Abnormal fatty acid status has been implicated in the aetiology of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Delayed maturation in ADHD may result in raised frontal low frequency (theta) electroencephalographic activity (EEG) and a reduction in posterior high frequency (beta, alpha) activity. The current study used sequential linear regression to investigate the association between age, resting-state EEG and levels of long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in red blood cells in 46 adolescent boys with ADHD symptoms. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels were positively associated with fast frequency activity: alpha during eyes-open and beta during eyes-closed conditions. Frontal theta activity during both eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions was inversely associated with age and positively associated with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) levels. Alpha activity correlated positively with performance on fluency for categories (semantic memory). Theta activity correlated inversely with performance on delayed (25 min) verbal memory (recall + recognition/2). No associations were observed between long-chain omega-6 and EEG measures. Results support differential associations for DHA and EPA with fast and slow EEG activity respectively. Results support EEG activity as an objective biomarker of neural function associated with long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in ADHD.
King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org, , , , ,