Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder characterised by difficulty in controlling impulses and temper, sitting still, waiting, or being attentive for more than short periods at a time. There are various kinds of ADHD with varying degrees of attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Swedish researchers have recently identified that supplementation with omega 3 and 6 can improve problem behaviour in children with a certain kind of ADHD. They also found that a special cognitive training programme can be useful in children with ADHD.
The researchers conducted a double-blind study to examine the effect of omega 3 and 6 supplementation, a cognitive training programme called Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS), and the combination of CPS and stimulants in the treatment of ADHD and its subtypes. The results of the study were presented as a dissertation at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
In the first part of the study, 75 children and adolescents with ADHD were either given the fatty acids omega 3 and 6 or a placebo over three months. Post this period, all the study participants were given omega 3 and 6 for an additional three months.
The researchers did not observe any major improvements in the study group as a whole, but recorded significant improvement in 35 percent of the participants suffering from the inattentive subtype of ADHD called ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).
In the second part of the study, the researchers administered a special cognitive training to 17 children and their families for a period of 10 weeks. They observed a large or very large improvement of the behavioural problems in half the participants. Among the participants displaying improvement, the researchers observed a better balance of the two fatty acids when the serum levels were measured.
In patients with severe ADHD who did not improve after the CPS training, the researchers added stimulants to the treatment regimen. When these patients were followed-up 6 months later, 81 percent of all of the participating families experienced a large or very large improvement.
Nearly 3% to 6% of all school-aged children have ADHD problems. The present study suggests supplementation with omega fatty acids or a special cognitive training to help improve the typical manifestations of ADHD in children and adolescents. However, large scale studies are needed to back this positive data.
The study link -