Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 47, Issue 11, pp 3358–3369 | Cite as

Effect of Omega-3 and -6 Supplementation on Language in Preterm Toddlers Exhibiting Autism Spectrum Disorder Symptoms

  • Kelly W. Sheppard
  • Kelly M. Boone
  • Barbara Gracious
  • Mark A. Klebanoff
  • Lynette K. Rogers
  • Joseph Rausch
  • Christopher Bartlett
  • Daniel L. Coury
  • Sarah A. Keim
Original Paper

Abstract

Delayed language development may be an early indicator of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Early intervention is critical for children with ASD, and the present study presents pilot data on a clinical trial of omega-3 and -6 fatty acid supplementation and language development, a secondary trial outcome, in children at risk for ASD. We randomized 31 children to receive an omega-3 and -6 supplement or a placebo for 3 months, and measured their language abilities at baseline and after supplementation. Gesture use, but not word production, increased for children in the treatment group more than children in the placebo group. These results suggest possible effectiveness of omega-3 and -6 supplementation for language development in children at risk for ASD.

Keywords

Children born preterm Autism spectrum disorder Language development MacArthur Bates communicative development inventory Omega-3 fatty acids Omega-6 fatty acids 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the families who participated in the study and Yvette Bean, Kendra Heck, Chenali Jayadeva, Julia Less, and Kamma Smith of Nationwide Children’s Hospital for data collection and administrative support.

Funding

This study was funded by The Marci and Bill Ingram Fund for Autism Spectrum Disorders Research (no grant number), Cures Within Reach (no grant number), the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences/NIH (UL1TR001070), and internal support from the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Disclaimer

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences or the National Institutes of Health. Nordic Naturals provided the investigational product, and Welsh, Holme, & Clark Co., Inc. provided canola oil at no cost. Neither the study sponsors nor product providers had a role in the study design.

Author Contributions

KWS ran the statistical analyses, interpreted the results, and drafted and revised the manuscript; KMB participated in study design, oversaw data collection, participated in analyses, and revised the manuscript; JR participated in study conception and design, oversaw statistical analyses, and revised the manuscript; SAK, BG, MAK, LKR, CB, and DLC conceived of and designed the study, had overall oversight of the project, participated in statistical analyses and interpretation of data, and revised the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with institutional ethical standards and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed Consent

Written informed consent (parental permission for the children) was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.

Supplementary material

10803_2017_3249_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (122 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 121 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly W. Sheppard
    • 1
    • 6
  • Kelly M. Boone
    • 1
  • Barbara Gracious
    • 2
    • 7
  • Mark A. Klebanoff
    • 3
    • 6
  • Lynette K. Rogers
    • 3
    • 6
  • Joseph Rausch
    • 1
  • Christopher Bartlett
    • 4
    • 6
  • Daniel L. Coury
    • 1
    • 5
  • Sarah A. Keim
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Center for Biobehavioral HealthThe Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s HospitalColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Center for Innovation in Pediatric PracticeThe Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s HospitalColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Center for Perinatal ResearchThe Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s HospitalColumbusUSA
  4. 4.Battelle Center for Mathematical MedicineThe Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s HospitalColumbusUSA
  5. 5.Nationwide Children’s HospitalColumbusUSA
  6. 6.Department of Pediatrics, College of MedicineThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  7. 7.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, College of MedicineThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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