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Keywords:

  • Acetoacetic acid;
  • Acetoacetate;
  • 3-Hydroxybutyrate;
  • β-Hydroxybutyrate;
  • 3-Hydroxybutanoic acid;
  • Acetone;
  • Dibenzylamine;
  • Ketogenic diet;
  • Epilepsy

Summary:  Purpose: To investigate whether ketone bodies are directly anticonvulsant.

Methods: We tested the effects of acetoacetate (ACA), acetone, and both stereoisomers, d-(−)- and l-(+), of β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) on sensory-evoked seizures in Frings audiogenic seizure-susceptible mice.

Results: We found that these ketone bodies, with the exception of the d-(−)-isomer of BHB, were anticonvulsant in this model. Furthermore, with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, we confirmed that the activity of l-(+)-BHB was due to dibenzylamine, a chemical contaminant.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that the anticonvulsant efficacy of the ketogenic diet may be due in part to the direct actions of ACA and acetone.