For years I’ve been doing genetic testing and counseling patients whenever risk factors show up for psychosis. Now, one of the treatments I’ve been using, Omega-3, is starting to prove itself as a real treatment option.Five years ago, scientists in Vienna started studying the benefit of Omega-3 in patients who were showing the early warning signs for psychosis. Their original results were promising; but to know if the treatment really worked, they would have to observe the patients over time.
Now, five years later, they have published the 6-year outcome data of their treatment protocol in the journal, Nature. The results were very impressive: only 4 out 41 (9.8%) of the Omega-3 group progressed to psychosis while 16 out out of 41 (40%) in the placebo group progressed to psychosis. Additionally, almost twice as many patients in the placebo group ended up taking some sort of medication. Finally, the Omega-3 group had a better quality of life at 6 years. If you’re interested in reading the article but are a bit intimidated by all the stats, I recommend you just jump to the Discussion which summarizes the whole paper.
I’m a big fan of the Recovery Movement in schizophrenia, and the results of this study are making me more optimistic that my patients will have better outcomes in the future.