Studies: Children Mood and Behaviour

Fish Oil For ADD/ ADHD In Children

Omega-3/Omega-6 Fatty Acids for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial in Children and Adolescents.

J Atten Disord. 2008 Apr 30.

Objective: The aim of the study was to assess omega 3/6 fatty acids (eye q) in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Method: The study included a randomized, 3-month, omega 3/6 placebo-controlled, one-way crossover trial with 75 children and adolescents (8-18 years), followed by 3 months with omega 3/6 for all. Investigator-rated ADHD Rating Scale-IV and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale were outcome measures. Results: A majority did not respond to omega 3/6 treatment. However, a subgroup of 26% responded with more than 25% reduction of ADHD symptoms and a drop of CGI scores to the near-normal range. After 6 months, 47% of all showed such improvement. Responders tended to have ADHD inattentive subtype and comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders. Conclusion: A subgroup of children and adolescents with ADHD, characterized by inattention and associated neurodevelopmental disorders, treated with omega 3/6 fatty acids for 6 months responded with meaningful reduction of ADHD symptoms.

PMID: 18448859

 

Effect of Supplementation with Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Micronutrients on Learning and Behavior Problems Associated with Child ADHD.

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2007 Apr;28(2):82-91.

METHODS: Various developmental problems including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been linked to biological deficiencies in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Additionally, there is evidence that symptoms may be reduced with PUFA supplementation. This study investigated effects of supplementation with PUFAs on symptoms typically associated with ADHD. Because nutrients work synergistically, additional effects of micronutrient supplementation were also investigated. A total of 132 Australian children aged 7 to 12 years with scores >/=2 SD above the population average on the Conners ADHD Index participated in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind intervention over 15 weeks, taking PUFAs alone, PUFAs + micronutrients, or placebo. Due to unreturned questionnaires, data were only available for 104 children. RESULTS: Significant medium to strong positive treatment effects were found on parent ratings of core ADHD symptoms, inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, on the Conners Parent Rating Scale (CPRS) in both PUFA treatment groups compared with the placebo group; no additional effects were found with the micronutrients. After a one-way crossover to active supplements in all groups for a further 15 weeks, these results were replicated in the placebo group, and the treatment groups continued to show significant improvements on CPRS core symptoms. No significant effects were found on Conners Teacher Rating Scales. CONCLUSION: These results add to preliminary findings that ADHD-related problems with inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity might respond to treatment with PUFAs and that improvements may continue with supplementation extending to 30 weeks.

PMID: 17435458

 

Fish Oil For Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

Omega-3 fatty acid monotherapy for pediatric bipolar disorder: A prospective open-label trial.

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007 May-Jun;17(6-7):440-7. Epub 2007 Jan 26.

BACKGROUND: To test the effectiveness and safety of omega-3 fatty acids (Omegabrite(R) brand) in the treatment of pediatric bipolar disorder (BPD). METHOD: Subjects (N=20) were outpatients of both sexes, 6 to 17 years of age, with a DSM-IV diagnosis of BPD and Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) score of >15 treated over an 8-week period in open-label trial with omega-3 fatty acids 1290 mg-4300 mg combined EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). RESULTS: Subjects experienced a statistically significant but modest 8.9+/-2.9 point reduction in the YMRS scores (baseline YMRS=28.9+/-10.1; endpoint YMRS=19.1+/-2.6, p<0.001). Adverse events were few and mild. Red blood cell membrane levels of EPA and DHA increased in treated subjects. CONCLUSIONS: As only 35% of these subjects had a response by the usual accepted criteria of >50% decrease on the YMRS, omega-3 fatty acids treatment was associated with a very modest improvement in manic symptoms in children with BPD.

PMID: 17258897

 

Review Of Fish Oil For Neurodevelopmental Disorders In Children

Omega-3 fatty acids in ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders.

Int Rev Psychiatry. 2006 Apr;18(2):155-72.

Omega-3 fatty acids are dietary essentials, and are critical to brain development and function. Increasing evidence suggests that a relative lack of omega-3 may contribute to many psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. This review focuses on the possible role of omega-3 in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related childhood developmental disorders, evaluating the existing evidence from both research and clinical perspectives. Theory and experimental evidence support a role for omega-3 in ADHD, dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and autism. Results from controlled treatment trials are mixed, but the few studies in this area have involved different populations and treatment formulations. Dietary supplementation with fish oils (providing EPA and DHA) appears to alleviate ADHD-related symptoms in at least some children, and one study of DCD children also found benefits for academic achievement. Larger trials are now needed to confirm these findings, and to establish the specificity and durability of any treatment effects as well as optimal formulations and dosages. Omega-3 is not supported by current evidence as a primary treatment for ADHD or related conditions, but further research in this area is clearly warranted. Given their relative safety and general health benefits, omega-3 fatty acids offer a promising complementary approach to standard treatments.

PMID: 16777670

 

Fish Oil For Major Depressive Disorder In Children

Omega-3 treatment of childhood depression: a controlled, double-blind pilot study.

Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Jun;163(6):1098-100.

OBJECTIVE: Major depressive disorder in children may be more common than previously thought, and its therapeutics are unclear. Because of success in a previous study on omega-3 fatty acids in adult major depressive disorder, the authors planned a pilot study of omega-3 fatty acids in childhood major depression. METHOD: Children who entered the study were between the ages of 6 and 12. Ratings were performed at baseline and at 2, 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks using Children's Depression Rating Scale (CDRS), Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), and Clinical Global Impression (CGI). Children were randomized to omega-3 fatty acids or placebo as pharmacologic monotherapy. Twenty-eight patients were randomized, and 20 completed at least 1 month's ratings. RESULTS: Analysis of variance showed highly significant effects of omega-3 on symptoms using the CDRS, CDI, and CGI. CONCLUSIONS: Omega-3 fatty acids may have therapeutic benefits in childhood depression.

PMID: 16741212

 

Fish Oil For ADD/ ADHD And Developmental Coordination Disorder In Children

Pediatrics. 2005 May;115(5):1360-6.

BACKGROUND: Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) affects approximately 5% of school-aged children. In addition to the core deficits in motor function, this condition is associated commonly with difficulties in learning, behavior, and psychosocial adjustment that persist into adulthood. Mounting evidence suggests that a relative lack of certain polyunsaturated fatty acids may contribute to related neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders such as dyslexia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Given the current lack of effective, evidence-based treatment options for DCD, the use of fatty acid supplements merits investigation. METHODS: A randomized, controlled trial of dietary supplementation with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, compared with placebo, was conducted with 117 children with DCD (5-12 years of age). Treatment for 3 months in parallel groups was followed by a 1-way crossover from placebo to active treatment for an additional 3 months. RESULTS: No effect of treatment on motor skills was apparent, but significant improvements for active treatment versus placebo were found in reading, spelling, and behavior over 3 months of treatment in parallel groups. After the crossover, similar changes were seen in the placebo-active group, whereas children continuing with active treatment maintained or improved their progress. CONCLUSIONS: Fatty acid supplementation may offer a safe efficacious treatment option for educational and behavioral problems among children with DCD. Additional work is needed to investigate whether our inability to detect any improvement in motor skills reflects the measures used and to assess the durability of treatment effects on behavior and academic progress.

PMID: 15867048