Omega 3 improves memory in patients of schizophrenia with Metabolic syndrome
China: Omega-3 fatty acids have beneficial effects on cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia and metabolic syndrome (MetS), a recent study in the Brain, Behavior, and Immunity has found.
Previous studies have shown metabolic abnormalities to be associated with reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and deteriorated cognitive performance in schizophrenia patients. Inflammation may play a key role in this process and omega-3 fatty acids have been documented to ameliorate inflammation. Therefore, Wei Tang, The Affiliated Kangning Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Zhejiang, China, and colleagues hypothesized that omega-3 fatty acids may be of value in enhancing BDNF levels and improving cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia with metabolic syndrome.
The researchers recruited 80 patients with both schizophrenia and MetS who received long-term olanzapine monotherapy. The plasma levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) were measured through the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
The patients were randomly assigned to the OMG-3 group (n = 40) or the placebo group (n = 40). Of the 80 patients who consented to the study, 72 completed this 12-week RCT. The primary outcome was the changes from baseline to 12 weeks in clinical characteristics and the levels of BDNF, CRP, IL-6, and TNF-α.
Key findings of the study include:
- There was a significant correlation between omega-3 fatty acid treatment and enhanced delayed memory factor in the RBANS assessment when the patients completed this study.
- Along with cognitive improvement, omega-3 fatty acids enhanced BDNF and reduced CRP, IL-6 and TNF-α levels after 12 weeks of treatment.
- The changes in BDNF levels are negatively correlated with the changes in TNF-α levels but not with the changes in CRP and IL-6 levels.
"Our findings provide suggestive evidence that omega-3 fatty acids have beneficial effects on cognitive function in patients with MetS, which is paralleled by enhanced BDNF levels," concluded the authors.
The study, "Omega-3 fatty acids ameliorate cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia patients with metabolic syndrome," is published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.