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Study into fish oils and psychiatric disorders

Fish oils and, in particular, Omega 3 fatty acids have long since been considered beneficial to health.  The effectiveness of Omega 3 for treating Psychiatric symptoms is now being studied by researchers at Zucker Hillside Hospital’s Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Programme.  RAP has worked with teenagers at risk of serious mental illness for the past ten years. 

This study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.  It is a randomised double-blind trial to test whether Omega 3 fatty acids improve clinical symptoms.  The researchers aims to see if Omega 3 could help adolescents and young adults, aged between 12 and 25, function better in school, work and other social situations.  This age group is at an elevated risk for severe psychiatric disorders, the researchers believe.

Barbara Cornblatt, Ph.D., director of the Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Programme, said ‘Of the 300 adolescents who have participated in the RAP Programme, most have shown substantial improvement.  If this study continues to show success, Omega 3 could offer a natural alternative to the range of medications and therapies now offered to RAP participants.  Ultimately, the goal of the RAP Programme is to intervene and prevent illness before symptoms get worse.’

There has been increasing numbers of studies into the potential treatments for medical and psychiatric disorders due to the fact that Omega 3 fatty acids are vital for normal brain function.  The RAP Programme study will assign participants to either Omega 3 supplements or to a placebo.  This will be done randomly and researchers will then compare the groups on key measures of symptoms and functioning after six months.

Feb 13