Expired Study
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San Francisco, California 94143


Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most commonly used CAM (Complementary Alternative Medical) therapies, and have been reported to be currently used by 28.7% of children with autism. Two published case series noted that families reported large improvements in the core feature of autism when children were given omega-3 fatty acids. Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been noted in children with autism, which suggests normalizing the omega-3 fatty acid levels could produce improvements in the symptoms seen in many children with autism. This study is a 12-week randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial for 24 male and female children aged 3 to 8 years with autism. Patients who are currently using omega-3 would need to discontinue omega-3 fatty acids for 8 weeks before they are able to participate in the study. All study participants who meet all inclusion and no exclusion criteria at the initial screening visit and sign the consent form will then complete baseline assessments of the outcome measures (validated instruments of hyperactivity, communication, social interaction, and behavior) and be randomly assigned to 12 weeks of omega-3 fatty acids at a dose of 1 gm per day or an identical placebo. The child's behavior will be measured and evaluated at the MIND Institute at the beginning of the study and at study closing. All study families will come in for a follow-up visit at weeks 4 and 8 to assess medication compliance and side effects to study medication. After 12 weeks of treatment, all outcome measures including laboratory tests and side effect profiles will be repeated. All patients who complete the study will receive a 12-week supply of omega-3. This would also provide patients who were on placebo with active medication. No follow-up visits are needed once the patient finishes the double-blind portion of the study.

Study summary:

Clinical measures will be used to assess diagnosis and efficacy. All clinical assessments will take place at the M.I.N.D. Institute. Baseline and termination measures will include the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III), Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT), Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC), and Clinical Global Impression Improvement (CGI-I). The, the Wechsler Preschool Primary Scale of Intelligence - Revised (WPPSI-R), the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) or the Stanford-Binet will be administered to measure IQ.


Inclusion Criteria: - Diagnosis of autism as defined by DSM-IV TR and scores above the cutoff on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (ADOS) and the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) - Age three to eight years - Non-verbal IQ of 50 or above - Children on a stable medical regimen for the past 2 months and no plans to change medical therapy for the study period Exclusion Criteria: - Individuals with allergy or hypersensitivity to fish or nuts - Diabetes - Bleeding disorder, current use of anticoagulant or anti-platelet therapy, or recent surgery - Clinical evidence of seizure disorder - Cancer - Fragile X or other known genetic cause of autism - Perinatal brain injury - Evidence for malnutrition seen in abnormal albumin level - Other serious medical illness - Current use of omega-3 fatty acids



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Stephen Bent, MD
University of California, San Francisco

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

San Francisco, California 94143
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: October 09, 2019

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