Effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on cognitive functioning in youth at ultra-high risk for psychosis: secondary analysis of the NEURAPRO randomised controlled trial

Nicholas Cheng, Alison McLaverty, Barnaby Nelson, Connie Markulev, Miriam R Schäfer, Maximus Berger, Nilufar Mossaheb, Monika Schlögelhofer, Stefan Smesny, Ian B Hickie, Gregor E Berger, Eric Y H Chen, Lieuwe de Haan, Dorien H Nieman, Merete Nordentoft, Anita Riecher-Rössler, Swapna Verma, Rebekah Street, Andrew Thompson, Hok Pan YuenRobert Hester, Alison Ruth Yung, Patrick D McGorry, Kelly Allott, G Paul Amminger

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairments are well-established features of psychotic disorders and are present when individuals are at ultra-high risk for psychosis. However, few interventions target cognitive functioning in this population.

AIMS: To investigate whether omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) supplementation improves cognitive functioning among individuals at ultra-high risk for psychosis.

METHOD: Data (N = 225) from an international, multi-site, randomised controlled trial (NEURAPRO) were analysed. Participants were given omega-3 supplementation (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) or placebo over 6 months. Cognitive functioning was assessed with the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS). Mixed two-way analyses of variance were computed to compare the change in cognitive performance between omega-3 supplementation and placebo over 6 months. An additional biomarker analysis explored whether change in erythrocyte n-3 PUFA levels predicted change in cognitive performance.

RESULTS: The placebo group showed a modest greater improvement over time than the omega-3 supplementation group for motor speed (ηp2 = 0.09) and BACS composite score (ηp2 = 0.21). After repeating the analyses without individuals who transitioned, motor speed was no longer significant (ηp2 = 0.02), but the composite score remained significant (ηp2 = 0.02). Change in erythrocyte n-3 PUFA levels did not predict change in cognitive performance over 6 months.

CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence to support the use of omega-3 supplementation to improve cognitive functioning in ultra-high risk individuals. The biomarker analysis suggests that this finding is unlikely to be attributed to poor adherence or consumption of non-trial n-3 PUFAs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere165
JournalBJPsych Open
Volume8
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)e165
ISSN2056-4724
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • clinical high risk
  • early intervention
  • psychotic disorders
  • randomised controlled trial

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on cognitive functioning in youth at ultra-high risk for psychosis: secondary analysis of the NEURAPRO randomised controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this