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Docosahexaenoic Acid in the Treatment of Autism

2014-08-27 03:34:25 | BioPortfolio

Summary

The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that dietary supplementation with the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improves the behavior of children with autism.

Description

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disability with an increasing prevalence. Traditional medicine does not offer any cures for autism; thus, many parents of children with autism are attracted to complementary and alternative therapies, one of which is dietary supplementation with the long chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is a critical structural lipid of brain cell membranes and differences in brain DHA content may influence synaptic function, particularly in nutritionally-sensitive areas of the brain, such as the cerebellum and hippocampus, which may be brain structures involved in the etiology of autism. This study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating whether DHA supplementation is an effective treatment for children with autism. Eighty children with autism will be randomized to receive 200mg of DHA or placebo for 6 months. Outcome variables will include total plasma fatty acid patterns and scores on parent and investigator-completed behavioral and developmental rating scales at baseline and after 3 and 6 months of supplementation. Differences between groups after 6 months will be evaluated using regression methods. Regression analysis will be used to detect correlations between plasma total fatty acid DHA contents and scores on the various outcome measures. Results from this study will either provide evidence for a breakthrough biomedical treatment alternative for children with autism or evidenced-based advice to desperate parents in regard to their choices of potential treatments for their children with autism

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Conditions

Autistic Disorder

Intervention

docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), Placebo

Location

Mayo Clinic
Rochester
Minnesota
United States
55905

Status

Completed

Source

Mayo Clinic

Results (where available)

View Results

Links

Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:34:25-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A disorder beginning in childhood. It is marked by the presence of markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted repertoire of activity and interest. Manifestations of the disorder vary greatly depending on the developmental level and chronological age of the individual. (DSM-IV)

A childhood disorder predominately affecting boys and similar to autism (AUTISTIC DISORDER). It is characterized by severe, sustained, clinically significant impairment of social interaction, and restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. In contrast to autism, there are no clinically significant delays in language or cognitive development. (From DSM-IV)

Prostaglandin-like compounds produced by free radical-induced peroxidation of DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACIDS, which are highly enriched in the brain. Formation is analogous to ISOPROSTANES formation from ARACHIDONIC ACID.

An inherited neurological developmental disorder that is associated with X-LINKED INHERITANCE and may be lethal in utero to hemizygous males. The affected female is normal until the age of 6-25 months when progressive loss of voluntary control of hand movements and communication skills; ATAXIA; SEIZURES; autistic behavior; intermittent HYPERVENTILATION; and HYPERAMMONEMIA appear. (From Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p199)

The ability to attribute mental states (e.g., beliefs, desires, feelings, intentions, thoughts, etc.) to self and to others, allowing an individual to understand and infer behavior on the basis of the mental states. Difference or deficit in theory of mind is associated with ASPERGER SYNDROME; AUTISTIC DISORDER; and SCHIZOPHRENIA, etc.

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