Omega-3 supplementation may prevent development of schizophrenia in high risk children

From MedicalXPress:

schizophrenia

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other brain imaging technologies allow for the study of differences in brain activity in people diagnosed with schizophrenia. The image shows two levels of the brain, with areas that were more active in healthy controls than in schizophrenia patients shown in orange, during an fMRI study of working memory. Credit: Kim J, Matthews NL, Park S./PLoS One.

Omega-3, a fatty acid found in oily fish, may prevent the onset of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders long after being consumed, according to a study released Tuesday.

Up to seven years after taking omega-3 supplements for 12 weeks, at “ultra-high” risk were less likely to have suffered the debilitating condition than a given a placebo, reported the study.

Schizophrenia is characterised by delusions and hallucinations, including hearing voices and seeing things that do not really exist.

It typically emerges during adolescence or , either abruptly or gradually. There is no cure. Current treatment focuses on managing symptoms.

Scientists have long known that patients with schizophrenia exhibit reduced levels of polyunsaturated fatty acid—specifically, omega-3 and omega 6—in cell membranes.

Nearly a decade ago, researchers led by Paul Amminger at the University of Melbourne showed in clinical trials that ingesting the fatty acid delayed a first episode of psychotic disorder in high-risk subjects by up to year.

In a follow up study, published in Nature Communications, Amminger and colleagues report that, nearly seven years later, only 10 percent of the omega-3 group developed psychosis compared to 40 percent in the placebo group.

“We show that omega-3 significantly reduced the risk of progression to psychotic disorder during the entire follow-up period,” the study concluded.

Read more.

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