A double-blind placebo-controlled randomised trial of omega-3 supplementation in children with moderate ADHD symptoms

  • Catherine Cornu
  • Catherine Mercier
  • Tiphanie Ginhoux
  • Sandrine Masson
  • Julie Mouchet
  • Patrice Nony
  • Behrouz Kassai
  • Valérie Laudy
  • Patrick Berquin
  • Nathalie Franc
  • Marie-France Le Heuzey
  • Hugues Desombre
  • Olivier Revol
Original Contribution

Abstract

Objective

Clinical trials and inconclusive meta-analyses have investigated the effects of omega-3 supplements in children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We performed a randomised placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids.

Methods

Children aged 6–15 years with established diagnosis of ADHD were randomised 1:1 to receive either supplements containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or a placebo for 3 months. Psychotropic or omega-3-containing treatments were not authorised during the study. The primary outcome was the change in the Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Rating Scale version 4 (ADHD-RS-IV). Other outcomes included safety, lexical level (Alouette test), attention (Test of Attentional Performance for Children—KiTAP), anxiety (48-item Conners Parent Rating Scale-Revised—CPRS-R), and depression (Children’s Depression Inventory—CDI).

Results

Between 2009 and 2011, 162 children were included in five French child psychiatry centres. The mean age was 9.90 (SD 2.62) years and 78.4% were boys. The inclusion ADHD-RS-IV at was 37.31 (SD 8.40). The total ADHD-RS-IV score reduction was greater in the placebo group than in the DHA–EPA group: −19 (−26, −12)  % and −9.7 (−16.6, −2.9) %, respectively, p = 0.039. The other components of the Conners score had a similar variation but the differences between groups were not significant. Two patients in the DHA–EPA group and none in the placebo group experienced a severe adverse event (hospitalisation for worsening ADHD symptoms).

Conclusion

This study did not show any beneficial effect of omega-3 supplement in children with mild ADHD symptoms.

Keywords

Child ADHD Omega-3 rich fatty acid supplementation Randomized controlled trial 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Cornu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 12
  • Catherine Mercier
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Tiphanie Ginhoux
    • 1
  • Sandrine Masson
    • 1
  • Julie Mouchet
    • 4
  • Patrice Nony
    • 2
    • 3
  • Behrouz Kassai
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Valérie Laudy
    • 1
  • Patrick Berquin
    • 7
  • Nathalie Franc
    • 8
  • Marie-France Le Heuzey
    • 9
  • Hugues Desombre
    • 10
  • Olivier Revol
    • 11
  1. 1.INSERM, CIC1407BronFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie EvolutiveCNRS, UMR 5558LyonFrance
  3. 3.Service de Pharmacologie CliniqueHospices Civils de LyonBronFrance
  4. 4.Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1LyonFrance
  5. 5.Service de Biostatistique-BioinformatiqueHospices Civils de LyonLyonFrance
  6. 6.Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, Equipe Biostatistique-SantéCNRS, UMR 5558VilleurbanneFrance
  7. 7.Service de Neurologie PédiatriqueHôpital NordAmiensFrance
  8. 8.Service de Médecine Psychologique Enfants et AdolescentsHôpital Saint-EloiMontpellierFrance
  9. 9.Service de psychiatrie de l’enfant et de l’adolescentHôpital Robert DebréParisFrance
  10. 10.Unité de Psychologie Médicale et de LiaisonHôpital femme-Mère-EnfantBronFrance
  11. 11.Service de Psychopathologie de l’enfant et de l’adolescentHôpital Pierre WertheimerBronFrance
  12. 12.Centre d’Investigation Clinique - Hôpital Louis PradelBronFrance

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