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Fish oil to fight depression?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunnybrook brain scientist Dr. Krista Lanctôt and research colleagues are exploring the effects of Omega-3 fatty acids on depressed patients suffering from Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).

This research is funded by the Ontario Mental Health Foundation and now these senior scientists are able to help a new generation of researchers receive innovative training and mentoring in the area, thanks to a six-year, $1.8 million Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research in Neurodegenerative Lipidomics.

"The goal of our research is to optimize the pharmacotherapy of neurodegenerative disorders, so we're really excited about lipidomics because we think that it can help us answer several of the questions that have been plaguing us in depression research," says Dr. Lanctôt.

"We have a lot of problems with the heterogeneity of the disease, and we think that lipidomics can help us to solve them. We also need to be able to predict who will respond to treatments and have biomarkers for the people who are going to respond."

The lipid profile of a CAD patient may be an important predictor of treatment response to omega-3 fatty acids and their ability to reduce depressive symptoms as well as a key indicator of depressive symptoms in CAD patients.

If so, therapeutic treatments could be developed to target specific lipids to enhance their mechanisms of action to reduce depression in these patients.

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