Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Ballentine, Hope

Committee Member/Reader

Owen, Megan


Seizure disorders can be life altering and debilitating, especially for developing children. Children who have seizure disorders often require social, emotional, educational, and behavioral adjustments for children. Most medication regimes do not achieve complete management of seizure frequency and intensity. For children, seizure disorders can lead to unsuccessful education experiences, low self-esteem, severe injury, and difficulties with social skills and engagement. Discovering that a dietary means can reduce their frequency and intensity is groundbreaking. The ketogenic diet is a high protein, high fat, and almost no carbohydrate diet. The ketogenic diet is an effective non-pharmacological method for treating epilepsy (Karimzadeh, 2019). It is a common treatment method employed by those who experience complications of seizure drugs or those for whom seizure drugs are ineffective. The relationship between the ketogenic diet and seizure disorders is at a cerebral level. Ketogenesis decreases the quantity of cerebral glutamate (Sarlo, 2021). Glutamate, when increased, is what causes decreased concentration of GABA and increased excitability seen in seizure disorders (Sarlo, 2021). Increased use of ketone bodies by the brain as energy sources results in decreased seizure activity. Ketone bodies in the blood elevate when carbohydrates are low (Özata Uyar, 2018). The focus of my honors research will be to determine the effects of a ketogenic diet on the management and trajectory of pediatric seizure disorders. To gain insight into the routines and nutritional needs of children with disabilities, I had the opportunity to intern for 99balloons. I spent one on one time with special needs children and observed the many nutritional requirements and diet plans that were specific to each child. Further, I completed a literature review of 21 articles that reviewed how effective the ketogenic diet is to decrease frequency and severity of seizures compared with traditional epilepsy medications.


Ketogenic Diet, Pediatric, Seizure Management, Non-Pharmacological intervention, Service Learning