Food and Behaviour Research

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Benefit of docosahexaenoic acid supplements to dark adaptation in dyslexics

Stordy, B.J. (1995) Lancet  346(8971) 385 

Web URL: The PubMed reference can be viewed here


Letter - no abstract is available


This report describes a small study in which visual 'dark adaptation' was initially found to be poorer in dyslexic than non-dyslexic adults, but normalised following dietary supplementation with fish oils.

The conclusion drawn was that treatment with DHA could be of benefit in dyslexia, and acknowledgement was given of the author's interest in a patent to this effect.

The results are described in subsequent publications that can be viewed here:


This was an 'open' study (i.e. there was no placebo treatment), so expectations or other possible sources of bias cannot be ruled out in explaining the results observed. Nonetheless, as an initial investigation this study served a worthwhile purpose, given the importance of omega-3 fatty acids (and particularly DHA) to many aspects of vision.

A subsequent study, also published in the Lancet, found no evidence of impaired dark adaptation in dyslexia.

This initial report by Stordy also helped to stimulate other research, including randomised controlled trials of fatty acid treatment in dyslexia, some of which have shown benefits in other areas. See for example