A number of research studies have reported abnormal plasma fatty acid profiles in children with ADHD along with some benefit of n-3 to symptoms of ADHD. However, it is currently unclear whether (lower) long chain-polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) are related to ADHD pathology or to associated behaviours.

The aim of this study was to test whether
(1) ADHD children have abnormal plasma LC-PUFA levels and
(2) ADHD symptoms and associated behaviours are correlated with LC-PUFA levels.

Seventy-two, male children with (n=29) and without a clinical diagnosis of ADHD (n=43) were compared in their plasma levels of LC-PUFA. Plasma DHA was higher in the control group prior to statistical correction. Callous-unemotional (CU) traits were found to be significantly negatively related to both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and total omega-3 in the ADHD group.

The findings unveil for the first time that CU and anti-social traits in ADHD are associated with lower omega-3 levels.