University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are Related to Abnormal Emotion Processing in Adolescent Boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Gow, R.V., Sumich, A., Vallee-Tourangeau, F., Crawford, M.A., Ghebremeskel, K., Bueno, Allain ORCID:, Hibbeln, J.R., Taylor, E., Wilson, D.A. and Rubia, K. (2013) Omega-3 Fatty Acids are Related to Abnormal Emotion Processing in Adolescent Boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes & Essential Fatty Acids (PLEFA), 88 (6). pp. 419-429. ISSN 0952-3278

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In addition to the core symptoms, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with poor emotion regulation. There is some evidence that children and young adults with ADHD have lower omega-3 levels and that supplementation with omega-3 can improve both ADHD and affective symptoms. We therefore investigated differences between ADHD and non-ADHD children in omega-3/6 fatty acid plasma levels and the relationship between those indices and emotion-elicited event-related potentials (ERPs).


Children/adolescents with (n=31) and without ADHD (n=32) were compared in their plasma omega-3/6 indices and corresponding ERPs during an emotion processing task.


Children with ADHD had lower mean omega-3/6 and ERP abnormalities in emotion processing, independent of emotional valence relative to control children. ERP abnormalities were significantly associated with lower omega-3 levels in the ADHD group.


The findings reveal for the first time that lower omega-3 fatty acids are associated with impaired emotion processing in ADHD children.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Omega-3 fatty acids, event-related potentials, emotion processing, ADHD
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
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Depositing User: Tanya Buchanan
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2016 10:37
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:12

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