Puri BK, Counsell SJ, Hamilton G, Richardson AJ, Horrobin DF. (2001) International Journal of Clinical Practice. 55(8) 560-3.
The n-3 essential fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) was added to the conventional antidepressant treatment of a treatment-resistant severely depressed and suicidal male patient with a seven-year history of unremitting depressive symptoms. The niacin skin flush test and cerebral magnetic resonance scanning were carried out at baseline and nine months later.
The addition of ethyl-EPA led to a dramatic and sustained clinical improvement in all the symptoms of depression, including a cessation of previously unremitting severe suicidal ideation, within one month. Symptoms of social phobia also improved dramatically.
During the nine-month period the volumetric niacin response increased by 30%, the relative concentration of cerebral phosphomonesters increased by 53%, and the ratio of cerebral phosphomonesters to phosphodiesters increased by 79%, indicating reduced neuronal phospholipid turnover. Registered difference images showed that the EPA treatment was accompanied by structural brain changes including, in particular, a reduction in the lateral ventricular volume.