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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael B. Tennison, MD (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine)
Description: This is the second edition of a very useful manual on treatment of difficult-to-control seizures with the ketogenic diet. There have been only minor changes from the first edition.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an introduction to the history, rationale, indications and specific details of initiating and maintaining the diet. This is not an instruction manual for self-treatment. The authors stress the need for medical supervision, and the actual calculation of the diet is left in the hands of a qualified dietitian.
Audience: The book is intended for pediatric neurologists, dietitians, and parents of children who are considering or already on the diet. As acknowledged leaders in the diet treatment of epilepsy, the authors draw from their extensive personal experience to collect information and tips unavailable elsewhere.
Features: The book includes a small number of illustrations, but it is replete with useful tables and charts. There are a number of anecdotes and testimonials that physicians may find unscientific and distracting but that parents will greatly appreciate. There is a short but pertinent list of references. The appendix contains very helpful information on sugar content of common medications, a database of nutritional content of various foods, and a new section on a nursing critical pathway for institutions wanting to develop their own ketogenic diet programs.
Assessment: With the recent renewed interest and enthusiasm for the ketogenic diet, this manual is highly recommended for anyone involved in its use. Some physicians may believe that potential adverse effects of the diet and the magnitude of the numerous hurdles of initiating and maintaining it are inappropriately minimized. Parents will find the manual a concise resource that is inspiring and supportive. All readers will discover a wealth of advice and information unavailable in any other single source.