A Placebo controlled, randomized study of PUFA (Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids) as treatment for neurodevelopmental problems in 7-year-old children and cognitive performance in relation to an age-matched control group
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OBJECTIVE: The goal of the present randomized placebo controlled double-blind study was to investigate the potential effect of PUFA supplementation on cognitive and behavioural performance in children with neurodevelopmental problems at 7 years of age (n = 28) and to compare findings with an age matched healthy control group (n = 20).
METHODS: Children were screened with parent and teacher rating scales (Conner’s and SNAP-IV), and were included if they showed a range of neurodevelopmental problems that reached ADHD criteria. The group with neurodevelopmental difficulties was randomized to treatment with an EPA rich formula (n = 13) or to placebo (n = 15). Cognitive performance was determined at baseline and after 15 weeks of supplementation with a cognitive test battery including executive function and theory of mind tasks.
RESULTS: Children with neurodevelopmental problems differed from the control group regarding working memory, inhibition and language ability, but not on an advanced theory of mind task. Regarding the treatment with EPA supplement there were no significant advantages in the active treatment group compared to placebo in any of the cognitive measures or in parents or teacher rating scales.
CONCLUSION: The significant differences in cognitive performance and rating scales between the group with neurodevelopmental problems and the healthy control group at baseline indicate problems at a clinical level and suitability for treatment. However we found no significant effects of PUFA supplementation. The study is small and limited by a number of drop-outs.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-68080OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-68080DiVA: diva2:416085