Omega-3 Supplementation for Psychotic Mania and Comorbid Anxiety in Children

Anthony T. Vesco, Jennifer Lehmann, Barbara L. Gracious, L. Eugene Arnold, Andrea S. Young, Mary A. Fristad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Therapeutic benefits of omega-3 fatty acids (Ω3) for mood disorders, psychosis, and anxiety have been reported in the literature. The purpose of the present article is to provide a literature review of Ω3 supplementation for affective disorders and to illustrate the benefits of Ω3 with a case presentation of a young girl with a history of bipolar disorder-type 1 with psychotic features and generalized anxiety disorder. Methods: Reviewed literature includes treatment studies of the impact of Ω3 on child mood disorders supplemented by review of meta-analyses within the adult mood disorders literature. The subject of this case report participated in 11 in-depth diagnostic and functional assessments over 5 years as part of an unrelated study. Three years were presupplementation and 2 years were with supplementation with no other medication changes, thus making a naturalistic multiple-baseline single-subject experiment. Results: Augmentation over a 2 year period was notable for clinically significant and sustained improvement in depressive, manic, and psychotic symptoms. Conclusion: Ω3 supplementation may be a safe, adjunct intervention for treating bipolar disorder in children and adolescents, even in the presence of psychotic and anxious features. The 2 year follow-up in this case offers hope of an accumulating and enduring benefit. Further research into mechanisms of Ω3 action and of combination treatment with other well-known interventions for mood disorders would be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-534
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology
Volume25
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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