Polyunsaturated fatty acids, cognition and literacy in children with ADHD with and without learning difficulties

Milte, Catherine M. and Sinn, Natalie and Buckley, Jonathan D. and Coates, Alison M. and Young, Ross M. and Howe, Peter R. C. (2011) Polyunsaturated fatty acids, cognition and literacy in children with ADHD with and without learning difficulties. Journal of Child Health Care, 15 (4). pp. 299-311. ISSN 1367-4935

Abstract

Suboptimal omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) levels may contribute to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related developmental problems. Associations between n-3 and omega-6 (n-6) PUFA levels in red blood cells (erythrocytes) and learning and behaviour were investigated in 75 children aged 7-12 with ADHD. Children provided blood samples and underwent cognitive assessments. Parents completed questionnaires and Conners' Rating Scales. Controlling for covariates, higher n-3 PUFA predicted lower anxiety/shyness (β = -.27), higher docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) better word reading (β =.22), and higher n-6 PUFA poorer reading (β = -.34), vocabulary (β =.-.26), spelling (β = -.30) and attention (β = -.30). Thirty-six per cent of the sample with learning difficulties had lower DHA than those without (M = 3.26 ± 0.54 vs M=3.68 ± 0.76, p = .02). This study is the first to compare erythrocyte PUFAs (a measure of PUFA status) in children who have ADHD with and without learning difficulties, and supports emerging indications that the former may be more likely responders to n-3 PUFAs.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2017 04:09
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 06:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: Child and adolescent mental health; Child learning and behaviour; Nutrition; Omega-3 fatty acids;
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics > 111103 Nutritional Physiology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1177/1367493511403953
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/31604

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