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Nutr Neurosci. 2016 May;19(4):145-55. doi: 10.1179/1476830514Y.0000000135. Epub 2016 Mar 2.

Effects of fish oil supplementation on prefrontal metabolite concentrations in adolescents with major depressive disorder: a preliminary 1H MRS study.

Author information

1
a Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, Center for Imaging Research, Division of Bipolar Disorders Research , University of Cincinnati College of Medicine , Cincinnati , OH , USA.
2
b Department of Pathology , University of Cincinnati , Cincinnati , OH , USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To use proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H MRS) to investigate the effects of fish oil (FO) supplementation on cortical metabolite concentrations in adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD).

METHODS:

Metabolite concentrations were determined by (1)H MRS in the anterior cingulate cortex and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of adolescents with MDD before and following 10-week open-label supplementation with low (2.4 g/day, n = 7) or high (16.2 g/day, n = 7) dose FO. Depressive symptom severity scores and erythrocyte fatty acid levels were also determined.

RESULTS:

Baseline erythrocyte eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) composition was positively correlated, and arachidonic acid (AA) and the AA/EPA ratio were inversely correlated, with choline (Cho) concentrations in the right DLPFC. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) composition was inversely correlated with myo-inositol (mI) concentrations in the left DLPFC. Erythrocyte EPA and DHA composition increased, and AA decreased, significantly following low-dose and high-dose FO supplementation. In the intent-to-treat sample, depressive symptom severity scores decreased significantly in the high-dose group (-40%, P < 0.0001) and there was a trend in the low-dose group (-20%, P = 0.06). There were no significant baseline-endpoint changes in metabolite levels in each voxel. In the low-dose group there were changes with large effect sizes, including a decrease in mI in the left DLPFC (-12%, P = 0.18, d = 0.8) and increases in glutamate + glutamine (Glx) (+12%, P = 0.19, d = 0.8) and Cho (+15%, P = 0.08, d = 1.2) in the right DLPFC. In the high-dose group, there was a trend for increases in Cho in the right DLPFC (+10%, P = 0.09, d = 1.2).

DISCUSSION:

These preliminary data suggest that increasing the LCn-3 fatty acid status of adolescent MDD patients is associated with subtle changes in Glx, mI, and Cho concentrations in the DLPFC that warrant further evaluation in a larger controlled trial.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent; Anterior cingulated cortex; Docosahexaenoic acid; Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; Major depressive disorder; Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy

PMID:
24915543
PMCID:
PMC5206765
DOI:
10.1179/1476830514Y.0000000135
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

R.J., T.R., P.T., W.-J.C., W.A.W., and J.A.W have no conflicts to declare.

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