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Posted by Phillipa on February 15, 2012, at 0:01:22
Fish oil omega3's In prevention of psychosis. Phillipa
From Medscape Medical News > Psychiatry
NIMH to Investigate Fish Oil for Psychosis
Authors and Disclosures
February 13, 2012 A multicenter team of researchers in the United States and Canada is conducting a randomized double-blind study to determine whether omega-3 fatty acid supplementation can help prevent the onset of psychosis and improve clinical symptoms and functional outcome in adolescents and young adults who are at high risk for schizophrenia and related disorders.
Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for normal brain function and have been increasingly studied as potential therapy for medical and psychiatric disorders. A study published in 2010 in Archives of General Psychiatry and reported by Medscape Medical News at that time suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may prevent the transition from a subthreshold psychotic state to full-blown psychosis.
The study showed a 22.6% difference in risk of progression to psychosis in vulnerable young people who received a 12-week course of fish oil supplements compared with those who received a placebo. The benefits of the supplements were sustained for up to 1 year.
Omega-3 fatty acid therapy "could offer a natural alternative to the range of medications and therapies that we currently use," Barbara Cornblatt, PhD, founder and director of the Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Program and investigator at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York, told Medscape Medical News. "The NIMH [National Institute of Mental Health] realized the potential of the fish oil study and were very supportive" Dr. Cornblatt added.
In addition to Dr. Cornblatt's team, 7 other centers are participating in the study. They include the University of California, San Diego; Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; the University of California, Los Angeles; and the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Eligible participants are treatment-seeking patients aged between 12 and 30 years who meet diagnostic criteria for a possible prodromal syndrome and are part of the ongoing North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS).
With this study, "we have very strict criteria for defining risk. It's the presence of very early, subtle psychotic-like symptoms. These are attenuated positive symptoms," said Dr. Cornblatt.
"These individuals have flashes of abnormal thoughts that bother them. They also have very limited social skills, and they have trouble at school and hard time coping. The whole picture combined suggests that they are at risk," she said.
"Psychosis is frequently preceded by attenuated positive symptoms; between 25% and 35% of people who have these signs progress to psychosis," Dr. Cornblatt noted.
The researchers hope to enroll close to 130 participants across all 8 sites. Participants in the study will be randomly assigned to receive either 2 pills a day of pharmaceutical-level fish oil (each pill containing 740 mg eicosapentaenoic acid combined with 400 mg docosahexaenoic acid) or placebo for 6 months, after which the participants will be followed for a period of 18 months.
The hypothesis is that by the end of the study, the rate of conversion to psychosis (the primary outcome) among prodromal patients randomly assigned to receive omega-3 fatty acids will be significantly lower than that among patients assigned to receive placebo. Topline results are expected in about 2 years.
More information on the study can by obtained by visiting the National Institutes of Health clinical trials Web site, by contacting Dr. Cornblatt by email at email@example.com, by calling the RAP Program at 718-470-8115, or by visiting the RAP Program's Web site
Posted by Hugh on February 16, 2012, at 11:30:06
In reply to NIMH To Investigate Use of Fish Oil In Psychosis, posted by Phillipa on February 15, 2012, at 0:01:22
In Beyond Prozac, Michael Norden recommends combining fish oil with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid found in evening primrose oil and borage oil. Norden and Barry Sears (author of The Zone diet books) recommend taking tiny amounts of GLA -- only a few milligrams a week. (A capsule of evening primrose oil typically contains 90 mg of GLA.)
Fish oil alone doesn't do anything for me. (I'm unipolar.) If I take GLA with it, I feel mildly better, as long as I don't take too much GLA, which makes me feel groggy. Krill oil works better for me. It's stimulating, and I'm extremely sensitive to stimulants, so I can only tolerate very small amounts of it.
Posted by Phillipa on February 16, 2012, at 20:37:55
In reply to Re: NIMH To Investigate Use of Fish Oil In Psychosis, posted by Hugh on February 16, 2012, at 11:30:06
Hugh interesting. Aren't they now advertising a krill oil capsule on TV? Phillipa
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