Omega-3 fatty acids are inversely related to callous and unemotional traits in adolescent boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2013 Jun;88(6):411-8. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2013.03.009. Epub 2013 May 7.

Abstract

A number of research studies have reported abnormal plasma fatty acid profiles in children with ADHD along with some benefit of n-3 to symptoms of ADHD. However, it is currently unclear whether (lower) long chain-polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) are related to ADHD pathology or to associated behaviours. The aim of this study was to test whether (1) ADHD children have abnormal plasma LC-PUFA levels and (2) ADHD symptoms and associated behaviours are correlated with LC-PUFA levels. Seventy-two, male children with (n=29) and without a clinical diagnosis of ADHD (n=43) were compared in their plasma levels of LC-PUFA. Plasma DHA was higher in the control group prior to statistical correction. Callous-unemotional (CU) traits were found to be significantly negatively related to both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and total omega-3 in the ADHD group. The findings unveil for the first time that CU and anti-social traits in ADHD are associated with lower omega-3 levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / blood*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / blood*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6 / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Substances

  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid