Australian researchers have discovered that fish oil pills could prevent schizophrenia among teenagers who are at risk of developing psychosis. The paper was published in the journal Nature Communications.
The research team led by G. Paul Amminger from the University of Melbourne has analyzed the effect that the fatty acid omega-3 has on a group of participants that were prone to develop psychosis. The participants had ages between 12 and 25. Omega-3 fatty acids were proved to prevent ADHD and enhance the efficiency of antidepressants.
In the first stage of the study the researchers conducted a clinical trial that lasted 12 weeks. The participants were divided in a group that took fish oil and a placebo group. After 12 weeks it was observed that only five percent of the members in the oil fish group showed symptoms of psychosis, whereas in the placebo group 27.5 of the participants developed psychosis.
Next the participants were followed for seven years. 41 of the same participants who took part in the 12-week clinical trial were given a dose of omega-3 fatty acids every day while 40 of the participants received a placebo treatment. After seven years have passed the results were even clearer. The findings indicate that only ten percent of the fish oil group developed schizophrenia or other similar conditions, whereas 40 percent of the placebo group developed such conditions.
All in all 53 percent of the participants who received fish oil suffered from mental health disorder and 83 percent participants of the placebo group suffered from mental health disorder. Besides this researchers also looked at symptoms of anxiety disorder among the fish oil group. No major differences were found between the oil fish group and the placebo group regarding mood disorders and anxiety. The scientists also discovered that the treatment group group showed no signs of eating disorders and it was less likely to consume Cannabis.
Professor Amminger is hopeful that this study could lead to new treatments for psychotic disorder. He declared:
Schizophrenia is a major cause of disability, but early treatment has been linked to better outcomes. Our study gives hope that there may be alternatives to antipsychotic medication.”
Image Source: abc.net.au