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THE BOOK FORUM |

Convulsive Disorders in Children, With Reference to Treatment With Ketogenic Diet

Jerome K. Merlis, MD
JAMA. 1964;187(2):158. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060150082045.
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ABSTRACT

Despite the subtitle, the greater portion of this volume is devoted to a conventional discussion of the convulsive disorders of children. Dr. Keith has had a long experience with such disorders, but, unfortunately, he presents little in the way of statistical data derived from analysis of his own series.

The section on the ketogenic diet is more informative. Dr. Keith is one of the few proponents of this admittedly difficult form of therapy, and he cites data indicating complete control of seizures in about one third of the cases. According to present day values, this is hardly a very striking figure.

The ketogenic diet was introduced in 1922, at a time when the therapeutic armamentarium for convulsive disorders was very limited. The introduction of diphenylhydantoin ( Dilantin ) sodium in 1938 was a striking breakthrough, and since that time a number of new and highly effective drugs have come into common use.

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