TitleDocosahexaenoic acid biostatus is associated with event-related functional connectivity in cortical attention networks of typically developing children.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsAlmeida, DM, Jandacek, RJ, Weber, WA, McNamara, RK
JournalNutr Neurosci
Date Published2017 May
KeywordsAttention, Cerebral Cortex, Child, Child Development, Cross-Sectional Studies, Docosahexaenoic Acids, Gyrus Cinguli, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Parietal Lobe, Reaction Time

<p><b>OBJECTIVE: </b>Although extant preclinical evidence suggests that the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is important for neurodevelopment, little is known about its role in human cortical structural and functional maturation. In the present cross-sectional study, we investigated the relationship between DHA biostatus and functional connectivity in cortical attention networks of typically developing children.</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>Male children (aged 8-10 years, n = 36) were divided into 'low-DHA' (n = 18) and 'high-DHA' (n = 18) biostatus groups by a median split of erythrocyte DHA levels. Event-related functional connectivity during the performance of a sustained attention task (identical pairs continuous performance task (CPT-IP)) was conducted using functional magnetic resonance imaging. A voxelwise approach used the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as the seed-region.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>Erythrocyte DHA composition in the low-DHA group (2.6 ± 0.9%) was significantly lower than the high-DHA group (4.1 ± 1.1%, P ≤ 0.0001). Fish intake frequency was greater in the high-DHA group (P = 0.003) and was positively correlated with DHA levels among all subjects. The low-DHA group exhibited reduced functional connectivity between the ACC and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, insula, precuneus, superior parietal lobule, middle occipital gyrus, inferior temporal gyrus, and lingual gyrus compared with the high-DHA group (P < 0.05; corrected). The low-DHA group did not exhibit greater ACC functional connectivity with any region compared with the high-DHA group. On the CPT-IP task, the low-DHA group had slower reaction time (P = 0.03) which was inversely correlated with erythrocyte DHA among all subjects.</p><p><b>DISCUSSION: </b>These data suggest that low-DHA biostatus is associated with reduced event-related functional connectivity in cortical attention networks of typically developing children.</p>

Alternate JournalNutr Neurosci
PubMed ID26463682
Grant ListUL1 TR001425 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States