The Effect of a Ketogenic Diet in comorbid Autism and Epilepsy

Student: Megan Lewis

Type of project: Basic, Translational, Neutraceutical

Grant Type: PhD

Year of Award: 2016

Supervisor: Dr. Quentin Pittman

Institutions Affiliated: University of Calgary

Background: Autism and epilepsy are co-morbid more than chance, suggesting there may be some shared biological substrates. Since a ketogenic diet (high fat/protein, low carbs) has had some success in treating epilepsy, this study seeks to see if this diet will help co-morbid autism and epilepsy and alleviate both disorders symptoms.

Impact: Autism is a disorder highly resistant to treatment. If a ketogenic diet can reduce autism symptoms in addition to treating epilepsy, this would allow for a natural treatment option. Additionally, this study can allow us to learn more about the neural basis of autism and epilepsy that is treated by the ketogenic diet.