Course Leads
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Professor Eric H. W. Kossoff, M.D.

How should ketogenic diet centers be trained? There is no single correct answer to this question, but it’s an important issue as more people worldwide need this important treatment. As a ketogenic diet community, we believe that nutritionists and doctors should be educated with the best available information and resources. Recognizing that not all ketogenic diet centers have either the funds to travel, or to pay people to come to them, these training videos are meant to be a source of information to be used by professionals learning about the ketogenic diet. They were filmed during the 2017 KetoCollege and extensively reviewed and revised since then.

The vision for online training modules first occurred in 2014 through the International League Against Epilepsy’s Task Force on Dietary Therapies, which I had the honor of chairing for 3 years. Unfortunately, it was not funded by this organization, so, as is often the case, Ms. Emma Williams and Matthew’s Friends stepped up with the funding for the incredible project you are about to view by way of fundraising, donations and grant applications. It would not have been possible without their work and dedication to the field of Ketogenic Dietary Therapies, together with the filming expertise of Red Goat Productions. We also want thank Vitaflo for their educational grant towards this project. These films will continue to be reviewed and revised as time goes on and hopefully subtitles added in various languages (subject to further funding).

On behalf of myself, Emma Williams, Helen Cross, and the entire group of dedicated ketogenic diet professionals who helped create these videos, we hope you enjoy them, learn all about how dietary therapies can be life-changing, and use them in your future practice.

Eric H. W. Kossoff, M.D.
Professor, Neurology and Pediatrics
Director, Child Neurology Residency Program
Medical Director, Pediatric Ketogenic Diet Center

About the Online Tutorials

Film 1 – Introduction and overview (23 mins 28 secs) – Led by Professor J. Helen Cross

  • History of the diet.
  • Mechanism of action of ketogenic therapy – update on current hypotheses with explanation of metabolic background to ketogenic diet
  • Introduction to traditional ketogenic diets and modified variants (NB. choice of diet covered in next session)
  • Clinical trials update including efficacy data
  • Brief mention of conditions other than epilepsy which may benefit from ketogenic therapy

Film 2 – Therapeutic options for intractable epilepsy (21 mins 49 secs) – when to use a dietary treatment? (Paediatrics) – Led by Professor Eric Kossoff

  • Treatment options for intractable epilepsy
  • Indications and contra-indications for ketogenic therapy
  • The concurrent use of ketogenic therapy and other medical treatments (VNS, AEDs, CBD)
  • Epilepsy surgery and ketogenic therapy
  • Special considerations when treating infants

Film 3 – Preparing a family for ketogenic dietary therapy (19 mins 16 secs) – Led by Emma Williams MBE

  • What are you dealing with when a family comes through the door?
  • How to prepare them for ketogenic therapy.
  • What to take into consideration.
  • Building confidence for the family AND the patient.

Film 4 – Classical Ketogenic Dietary Therapy (26 mins 22 secs) – Led by Dr. Elizabeth Neal RD

  • How to calculate the classical diet
  • Fine tuning
  • Case studies
  • Classical Recipe Demonstration

Film 5 – Medium Chain Triglyceride Diet (MCT) (21 mins 49 secs) – Led by Dr. Elizabeth Neal RD

  • How to calculate the MCT diet
  • When to use it
  • Fine tuning the diet
  • Case studies
  • MCT Recipe demonstration

Film 6 – Modified Atkins Diet and Low Glycaemic Index Diet (18 mins 44 secs) – Led by Sue Wood RD

  • How to calculate modified diets
  • The difference in the modified diets
  • Modified diets for adults
  • Fine tuning
  • Case studies
  • Modified Recipe demonstration

Film 7 – How to Initiate Ketogenic Therapy (20 mins 24 secs) – Led by Jennifer Fabe RD

  • Is fasting required?
  • Admit or start as an outpatient?
  • Multiple ways to start the diet, high and quickly or low and slow?
  • Issues with the start of the diet and early side effects to watch for and how to manage.

