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Omega-3 fatty acids in ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders.
Int Rev Psychiatry 2006; 18(2):155-72IR

Abstract

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.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Physiology, Human Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, UK. alex.richardson@physiol.ox.ac.uk

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

16777670

Citation

Richardson, Alexandra J.. "Omega-3 Fatty Acids in ADHD and Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders." International Review of Psychiatry (Abingdon, England), vol. 18, no. 2, 2006, pp. 155-72.
Richardson AJ. Omega-3 fatty acids in ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2006;18(2):155-72.
Richardson, A. J. (2006). Omega-3 fatty acids in ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders. International Review of Psychiatry (Abingdon, England), 18(2), pp. 155-72.
Richardson AJ. Omega-3 Fatty Acids in ADHD and Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2006;18(2):155-72. PubMed PMID: 16777670.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Omega-3 fatty acids in ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders. A1 - Richardson,Alexandra J, PY - 2006/6/17/pubmed PY - 2006/8/3/medline PY - 2006/6/17/entrez SP - 155 EP - 72 JF - International review of psychiatry (Abingdon, England) JO - Int Rev Psychiatry VL - 18 IS - 2 N2 - 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. SN - 0954-0261 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16777670/Omega_3_fatty_acids_in_ADHD_and_related_neurodevelopmental_disorders_ L2 - http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09540260600583031 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -