This summer, I was fortunate to participate in the groundbreaking International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR) conference held in Bethesda, Maryland. The meeting was truly inspiring and exciting to those of us who believe that nutritional approaches are the way forward in the treatment of mental health disorders. While the majority of the presentations at this conference were focused on omega-3 fatty acids, microbiome research, micronutrients, and the Mediterranean diet, there were a few small breakout sessions exploring the potential benefits of ketogenic diets. Ketogenic diets are special low-carbohydrate diets that have been used to treat epilepsy for almost 100 years and show great promise in the management of a wide variety of other brain disorders. One of the presentations I attended was by Dr. Chris Palmer, a psychiatrist from Harvard’s McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. In a small room packed with curious doctors, scientists and nutritionists from around the world, Dr. Palmer described the experiences of two adults in his practice with schizoaffective disorder who had tried a ketogenic diet. I’ve summarized the cases Dr. Palmer presented.

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