The Effect of a Ketogentic Diet to Manage Neuropathic Pain in Spinal Cord Injury

Students: Kyle Mayr

Type of Project: Basic, Translational, Nutraceutical

Grant Type: Masters

Year of Award: 2016

Supervisor: Dr. Patrick Whelan

Institutions Affiliated: University of Calgary

Background: Spinal cord injury is generally treated with physical therapy, but can be associated with neuropathic pain and limited the desire of a patient to want to pursue physical therapy. While this is usually managed with opiod drugs, a ketogenic diet might offer a natural alternative to managing neuropathic pain and in turn reduce this barrier to physical therapy. This study seeks to evaluate whether a ketogenic diet will alleviate pain in an animal model of spinal cord injury and see if the diet has any additional direct benefit to spinal cord injury.

Impact: The primary impact of this study would be to move testing a ketogenic diet on neuropathic pain on spinal cord injury in humans. Additionally, this study supports a growing amount of evidence that a ketogenic diet can be a powerful clinical intervention for managing inflammation and neuropathic pain.