Amy Norton of Reuters reports:
Some parents swear by fish oil as a treatment for the “tics” caused by Tourette’s disorder, but so far the research evidence is slim.
In a small study of children with Tourette’s, researchers found that omega-3 fatty acids were no better than a placebo at reducing the severity of tics — the sudden, involuntary movements or vocalizations that mark Tourette’s.
On the other hand, children who took omega-3 did show an improvement in the degree to which their tics bothered them, researchers report in the journal Pediatrics.
A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Tourette’s Disorder
Vilma Gabbay, James S. Babb, Rachel G. Klein, Aviva M. Panzer, Yisrael Katz, Carmen M. Alonso, Eva Petkova, Jing Wang, and Barbara J. Coffey
Pediatrics peds.2011-3384; published ahead of print May 14, 2012, doi:10.1542/peds.2011-3384
Denis Campbell of the Guardian in the U.K. reports on a new study about the possible value of omega-3 in children with ADHD. Keep in mind, however, that this is just one study:
Children can learn better at school by taking omega-3 fish oil supplements which boost their concentration, scientists say.
Boys aged eight to 11 who were given doses once or twice a day of docosahexaenoic acid, an essential fatty acid known as DHA, showed big improvements in their performance during tasks involving attention.
Dr Robert McNamara, of the University of Cincinnati, who led the team of American researchers, said their findings could help pupils to study more effectively and potentially help to tackle both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression. The study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is important because a lack of DHA has been implicated in ADHD and other similar conditions, with poor maternal diet sometimes blamed for the child’s deficiency.
Read more in the Guardian.