Article

.Addition of omega-3 fatty acid to maintenance medication treatment for recurrent unipolar depressive disorder

Ministry of Health Mental Health Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 12.3). 04/2002; 159(3):477-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Studies have reported that countries with high rates of fish oil consumption have low rates of depressive disorder. The authors studied a specific omega-3 fatty acid, the ethyl ester of eicosapentaenoic acid (E-EPA), as an adjunct to treatment for depressive episodes occurring in patients with recurrent unipolar depressive disorder who were receiving maintenance antidepressant therapy.
Twenty patients with a current diagnosis of major depressive disorder participated in a 4-week, parallel-group, double-blind addition of either placebo or E-EPA to ongoing antidepressant therapy. Seventeen of the patients were women, and three were men.
Highly significant benefits of the addition of the omega-3 fatty acid compared with placebo were found by week 3 of treatment.
It is not possible to distinguish whether E-EPA augments antidepressant action in the manner of lithium or has independent antidepressant properties of its own.

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Available from: Robert H Belmaker, Apr 24, 2014
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    • "Two studies that implemented a placebo run-in phase to exclude responders during this phase reported a significant improvement in depression in the omega-3 FA compared to placebo910. Three studies that did not implement a placebo run-in phase: two showed a significant improvement in the omega-3 FA group78and one did no show a difference between groups[25]. There was no significant difference in quality of life (MCS or PCS) between groups. "
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    • "The search for alternative therapies for the treatment of neuropathic pain [15] and depression associated with diabetes is recquired, since the conventional therapies present low adhesion [16], responsiveness [4] and may also alter blood glucose levels [17] [18]. In this way, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (-3- PUFA), as linolenic acid (LNA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been suggested as adjuvant therapy of depression [19] [20] [21], pain [22] [23] [24] and also for mood disorders [25] [26], among others [for review see: Ref. [27]]. Regarding the possible mechanism of action of -3-PUFA, especially in regard to its antidepressant-like effect, it has been associated with a hippocampal brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) up-regulation [28] [29] and also with other biological functions [30]. "
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    • "In regards to omega - 3 fatty acids , although their supplementation has been reported to exert beneficial effects in mood disorders ( presumably due to its anti - inflammatory properties ) , a recent meta - analysis of 13 separate RCTs demonstrated no significant effect on MDD ( Nemets et al . , 2002 ; Su et al . , 2003 ; Bloch and Hannestad , 2012 ) ."
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