The prevalence rate of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) within Western cultures is between 5% and 12%, and is the most common psychiatric illness among school-aged children, with an estimated 50% of these children retaining ADHD symptoms for the rest of their lives. Children with ADHD have lower blood levels of long-chain Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (LC PUFAs) compared with children without ADHD, and following PUFA supplementation, have shown improvements in ADHD-related symptoms. One highly promising marine based LC PUFA preparation is the Omega-3-rich Lyprinol/Omega XL which is a natural formulation containing standardised lipid extract of the New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) known as PCSO-524® which contains a unique combination of free fatty acids, sterol esters, polar lipids and carotenoids. It is this unique combination of marine lipids that may assist in correcting the decreased levels of LC PUFA levels in children with symptoms of ADHD. The compound is a mixture belonging to a lipid group called sterol esters (SE). The fatty acids in the SE fraction are mainly myristic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Lyprinol/Omega XL has previously been shown to contain a potent group of Omega-3 lipids that block the 5 - lipoxygenase metabolic pathway responsible for inflammation in the body.
A randomized double blind placebo controlled trial will be utilized to assess the effects of 14 weeks administration of Lyprinol/Omega XL versus placebo in 150 children aged 6 to 14 years with high levels of hyperactivity and inattention. Additionally, a range of cognitive, mood and central electrophysiological measures will be undertaken during the 14 week supplementation trial. The primary outcome measure, the Conners’ Parent Rating Scales will be completed initially at baseline, then in weeks 4, 8, 10, 14 and then again at 4 weeks post-administration (week 18). The results will contribute to our understanding of the efficacy of marine based Omega-3 s with high anti-inflammatory actions on inattention and hyperactivity in children aged 6 to 14 years.