Are purines mediators of the anticonvulsant/neuroprotective effects of ketogenic diets?

Susan A. Masino, Jonathan D. Geiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Abnormal neuronal signaling caused by metabolic changes characterizes several neurological disorders, and in some instances metabolic interventions provide therapeutic benefits. Indeed, altering metabolism either by fasting or by maintaining a low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diet might reduce epileptic seizures and offer neuroprotection in part because the diet increases mitochondrial biogenesis and brain energy levels. Here we focus on a novel hypothesis that a ketogenic diet-induced change in energy metabolism increases levels of ATP and adenosine, purines that are critically involved in neuron-glia interactions, neuromodulation and synaptic plasticity. Enhancing brain bioenergetics (ATP) and increasing levels of adenosine, an endogenous anticonvulsant and neuroprotective molecule, might help with understanding and treating a variety of neurological disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-278
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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