Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty acids and risk of psychotic outcomes in the ALSPAC birth cohort

Andrew Thompson*, Hannah J Jones, Jon E Heron, J Hibblen, Sarah A Sullivan, Stanley Zammit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Background
Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels have been implicated in the pathology of psychotic disorders. We investigated the relationship between childhood PUFA levels and later psychotic experiences (PE's) in a large birth cohort.

Methods
Plasma levels of Ω-3 and Ω-6 fatty acids (FA's) were assayed at ages 7 and 16 years. PE's were assessed at ages 12 and 18 years using a semi-structured interview. Primary outcome was any PE's at 18 years; sensitivity analyses examined incident PE's between ages 12 and 18 years, persistent PE's (at 12 and 18) and psychotic disorder at 18 years. Genetic instruments for Ω-3 and Ω-6 were derived and used in a multivariable Mendelian Randomization analysis.

Results
Higher levels of Ω-6 FA's AA, OA and AdA at age 7 years were weakly associated with a reduced risk for PE's at 18 years, however, effect sizes were small and attenuated after adjusting for confounders (strongest evidence for OA; adjusted OR, 0.842; 95% CI, 0.711, 0.998; p, 0.048). Total Ω-6 levels at age 16 years were associated with an increased odds of psychotic disorder at age 18 years. However, there was no association between Ω-6/Ω-3 ratio and psychosis outcomes, nor with genetic instruments of total Ω-3 or Ω-6 levels.

Conclusions
There is no strong evidence that total plasma Ω-3 FA levels or Ω-6/Ω-3 ratios in childhood and mid-adolescence are associated with increased risk for PE's or psychotic disorder, but very marginal evidence that alterations in the Ω-6 pathway at developmental time points might influence risk2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume224 (2020)
Early online date14 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Oct 2020

Structured keywords

  • ALSPAC

Keywords

  • Psychotic experiences
  • Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid
  • Psychosis
  • Birth cohort
  • Risk factors

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