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  • Writer's pictureKaren

Keto For Parkinson’s Disease?

A 12-week ketogenic diet alleviated cognitive symptoms and anxiety in participants with Parkinson’s disease.


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. Because ketogenic diets cause the brain to use ketone bodies instead of glucose for fuel, they are sometimes used to alleviate neurological disorders such as PD.

The study

This single-group pilot study assessed the role of a low carbohydrate/high fat ketogenic diet (LCHFKD) on PD symptoms, anxiety, depression, and general health biomarkers in 16 adults with PD. For 12 weeks, the participants followed a LCHFKD consisting of 1,750 calories per day (≈78% fat, 17% protein, 5% carbohydrate, and 11 grams of fiber).

The authors monitored participant compliance by assessing food logs (written food logs or MyfitnessPal data) and weekly fasting blood glucose and ketones. The participants received educational materials on the diet throughout the intervention.

At baseline and the end of the study, the authors assessed the following outcomes:

  • PD severity, via the United Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Parts 1–4 (PDRS: I — mentation, behavior, and mood; II — activities of daily living; III — motor; IV — complications)[1]

  • Anxiety, via the Parkinson's Anxiety Scale (PAS)

  • Depression, via the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Revised-20 (CESD)