Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation to prevent seizure in patients with refractory epilepsy

The omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) play a pivotal role in physiological processes that govern normal and optimal neuronal, and cardio-and cerebro-vascular functions. In addition, they have been shown to ameliorate certain neurological and cardiological abnormalities. Moreover, there are indications that lipids could help reduce drug-induced toxicity and improve the efficacy of an active compound (ingredient) if given as an adjunct to drug therapy. Consequently, it has been postulated that omega-3 fatty acids will benefit patients with epilepsy by reducing seizures (frequency and severity) and seizure-associated cardiac arrhythmia and sudden unexpected death and by modulating psychological/psychiatric manifestations of the disorder. As there are indications of a link between seizures and the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, epileptic patients may also benefit from the anti-inflammatory function of omega-3 fatty acids.

The aim of the study is to investigate the therapeutic potential of omega-3 fatty acids for prevention of seizures and morbidities in patients with refractory (intractable) epilepsy.

The study is being carried out in collaboration with the University of Khartoum Hospital, Khartoum, Sudan (Professor Mustafa Idrin Elbashir, Professor Ammar Eltahit M. Ahmed).

The study is registered with Current Controlled Trials (registration number ISRCTN57643242).

Published papers
  • Ibrahim FAS, Ghebremeskel K, Abdel-Rahman ME, Ahmed AAM, Mohmed IM, Osman G,  Elseed M, Hamed A, Rabinowicz AL, Salih MAM, Elbashir MI, Daak AA (2018), The differential effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on seizure frequency in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy – A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Epilepsy Behav. 28;87:32-38. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2018.08.016.