Article

Omega-3 fatty acids and neuropsychiatric disorders

Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Reproduction Nutrition Development (Impact Factor: 2.17). 01/2005; 45(1):1-28.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Epidemiological evidence suggests that dietary consumption of the long chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), commonly found in fish or fish oil, may modify the risk for certain neuropsychiatric disorders. As evidence, decreased blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with several neuropsychiatric conditions, including Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, Alzheimer's Disease, Schizophrenia and Depression. Supplementation studies, using individual or combination omega-3 fatty acids, suggest the possibility for decreased symptoms associated with some of these conditions. Thus far, however, the benefits of supplementation, in terms of decreasing disease risk and/or aiding in symptom management, are not clear and more research is needed. The reasons for blood fatty acid alterations in these disorders are not known, nor are the potential mechanisms by which omega-3 fatty acids may function in normal neuronal activity and neuropsychiatric disease prevention and/or treatment. It is clear, however, that DHA is the predominant n-3 fatty acid found in the brain and that EPA plays an important role as an anti-inflammatory precursor. Both DHA and EPA can be linked with many aspects of neural function, including neurotransmission, membrane fluidity, ion channel and enzyme regulation and gene expression. This review summarizes the knowledge in terms of dietary omega-3 fatty acid intake and metabolism, as well as evidence pointing to potential mechanisms of omega-3 fatty acids in normal brain functioning, development of neuropsychiatric disorders and efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in terms of symptom management.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Genevieve Newton, Mar 13, 2014
0 Followers
 · 
70 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The presence of lipid alterations in lipid rafts from the frontal cortex in late stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been recently demonstrated. Here, we have isolated and analyzed the lipid composition of lipid rafts from different brain areas from control and AD subjects at initial neuropathologic stages. We have observed that frontal cortex lipid rafts are profoundly altered in AD brains from the earliest stages of AD, namely AD I/II. These changes in the lipid matrix of lipid rafts affected both lipid classes and fatty acids and were also detected in the entorhinal cortex, but not in the cerebellum from the same subjects. Paralleling these changes, lipid rafts from AD frontal and entorhinal cortices displayed higher anisotropy for environment-sensitive probes, indicating that lipid changes in AD lipid rafts increased membrane order and viscosity in these domains. The pathophysiological consequences of these alterations in the development and progression of AD were strengthened by the significant, and specific, accumulation of β-secretase within the lipid rafts of AD subjects even at the earliest stages. Our results provide a mechanistic connection between lipid alterations in these microdomains and amyloidogenic processing of amyloid precursor protein.
    Neurobiology of aging 02/2014; 35(8). DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.02.005
  • Source
    Neurodegenerative Diseases - Processes, Prevention, Protection and Monitoring, 12/2011; , ISBN: 978-953-307-485-6
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Preclinical studies have shown that diets supplemented with or deficient in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) could influence serotonergic neurotransmission, but information about their effects on the serotonergic function of humans is scant. Therefore, simultaneous assessments of n-3 PUFAs and of the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol responses to challenges with the serotonin (5-HT) probe d,l-fenfluramine (FEN) were performed in 25 cocaine-abusing men and 12 control subjects. Cocaine abusers were tested 18 days after their admission to a closed ward. ACTH and cortisol were measured in plasma samples collected on two testing days separated by 48 h following the random administration of 60 mg of FEN or placebo. Fatty acids were measured in the first test day samples. Patients' FEN-induced ACTH rises were significantly and positively correlated with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Patients' cortisol rises were positively and significantly correlated with EPA but not with DHA. There were no significant correlations between hormonal responses and pre-hospitalization cocaine use parameters. Control subjects' responses to FEN were not correlated with any PUFA. In conclusion, higher EPA and DHA levels were associated with a more intense FEN-induced ACTH response and higher EPA levels with a more intense cortisol response in cocaine-abusing men withdrawn from cocaine but not in control subjects. These findings support and expand existing evidence that EPA and DHA could influence 5-HT function in some human subgroups.
    Psychiatry Research 06/2011; 188(3):422-7. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2011.05.027