Red blood cell fatty acids are associated with depression in a case-control study of adolescents
ABSTRACT Epidemiological studies suggest that reduced intakes and/or blood levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are associated with increased risk for depression in adults, but data on adolescents are scarce. The objective of this study was to determine whether red blood cell (RBC) levels of EPA+DHA (the omega-3 index) and/or the overall RBC fatty acid profile differ between depressed adolescents (cases) and non-depressed adolescents (controls).
We measured the RBC fatty acid composition of cases admitted to the hospital for depression (n=150) and compared it to that of controls (n=161).
Cases and controls had similar ages, gender proportions, and body mass index (BMI) distributions, but there was a significant difference in racial/ethnic composition due to differences in recruitment sites. The unadjusted odds ratio for case status was 0.72 (95% CI; 0.55-0.95) for a 1% absolute increase in the omega-3 index. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine which fatty acids were useful in classifying cases and controls; BMI, age, gender, and race/ethnicity were forced into the model. Seven fatty acids were selected (DHA, myristic, stearic, oleic, trans linoleic, trans palmitoleic, and alpha-linolenic acids) to optimize the model fit to the data. In the adjusted model, the odds ratio was 0.67 (95% CI; 0.49-0.93) for a 1 SD increase in DHA. Adding the seven fatty acid profile to the basic model increased the area under the ROC curve by 12.6% (7.5%-17.6%).
These findings support the hypothesis that adolescent depression is associated with a perturbed RBC fatty acid pattern which includes a reduced omega-3 index. Intervention studies with EPA and DHA should be conducted in this vulnerable population for which few, safe therapeutic options currently exist.
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ABSTRACT: Depression and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) are closely interrelated among hemodialysis (HD) patients and associated with negative impacts on patients' clinical outcomes. Considering previous reports on clinical benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in major depression and HRQoL in other patient populations, this study examined effects of omega-3 fatty acids on depression and HRQoL in chronic HD patients. In this randomized placebo-controlled trial, 40 adult patients with a Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) score of ≥16 and HD vintage of at least 3 months were randomized to ingest 6 soft-gel capsules of either omega-3 fatty acids (180 mg eicosapentaenoic acid and 120 mg docosahexaenoic acid in each capsule) or corresponding placebo, daily for 4 months. At baseline and after 4 months, 2 questionnaires of BDI and the Medical Outcome Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey were completed by each patient. Although baseline BDI score was comparable between the 2 groups, it was significantly lower in the omega-3 group compared with the placebo group at the end of the study (P = 0.008). Except for mental health, social functioning, and general health, other domains of HRQoL showed significant improvement in the omega-3 group compared with the placebo group at month 4 of the study (P < 0.05 for all). Regression analysis revealed that ameliorated BDI score by omega-3 treatment had considerable role in the improvement of overall HRQoL score, physical and mental component dimensions, and score of physical functioning, role-physical, and bodily pain. Supplemental use of omega-3 fatty acids in HD patients with depressive symptoms seems to be efficacious in improving depressive symptoms and HRQoL.American Journal of Therapeutics 07/2014; DOI:10.1097/MJT.0000000000000078 · 1.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Accumulating translational evidence suggests that the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) plays a role in the maturation and stability of cortical circuits that are impaired in different recurrent psychiatric disorders. Specifically, rodent and cell culture studies find that DHA preferentially accumulates in synaptic and growth cone membranes and promotes neurite outgrowth, dendritic spine stability, and synaptogenesis. Additional evidence suggests that DHA may play a role in microglia-mediated synaptic pruning, as well as myelin development and resilience. In non-human primates n-3 fatty acid insufficiency during perinatal development leads to widespread deficits in functional connectivity in adult frontal cortical networks compared to primates raised on DHA-fortified diet. Preterm delivery in non-human primates and humans is associated with early deficits in cortical DHA accrual. Human preterm birth is associated with long-standing deficits in myelin integrity and cortical circuit connectivity and increased risk for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood, and psychotic disorders. In general, ADHD and mood and psychotic disorders initially emerge during rapid periods of cortical circuit maturation and are characterized by DHA deficits, myelin pathology, and impaired cortical circuit connectivity. Together these associations suggest that early and uncorrected deficits in fetal brain DHA accrual may represent a modifiable risk factor for cortical circuit maturation deficits in psychiatric disorders, and could therefore have significant implications for informing early intervention and prevention strategies.03/2015; 5(1):15-34. DOI:10.5498/wjp.v5.i1.15
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ABSTRACT: Evidence from observational studies suggests that there is an association among depression and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and folate; however, this association has yet to be examined in childhood and adolescent depression. The objective was to determine whether the BDNF, PUFAs, and folate in serum differ between first-episode childhood and adolescent depressed patients and healthy controls. We measured the serum levels of BDNF, PUFAs, and folate of cases admitted to the hospital for depression (n=24) and compared it to that of controls (n=26). Subjects and their parents were informed about the nature and the purpose of this study, and a consent form was signed by parents. The ethics committee of Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine approved the study protocol. There were significant differences in the docosahexanoic acid (DHA), arachidonic acid (AA), and folate levels between cases and controls. Serum levels of DHA, AA, and folate levels in the patients group were statistically lower than those in the control group, while serum levels of BDNF were not different between cases and controls. These results are in line with findings of previous studies involving adult and elderly subjects, demonstrating lower levels of PUFAs and folate in patients with depression than healthy controls. However, further studies using larger sample size are warranted. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.Psychiatry Research 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.11.018 · 2.68 Impact Factor