Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Cognition in VLBW Infants at 8 years: an RCT
OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that supplementation with the long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) to very low birth weight (VLBW) infants would improve long-term cognitive functions and influence neuroanatomical volumes and cerebral cortex measured by MRI.
METHODS: The current study is a follow-up of a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study of supplementation with high-dose DHA (0.86%) and AA (0.91%) to 129 VLBW infants fed human milk. Ninety-eight children participated at 8 years follow-up and completed a broad battery of cognitive tests. Eighty-one children had cerebral MRI scans of acceptable quality.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the intervention group and the control group on any of the cognitive measures. Equally, MRI data on segmental brain volumes and cerebral cortex volume, area, and thickness suggested no overall group effect.
CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first long-term follow-up of a randomized controlled trial with supplementation of DHA and AA to human milk fed VLBW infants investigating both cognitive functions and brain macrostructure measured by MRI. No cognitive or neuroanatomical effects of the supplementation were detected at 8 years of age.
- Accepted March 3, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics