Document Detail

Childrens' learning and behaviour and the association with cheek cell polyunsaturated fatty acid levels.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20172688     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Increasing interest in the role of omega-3 fatty acids in relation to neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. ADHD, dyslexia, autism) has occurred as a consequence of some international studies highlighting this link. In particular, some studies have shown that children with ADHD may have lower concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly omega-3, in their red blood cells and plasma, and that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may alleviate behavioural symptoms in this population. However, in order to compare levels it seems appropriate to establish fatty acid levels in a mainstream school aged population and if levels relate to learning and behaviour. To date no study has established this. For this study, cheek cell samples from 411 typically developing school children were collected and analysed for PUFA content, in order to establish the range in this population. In addition, measures of general classroom attention and behaviour were assessed in these children by teachers and parents. Cognitive performance tests were also administered in order to explore whether an association between behaviour and/or cognitive performance and PUFA levels exists. Relationships between PUFA levels and socio-economic status were also explored. Measures of reading, spelling and intelligence did not show any association with PUFA levels, but some associations were noted with the level of omega-3 fatty acids and teacher and parental reports of behaviour, with some evidence that higher omega-3 levels were associated with decreased levels of inattention, hyperactivity, emotional and conduct difficulties and increased levels of prosocial behaviour. These findings are discussed in relation to previous findings from omega-3 supplementation studies with children.
A Kirby; A Woodward; S Jackson; Y Wang; M A Crawford
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-02-20
Journal Detail:
Title:  Research in developmental disabilities     Volume:  31     ISSN:  1873-3379     ISO Abbreviation:  Res Dev Disabil     Publication Date:    2010 May-Jun
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-04-05     Completed Date:  2010-06-18     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8709782     Medline TA:  Res Dev Disabil     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  731-42     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The Dyscovery Centre, Allt-yr-yn Campus, University of Wales, Newport NP20 5DA, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Attention / drug effects
Child Behavior / drug effects*
Cognition / drug effects
Dietary Supplements
Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage,  pharmacokinetics*
Fatty Acids, Omega-6 / administration & dosage,  pharmacokinetics*
Intelligence Tests
Learning / drug effects*
Memory, Short-Term / drug effects
Mouth Mucosa / metabolism*
Social Behavior
Socioeconomic Factors
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fatty Acids, Omega-3; 0/Fatty Acids, Omega-6

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