The other side of the coin: Beneficiary effect of omega-3 fatty acids in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy

Disciplina de Neurologia Experimental, Universidade Federal de São Paulo/Escola Paulista de Medicina, São Paulo, Brasil.
Epilepsy & Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.26). 09/2008; 13(2):279-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2008.04.011
Source: PubMed


The epilepsies are the most common serious neurological condition. People with epilepsy have a two- to threefold increased risk of dying prematurely than those without epilepsy, and the most common epilepsy-related category of death is sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). The exact pathophysiological causes of SUDEP remain unknown, but it is very probable that cardiac arrhythmia during and between seizures plays a potential role. Although the pharmacological treatments available for the epilepsies have expanded, antiepileptic drugs are still limited in clinical efficacy. In this regard, several factors such as genetic, environmental, and social can contribute to the inefficacy of therapeutic outcome in patients with epilepsy. Among these factors, nutritional aspects, that is, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency, have an interesting role in this scenario. Animal and clinical studies have demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids may be useful in the prevention and treatment of epilepsy. Moreover, as omega-3 fatty acids per se have been shown to reduce cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac deaths, it has been proposed that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in patients with refractory seizures may reduce seizures and seizure-associated cardiac arrhythmias and, hence, SUDEP. Given their relative safety and general health benefits, our update article summarizes the knowledge of the role of dietary omega-3 fatty acids in epilepsy.

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    • "The use of fish for human consumption is related to its beneficiary impact on human health, because fish is an excellent source of high-quality protein and essential fatty acids (FAs). Lipids from seawater fish contain high levels of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) that have cardio-protective effects, important effects on immune function and inflammation, and may be beneficial in preventing asthma in children, as well as in prevention and treatment of epilepsy or even cancer cachexia (He, 2009; Yang et al., 2013; Scroza et al., 2008; Dewey et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: In this study the fatty acid (FA) composition and lipid stability of wild and farm-affected wild bogues (Boops boops Linnaeus, 1758) during storage on ice were compared. The main saturated and unsaturated FAs were C16:0 and C18:1(n-9) in both bogue samples. Levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), and n-3/n-6 ratios, as well as atherogenic and thrombogenic indices, were significantly higher in wild samples. Over a period of 16 days on ice, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were reduced by 9.4% in wild and by 11.7% in farm-affected wild bogues; however, lipid damage during storage on ice was low. The total free fatty acid content of wild and farm-affected wild bogues at three different stages during storage on ice was small, <3% over 16 days. Peroxide values changed from 1.05 to 5.73 and from 2.98 to 5.25 milliequivalents (meq)/kg of O2 in wild and farm-affected wild bogues, respectively, while thiobarbituric acid index stayed under 5 mg of malondialdehyde/kg in all samples. This work provides important information about the effect of farming activities on changes in lipid and nutritive properties of fish oil from wild and farm-affected wild bogue.
    Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 02/2015; 40. DOI:10.1016/j.jfca.2014.12.026 · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    • "The study provided very early evidence of the possible beneficial effects of omega-3 FAs on cardiac risk factors and heart rate variability in people with epilepsy but no evidence of a reduction in seizure frequency [38]. In addition, Scorza and collaborators have hypothesized that omega-3 FAs may play a role in preventing SUDEP, but further study in animal models is also indicated [22]. Quite interesting , Lopes and colleagues demonstrated recently that chronic supplementation with omega-3 FAs restored the heart rate (HR) of rats with epilepsy toward control values, suggesting a potential preventive effect of omega-3 FAs against SUDEP [39]. "
    Epilepsy & Behavior 09/2014; 41:21–22. DOI:10.1016/j.yebeh.2014.08.019 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "In light of this work and the increased expression of IL-6 in the hearts of animals with epilepsy that we observed, we theorize that dietary supplementation with omega-3 in persons with drug-resistant epilepsy may decrease the risk of SUDEP by reducing cardiac inflammation . Notably, others have also postulated that omega fatty acids could reduce the risk of SUDEP, though perhaps by other mechanisms [23] [24] [25] [26]. Beyond complete seizure control, preventing SUDEP will require elucidation of relevant pathophysiological mechanisms. "
    Epilepsy & Behavior 05/2012; 24(2):285-6. DOI:10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.04.113 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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