Film 8 – Monitoring and side effects (20 mins 29 secs) – Led by Dr. Anita Devlin

  • Home monitoring – blood/urine ketones, weight, recording seizures
  • Clinic monitoring – biochemistry, growth, optional other tests (renal ultrasound, EEG, DEXA, ECG)
  • Assessing quality of life and psychological/behavioural changes
  • Common side effects and their management (early and late)
  • Rare side effects and their management

Film 9 – Discontinuation of the diet (16 mins 26 secs) – Led by Professor Eric Kossoff

  • How to wean off the diet?
  • When this should be considered?
  • What are the risks of the seizures returning?
  • Once weaned off the diet – can you ever go on diet again?  Will it have the same effect?

Film 10 – Ketogenic therapy for adults (31 mins 50 secs) – Led by Associate Professor Mackenzie Cervenka

  • Literature overview
  • Efficacy and other benefits
  • Dietary protocols and practical considerations
  • Health and well being
  • Case study examples
  • Transition

Film 11 – What makes a good Ketogenic Centre? (25 mins 33 secs) – Led by Professor Eric Kossoff

  • Which patients are the best ones to start off with:
  • How to build confidence
  • Team work
  • Working with the families
  • What meetings are the right ones to attend



Access to the videos requires a paid subscription. Please register here to gain access.

If you are based in a country listed below, you are eligible to subscribe at a reduced rate here.

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Matthew’s Friends Charity relies on fundraising to be able to continue its educational work and training meetings.  Our ultimate goal is to be able to subtitle all these films into different languages and also make sure that they are updated regularly by ketogenic experts.  The donations made for access to these tutorials will enable us to continue with our work.


Standard access to the tutorials for qualified medical professionals is £150. However medical professionals from the following countries can gain access for £75:

Burkina FASO
Central African Republic
Czech Republic
Dem. Rep Eritrea
Korea, Dem. People’s Rep.
Rep. Zimbabwe
Sierra Leone
South Sudan
Syrian Arab Republic

About Each Course Lead

Professor Eric Kossoff

Dr. Kossoff is a Professor of Neurology and Paediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. He received his medical degree from SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine in New York, followed by a residency in paediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. He completed a fellowship in child neurology and then paediatric epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has been at Johns Hopkins since 1998.

Professor Helen Cross OBE

Professor Helen Cross is The Prince of Wales’s Chair of Childhood Epilepsy, Head of Developmental Neurosciences Programme of the UCL Institute of Child Health and Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Neurology at Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust, London and Young Epilepsy, Lingfield. She is also clinical lead and Chair of the Matthew’s Friends Medical Board for Ketogenic Dietary Therapies.

Her research has been targeted at improving outcomes in early onset epilepsy, specifically in assessing the role of surgery and ketogenic diet. She is elected Treasurer of the International League Against Epilepsy 2017-2021, Clinical Advisor to the National Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service, Chair of the BPNA Research Committee, and Chair of the Neurosciences Clinical Study Group of the Clinical Research Network (Children). She holds NIHR Senior Investigator status 2016-2020. She was awarded ILAE/IBE Ambassador for Epilepsy in 2007, and an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2015.

Emma Williams MBE

Emma set up the Matthew’s Friends Charity in 2004 after her son Matthew responded so positively to the ketogenic diet. She is now one of the world’s leading advocates for ketogenic therapies and has worked full time in this field for over 14 years, as well as being a single mum to her 2 children. Not only does she have over 6 year’s personal experience of managing her own son with these diets, she has supported thousands of other families through the charity. She has written numerous magazine articles, featured in many television/radio interviews and co-authored several papers on the Ketogenic therapies with some of the leading Ketogenic medical experts from around the globe. Emma is invited to speak at a considerable number of International meetings and was the pioneer behind Nutricia’s global ‘Cooking with Ketocal’ Campaign.

With branches of Matthew’s Friends now registered in New Zealand and Canada, she works with her Country CEO’s to make sure that the mission of Matthew’s Friends is continued so that ketogenic therapies are available to all those who may need them and could benefit from them. 2013 saw her awarded an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen for her services to Children with Epilepsy.

