Assistant Professor University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, Nebraska
Rationale: Neuroinflammation has been implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, including epilepsy. Lipid molecules are highly biologically active and different fatty acids have opposing actions, specifically on inflammation. Recommended omega 3 (n3) intakes for adults are 2 grams per day, with an Omega 6 (n6) to n3 ratio of 4:1. While minimum daily intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is 250 mg, experts believe at least 400 mg DHA per day is needed for patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Essential fatty acid (EFA) intakes and associations with seizure activity have rarely been explored in epileptic populations who live in Midwestern areas. Therefore, we explored if EFA intakes are associated with seizure severity in patients admitted to an epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU). Methods: Patients admitted to the EMU at Nebraska Medicine were prospectively enrolled. Subjects completed a validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) to assess total fat, n3, and n6. The cohort was separated into low seizure severity (Group 1) and high severity (Group 2). Descriptive statistics were calculated for all variables. Logistic regression including relevant confounders were used to determine if dietary intake predicted seizure severity. P-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: A total of 83 subjects were enrolled, mean n6 and n3 intakes were 16.2 (+11.4) and 1.8 (+1.4), respectively with an n6:n3 ratio of approximately 9:1. Mean DHA intake was 146.3 mg (+207) or 36.6% of the recommended intake for neurologic disorders. After adjusting for relevant confounders, there was a trend towards a significance protective effect of n3 on seizure severity (P=0.142, 95% CI: 0.113, 1.366). Furthermore, intake of n6 appears to increase the risk of severe seizure (P=0.119, 95% CI: 0.969, 1.312). Data suggest for every 1-unit increase in n3 intake, odds of a severe seizure decrease by 0.61 and for every 1-unit increase in n6 intake, odds of a severe seizure increase by 1.13. Conclusions: Even with low n3 and DHA intakes, regression modeling shows a protective effect of the anti-inflammatory compound. Further research on n3 and n6 EFAs and their derivatives are needed to form specific intake recommendations for patients with epilepsy. Funding: Please list any funding that was received in support of this abstract.: No funding was received in support of this abstract.