Omega-3 Fatty Acids Monotherapy in Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Conditions:Neurology, Psychiatric, Autism
Therapuetic Areas:Neurology, Psychiatry / Psychology
Age Range:6 - 17
Start Date:November 2009
End Date:April 2013

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The primary aim of this study is to examine the efficacy and tolerability of short-term
omega-3 fatty acids monotherapy in youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The
investigators hypothesize that Omega-3 fatty acids will be efficacious in improving the core
and associated features of ASD in youth, and that Omega-3 fatty acids monotherapy will be
safe and well tolerated by youth with ASD. The secondary aim of this study is to examine the
neuropsychological effect of Omega-3 fatty acids monotherapy in youth with ASD. The
investigators hypothesize that omega-3 fatty acids will be efficacious in improving cognitive
functions in youth with ASD.


1. Male or female participants between 6 and 17 years of age, inclusive.

2. Fulfills diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders by meeting DSM-IV-TR PDD diagnostic
criteria of autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder, or PDD-NOS as established by
clinical interview assisted by MGH PDD Symptom Checklist.

3. Participants with at least moderate symptom severity of ASD as reflected by SRS score
≥ 85 and CGI-PDD severity score of ≥ 4 (moderately ill).

4. Subjects must be psychotropic drug-free for a minimum of four weeks prior to the
baseline visit.

5. Subjects with mood, anxiety, or disruptive behavior disorders will be allowed to
participate in the study provided they do not meet any exclusionary criteria.


1. I.Q. < 85.

2. DSM-IV-TR PDD diagnoses of Rett's disorder, and childhood disintegrative disorder.

3. Current diagnosis of a psychotic disorder or unstable mood or anxiety disorders as
determined by the clinician.

4. Subject with marked severity of symptoms as suggested by the score of ≥ 5 (markedly
ill) on CGI severity subscale for respective comorbid psychiatric disorders.

5. Clinically unstable psychiatric condition judged to be at a serious risk to self or
others as determined by the clinician.

6. History of substance use (except nicotine or caffeine) within past 3 months,
determined to be clinically significant by clinician.

7. Urine drug screen positive for substances of abuse.

8. Non-febrile seizures without a clear and resolved etiology in last month.

9. Subjects with a medical condition or treatment that will either jeopardize subject
safety or affect the scientific merit of the study, including:

1. Pregnant or nursing females;

2. Organic brain disorders;

3. Uncorrected hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, as determined by study clinician;

4. Untreated and/or unstable diabetes;

5. Subjects with a clinically significant abnormality according to cardiology
consultation (ECGs with clinically concerning intervals including PR, QTC, QRS,
will be reviewed by cardiology).

6. History of renal or hepatic impairment determined to be clinically significant by

10. Serious, unstable systemic illness including hepatic, renal, gastroenterological,
respiratory, cardiovascular (including ischemic heart disease), endocrinologic,
neurologic, immunologic, or hematologic disease, as determined by clinician.

11. Any other concomitant medication with primary central nervous system activity other
than specified in the Concomitant Medication section of the protocol.

12. Subjects who have difficulty swallowing pills.

13. History of known allergy to Omega-3 fatty acids, multiple drug allergies, or severe

14. A non-responder of, or history of intolerance to Omega-3 fatty acids, after treatment
at an adequate dose and duration as determined by the clinician.
We found this trial at
185 Cambridge Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02114
Boston, MA
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