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Omega supplementation helped premie sensory processing – RCT Dec 2017

Omega-3 and -6 fatty acid supplementation and sensory processing in toddlers with ASD symptomology born preterm: A randomized controlled trial

Early Human Development, Volume 115, December 2017, Pages 64–70, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2017.09.015
Kelly M. Boone a, , Kelly.Boone at NationwideChildrens.org, Barbara Gracious b, d, e, Mark A. Klebanoff c, f, g, h, Lynette K. Rogers c, f, Joseph Rausch a, f, Daniel L. Coury d, f, Sarah A. Keim a, f, g

VitaminDWiki Summary

Sensory processing in premies compared to mean

Auditory 0 %35 %
Vestibular13 %52 %
Tactile 3 %65 %
Oral 10 %74 %
Visual10 %84 %
Sensory processing quadrants: low registration3 %29 %
Sensation avoiding 3 %;61 %
Sensory sensitivity 3 %65 %
Sensation seeking10 %79 %

“ . . .not statistically significant (p = 0.13)” ?|

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•Treatment effects of DHA, EPA, and GLA supplementation on sensory processing in preterm toddlers exhibiting ASD symptoms were explored.
• Baseline ITSP scores reflected atypical sensory processing, with the majority of atypical scores falling below the mean.
• The magnitude of the treatment effect for improvement in sensory sensitivity was medium to large (effect size = .57).
• Improvements in sensory processing for children randomized to supplementation with omega-3 and -6 fatty acids including GLA are plausible.
• This intervention requires investigation in larger preterm samples to provide the necessary evidence for efficacy before it can be recommended.

Despite advances in the health and long-term survival of infants born preterm, they continue to face developmental challenges including higher risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and atypical sensory processing patterns.

This secondary analysis aimed to describe sensory profiles and explore effects of combined dietary docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) supplementation on parent-reported sensory processing in toddlers born preterm who were exhibiting ASD symptoms.

Study design: 90-day randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled trial.

Subjects: 31 children aged 18–38 months who were born at ≤ 29 weeks' gestation.

Outcome measure: Mixed effects regression analyses followed intent to treat and explored effects on parent-reported sensory processing measured by the Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile (ITSP).

Results: Baseline ITSP scores reflected atypical sensory processing, with the majority of atypical scores falling below the mean. Sensory processing sections: auditory (above = 0%, below = 65%), vestibular (above = 13%, below = 48%), tactile (above = 3%, below = 35%), oral sensory (above = 10%; below = 26%), visual (above = 10%, below = 16%); sensory processing quadrants: low registration (above = 3%; below = 71%), sensation avoiding (above = 3%; below = 39%), sensory sensitivity (above = 3%; below = 35%), and sensation seeking (above = 10%; below = 19%). Twenty-eight of 31 children randomized had complete outcome data. Although not statistically significant (p = 0.13), the magnitude of the effect for reduction in behaviors associated with sensory sensitivity was medium to large (effect size = 0.57). No other scales reflected a similar magnitude of effect size (range: 0.10 to 0.32).

Conclusions: The findings provide support for larger randomized trials of omega fatty acid supplementation for children at risk of sensory processing difficulties, especially those born preterm.

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