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Fatty acids in ADHD: plasma profiles in a placebo-controlled study of Omega 3/6 fatty acids in children and adolescents.

Journal article
Authors Mats Johnson
Jan-Eric Månsson
Sven Östlund
Gunnar Fransson
Björn Areskoug
Kerstin Hjalmarsson
Magnus Landgren
Björn Kadesjö
Christopher Gillberg
Published in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders
Volume 4
Issue 4
Pages 199-204
ISSN 1866-6116
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Pages 199-204
Language en
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry


The aim of this study was to assess baseline levels and changes in plasma fatty acid profiles in children and adolescents with ADHD, in a placebo-controlled study with Omega 3/6 supplementation, and to compare with treatment response. Seventy-five children and adolescents aged 8-18 years with DSM-IV ADHD were randomized to 3 months of Omega 3/6 (Equazen eye q) or placebo, followed by 3 months of open phase Omega 3/6 for all. n-3, n-6, n-6/n-3 ratio, EPA and DHA in plasma were measured at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Subjects with more than 25 % reduction in ADHD symptoms were classified as responders. At baseline, no significant differences in mean fatty acid levels were seen across active/placebo groups or responder/non-responder groups. The 0-3 month changes in all parameters were significantly greater in the active group (p < 0.01). Compared to non-responders, the 6-month responders had significantly greater n-3 increase at 3 months and decrease in n-6/n-3 ratio at 3 and 6 months (p < 0.05). Omega 3/6 supplementation had a clear impact on fatty acid composition of plasma phosphatidyl choline in active versus placebo group, and the fatty acid changes appear to be associated with treatment response. The most pronounced and long-lasting changes for treatment responders compared to non-responders were in the n-6/n-3 ratio.

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