Omega-3 for Depression?

In a study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers found that the omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentataenoic acid) appears to boost mood in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who have high inflammation levels.

“The diversity of both symptoms and underlying variations of the progression of major depressive disorder confounds the development of targeted treatments for the disease,” says study author Mark Hyman Rapaport, principal investigator and Reunette W. Harris professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the School of Medicine. “The discovery of biomarkers that characterize subgroups of patients with MDD is critical to the understanding of its pathogenesis, and to the development of personalized therapies.”

In a randomized trial, EPA was found to be effective for a group of patients who had high levels of at least one of four markers of inflammation in their blood.

The authors call the finding a proof of concept for the idea that anti-inflammatory treatments can be effective in subgroups of patients with inflammation-driven depression.

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