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Neuroimaging, omega-3, and reward in adults with ADHD: Preliminary results; Blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and symptoms of ADHD

Friday, September 16, 2016 — Poster Session IV

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • SE Haven
  • RV Gow
  • SF Majchrzak-Hong
  • JD Loewke
  • YH Lin
  • R Momenan
  • JR Hibbeln


A meta-analysis by Bloch and Qawasmi (2011) of ten clinical trials demonstrated that supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce symptoms of ADHD in children. The current study seeks to determine if efficacy extends to adults with ADHD. Critically, we are also using a neuroimaging task, the Monetary Incentive Delay Task, to evaluate if omega-3 fatty acids improve dopamine mediated reward responses. Thirty-five people with ADHD aged 18-55 have been assessed using the Conners’ Adult ADHD Rating Scales Self Report Long Version to measure ADHD symptom severity. On the same day, blood samples were obtained and subsequently analyzed by gas chromatograph-flame ionization detection (GC-FID) to quantify omega-3 fatty acids levels at baseline. We expect to see a negative correlational relationship between higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and fewer symptoms of ADHD at baseline. After baseline, participants have been randomized to begin supplementation of 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids or placebo per day for four months. Data collection for this study will be complete at the end of 2016 and then the randomization code will be broken. At that time, we will have a more complete data set to evaluate the potential efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids in the reduction of ADHD symptoms in adults and evaluate the role of omega-3 fatty acids in improving dopamine mediated reward functioning in the brain as measured by BOLD fMRI. Data to be presented here will examine relationships between omega-3 fatty acids and participant characteristics at baseline.

Category: Social and Behavioral Sciences