Emma Williams MBE
Founder/CEO – Charity, Director – Clinics
Matthew’s Friends – Ketogenic Dietary Therapies

Associate Professor Mackenzie Cervenka

Dr. Mackenzie Cervenka is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia and received her medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She then completed her internship in internal medicine and residency in neurology at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Dr. Cervenka completed a fellowship in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at Johns Hopkins and has stayed there on faculty in the Epilepsy Division since 2010. She is Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins Adult Epilepsy Diet Center and the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. The Adult Epilepsy Diet Center is the first of its kind, providing ketogenic diet therapies to adults with intractable epilepsy and smoothly transitioning children from a paediatric to a comprehensive adult diet center.

Dr. Cervenka’s research focuses the efficacy of ketogenic diets in the treatment of adults with epilepsy and refractory status epilepticus.

Dr. Mackenzie Cervenka
Associate Professor of Neurology
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, USA

Dr. Anita Devlin

Anita Devlin has been a Consultant in Paediatric Neurology at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne NHS FT since 2002. She graduated from University College London Medical School in 1988 and has trained in Oxford, Southampton, Aberdeen, London and Newcastle gaining a higher doctorate (MD) for research in 2001.

Anita specialises in the diagnosis and management of epilepsy in childhood and is the departmental and regional lead for epilepsy in children and young people. She successfully obtained funding for and set-up a regional Ketogenic Therapy service for children in the North-East and Cumbria and set up the regional paediatric epilepsy network in the North East and Cumbria. Anita was a member of the award winning team, which produced national training courses in paediatric epilepsy (PET courses) and has published in peer review journals as well as reviewing manuscripts and guidelines for publication.

Anita graduated from the London Business School Executive MBA programme in 2009 and uses these skills along with her knowledge about epilepsy to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of Young Epilepsy. She is also a member of the Matthew’s Friends Medical Advisory Board.

Dr. Anita Devlin
Consultant Paediatric Neurologist, Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS

Dr. Elizabeth Neal RD

Liz Neal graduated from Surrey University in 1988, with a BSc honours degree in Nutrition. This was followed by a number of years working as a dietitian specialising in paediatrics, and a Masters degree in Public health Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Liz started working as a ketogenic diet research dietitian at UCL-Institute of Child Health in 2001, and has completed her PhD and written scientific publications on the subject. She currently works for Matthews Friends ketogenic therapy clinics and continues research links with the Institute of Child Health where she holds an honorary post.

Elizabeth Neal RD MSc PhD
Ketogenic dietitian, Matthews Friends Clinics, Lingfield, UK
Honorary Research Associate, Department of Neuroscience, UCL-Institute of Child Health, London, UK

Jennifer Fabe RD

Jennifer Fabe is the registered dietitian for the Division of Neurology at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Jennifer has improved timely access through her development of the ‘Low and Slow’ outpatient ketogenic diet initiation method. She has trained other Canadian epilepsy centres on this method because of its benefit to patients and reduced health care spending. She is involved with provincial guideline initiatives, research and supporting the McMaster ketogenic diet program to become the largest in the country. Jennifer is the recent recipient of the prestigious Alumni of Influence Award from the University of Saskatchewan and is the President of Matthew’s Friends Canada.

Jennifer FABE RD
Paediatric Dietitian
McMaster Children’s Hospital
Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA

Susan Wood RD

Susan Wood has worked as a UK registered dietitian for 32 years, predominantly in the NHS, treating a wide range of paediatric and adult conditions. In 2008, the referral of one young adult for the dietary management of drug resistant epilepsy sparked her interest in ketogenic therapy and since then, she has been pursuing the development of adult treatment protocols in the UK and raising the awareness of dietitians and neurologists to the life changing potential that ketogenic therapy can offer adults. In 2009 she started to work alongside the Matthews Friends Charity, offering support to adults and their neurology teams seeking treatment and in 2011 she joined the newly formed clinical team at the Matthews Friends Centre for Ketogenic Dietary Therapies. She continues to lead on the treatment of adults with difficult epilepsy and also supports adults with brain tumours keen to trial this novel approach to manage symptoms.

Sue Wood
Specialist ketogenic dietitian – Adults and Children
Matthew’s Friends Clinics

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These films have been made by way of an educational grant from the Matthew’s Friends Charity and Vitaflo.

Endorsed by EpiCare