Nutrients (2019-04-01)

The Role of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) on Cognitive Functions in Psychiatric Disorders

  • Valentina Ciappolino,
  • Alessandra Mazzocchi,
  • Andrea Botturi,
  • Stefano Turolo,
  • Giuseppe Delvecchio,
  • Carlo Agostoni,
  • Paolo Brambilla

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 4
p. 769


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Cognitive impairment is strongly associated with functional outcomes in psychiatric patients. Involvement of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 LC-PUFA), in particular docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in brain functions is largely documented. DHA is incorporated into membrane phospholipids as structural component, especially in the central nervous system where it also has important functional effects. The aim of this review is to investigate the relationship between DHA and cognitive function in relation to mental disorders. Results from few randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the effects of DHA (alone or in combination) in psychotic, mood and neurodevelopmental disorders, respectively, suggest that no conclusive remarks can be drawn.