Study on polyunsaturated fatty acids and autism

The following study was published in the Clin Biochem Epub in Spetember of 2008

Role of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the management of Egyptian children with autism
Department of Research on Children with Special Needs, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt
Meguid NA, Atta HM, Gouda AS, Khalil RO

OBJECTIVE: Estimation of free polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in blood and evaluation of behavior of autistic children before and after taking fish oil (Efalex) were performed.

DESIGN AND METHODS: 30 autistic children (18 males and 12 females) aged 3-11 years and 30 healthy children as control group were included in this study. Tandem mass spectrometry and CARS were used to estimate the free PUFAs from dried blood spot and to evaluate the autistic behavior respectively.

RESULTS: Before taking Efalex, linolenic acid showed a significant reduction (71%), followed by docosahexaenoic acid (65%) and arachidonic acid (45%), while linoleic acid was the least affected PUFA (32%). After taking Efalex, 66% of autistic children showed clinical and biochemical improvement, linolenic acid and docosahexaenoic acid showed the highest levels after Efalex supplementation.

CONCLUSION: PUFA supplementation may play an important role in ameliorating the autistic behavior.