ketogenic diet was helpful or not. It would also be helpful if you include doctors involved, the path you took to get to a doctor who could help, and any other helpful information you found that helped your child on their spectrum journey as it relates to glutamate, gluten, casein, or soy sensitivity.

About akutil86

Diagnosed with Aspergers at 34, this blog chronicles some of the life events I've gone through, and how I hope to help others on the Autism Spectrum. Posts that are personal opinions will be moving to another Wordpress site by the end of the year; for those looking for help with autism, I hope you will continue to visit and spread the word about the articles that most of the time are links to something I read. Please let me know what challenges you are facing, and I will do my best to address them. Thanks for reading my blog!
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