Multiple sclerosis is the most common chronic disabling disease in the central nervous system in young to middle aged adults. Depression is common in multiple sclerosis (MS) affecting between 50-60% of patients. Pilot studies in unipolar depression report an improvement in depression when omega-3 fatty acids are given with antidepressants. The objective of this study was to investigate whether omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, as an augmentation therapy, improves treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD) in people with MS. We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of omega-3 fatty acids at six grams per day over three months. The primary outcome was a 50% or greater improvement on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Thirty-nine participants were randomized and thirty-one completed the 3-month intervention. Improvement on MADRS between groups was not significantly different at the 3-month end point with 47.4%in the omega-3 fatty acid group and 45.5%in the placebo group showing 50% or greater improvement (p = 0.30). Omega-3 fatty acids as an augmentation therapy for treatment-resistant depression in MS was not significantly different than placebo in this pilot trial. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation at the dose given was well-tolerated over 3 months.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)