Ketogenic diet: neurological disorders and migraines

Ketogenic diets are widely accepted for the treatment of epilepsy. Drs. D’Agostino and Patrick discuss the possibility of incorporating a ketogenic diet or supplemental ketones into the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Dr. D’Agostino notes that elevating blood ketones benefits some but not all patients with Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that patient characteristics such as genotype or disease subtype may influence success. He describes a case report of an APOE4 positive patient who responded well to hyperketonemia (high blood ketone concentrations). Despite numerous anecdotal reports, clinical trials are needed before these therapies can be prescribed to patients.

Nutritional ketosis may benefit some neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and anorexia nervosa. Furthermore, there is strong scientific rationale for the ketogenic diet and exogenous ketones in managing migraine headaches.

Multimodal mechanisms are involved in how elevated ketones affect brain disorders. These include increasing blood-brain flow, modulating adenosine, and reducing neuroinflammation. In this clip, Dr. Dominic D’Agostino describes how nutritional ketosis may support the treatment of neurodegenerative and other brain disorders.

Interview published on April 28, 2022

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