A 16-week randomized placebo-controlled trial investigating the effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid treatment on white matter microstructure in recent-onset psychosis patients concurrently treated with risperidone.
Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2020 Nov 4 ;307:111219. Epub 2020 Nov 4. PMID: 33221631
Amanda E Lyall
We examined the impact of treatment with fish oil (FO), a rich source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), on white matter in 37 recent-onset psychosis patients receiving risperidone in a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial. Patients were scanned at baseline and randomly assigned to receive 16-weeks of treatment with risperidone + FO or risperidone + placebo. Eighteen patients received follow-up MRIs (FO, n = 10/Placebo, n = 8). Erythrocyte levels of n-3 PUFAs eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) were obtained at both time points. We employed Free Water Imaging metrics representing the extracellular free water fraction (FW) and fractional anisotropy of the tissue (FA-t). Analyses were conducted using Tract-Based-Spatial-Statistics and nonparametric permutation-based tests with family-wise error correction. There were significant positive correlations of FA-t with DHA and DPA among all patients at baseline. Patients treated with risperidone+ placebo demonstrated reductions in FA-t and increases in FW, whereas patients treated with risperidone + FO exhibited no significant changes in FW and FA-t reductions were largely attenuated. The correlations of DPA and DHA with baseline FA-t support the hypothesis that n-3 PUFA intake or biosynthesis are associated with white matter abnormalities in psychosis. Adjuvant FO treatment may partially mitigate against white matter alterations observed in recent-onset psychosis patients following risperidone treatment.