Low-Dose Fish Oil Cuts Seizures in Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

(HealthDay News) — For patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, low-dose fish oil can reduce seizures compared with placebo, according to a study published online September 8 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Christopher M. DeGiorgio, MD, from the UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a randomized placebo-controlled crossover trial of low-dose and high-dose fish oil vs. placebo in 24 patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. A three-period crossover design was used, with three 10-week treatment periods and two six-week washout periods. Participants were randomized to receive different sequences of placebo and high-dose and low-dose fish oil.

The researchers found that there was a 33.6% reduction in seizure frequency with low-dose fish oil (three capsules/day; 1,080mg eicosapentaenoic acid+docosahexaenoic acid) vs. placebo. A mild but significant reduction in blood pressure was seen with low-dose fish oil. There was no difference for high-dose fish oil compared with placebo with respect to reducing seizures or improving cardiac risk factors.

“The results indicate that low-dose fish oil may reduce seizures and improve the health of people with epilepsy,” the authors write. “These findings justify a large multicenter randomized trial of low-dose fish oil (n-3 fatty acids <1,080mg/day) in drug resistant epilepsy.”

One author is a part-time employee of NeuroSigma, which develops devices for epilepsy and other disorders.

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