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The Role of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) on Cognitive Functions in Psychiatric Disorders


The Role of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) on Cognitive Functions in Psychiatric Disorders

Valentina Ciappolino et al. Nutrients.


Cognitive impairment is strongly associated with functional outcomes in psychiatric patients. Involvement of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 LC-PUFA), in particular docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in brain functions is largely documented. DHA is incorporated into membrane phospholipids as structural component, especially in the central nervous system where it also has important functional effects. The aim of this review is to investigate the relationship between DHA and cognitive function in relation to mental disorders. Results from few randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the effects of DHA (alone or in combination) in psychotic, mood and neurodevelopmental disorders, respectively, suggest that no conclusive remarks can be drawn.

Keywords: cognition; cognitive symptoms; docosahexaenoic acid; n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; psychiatric disorders.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Cognitive domains according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Figure 2
Figure 2
PRISMA diagram: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation in psychiatric disorders.

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