FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:
This open-access systematic review summarises the latest evidence for the effects of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids for ADHD, autism and early-stage psychosis / schizophrenia.
While these conditions obviously have their differences, they also show notable overlaps in terms of both symptomatology and risk factors - both with each other, and also with other neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. Considering them together therefore makes sense, as does a possible role for relative deficiencies of omega-3 fatty acids in these conditions, as has been emphasised before:
As the authors of this new review emphasise, most randomized controlled trials in this area remain small (and thus lacking in 'statistical power') as well as of short duration. They also vary widely in the actual populations studied, formulations and dosages of fatty acids used, and the outcomes assessed, making it difficult to combine or compare findings in many cases.
The current evidence indicates some benefit from omega-3 for 'ADHD-type' symptoms. For autism and psychosis, findings are more limited and mixed, but include possible reductions in medications needed. The authors conclude that more large-scale trials are still needed, but that further research in these areas is well justified.
And for more research involving randomized controlled trials of 'fatty acids' for mood, behaviour or learning, see here