“I’m gonna eat you little fishy, I’m gonna eat you little fishy… Meeeooow!”
I have been told that I am a lookalike to Danny John-Jules, specifically having character traits to that of the character “Cat” he plays in the TV series RedDwarf; who at times displays ADDer traits. The above quote from the Cat, seemed like the perfect tangential way to start this post.
The other day I started my participant role in the OCEAN research project, headed by Ruth Cooper and Prof. Philip Asherson, at the Institute of Psychiatry. The research is looking into the possible benefits of Omega Oils for ADDer adults on the negative aspects of the neurodevelopmental condition. Research has previously been conducted into the benefits of Omega oils related to ADHD, but the research specifically focused on children below the age of 12 [1, 2], diagnosed as “mini ADDers”, (this is not a medical term, and should definitely not be confused with the term minichedders).
With a personal and professional interest in the subject, I volunteered as a participant. Having read articles and heard many specialists suggesting foods rich in omega oils have neurological benefits [3–7], getting firsthand evidence of the possible benefits for adults, would be good news for myself and others; however it would be bad news for oily fish.
Prescribed methylphenidate hydrochloride as an ADHD medication, it was important that it was out of my system for the initial assessment, as this would have an affect on the test results. I was advised to stop taking the medication 48hrs before the day of the experiment. For those that think ADHD is a myth or those that are meds-skeptics, I noticed the increase of in my “brain boingyness” when not on the medication.
Before the research assessment I had to complete a number of self-report questionnaires. As tedious as they are, the questionnaires are important, as part of the research diagnosis as well as alerting to any possible issue related to other conditions .
I had to make sure my hair was clean, so electronic sensors could be attached to my scalp, using a harmless conductive adhesive and a fetching latex cap housing the sensors. These were all attached to the electroencephalograph (EEG) that picks up ultrasonic waves produced by my brain activity. The application of the cap and the sensors was, done by Ruth Cooper and her research assistant Rose Scott, both had to put up with my:
1. Exclamations of “Ow!” every now and again as I have very thick hair, so the would be a need for more elbow grease for the sensor to connect with my scalp.
2. Need to document the process on my phone
3. Terrible jokes
One of the cognitive tasks I completed consisted of me adding a sequence of numbers with haste, to the sounds of explosions when I made an error. This had me in fits of laughter for a number reasons, including the sound effect reminding me of 1980s computer games, the rules of the task and the absurdity of these tasks and a number of other random tangential things. I asked if everyone else thought it humorous. Rose explained that she too found it amusing, but she believed that no one as yet was as in hysterics as much I was, which worried me slightly.
After a number of cognitive tasks on a computer, involving me not being allowed to move around much (which is annoying if your an ADHDer) and the measuring of my heart rate, I was done with the EEG portion of the assessment. What followed were some standardised tests, things that I am familiar with in the use of dyslexia diagnosis; however these were not tests that I had used as yet. After a blood sample was taken and I washed my hair of the EEG gunk, I was provided with my Omega Capsules or Placebos for the duration of the trial.
In a few months it will be interesting to see if there is a difference with my ADHD symptoms whether I am consuming the placebos or the ground up little fishies.
If you are interested in finding out more and/or taking part you can here.
4. Germano M, Meleleo D, Montorfano G, Adorni L, Negroni M, Berra B, Rizzo AM (2007) Plasma, red blood cells phospholipids and clinical evaluation after long chain omega-3 supplementation in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nutritional neuroscience 10:1–2
5. Power O (2010) Courtney Hoolihan Professional Article Dr. Larson January 24, 2010. Omega
6. Ruiz-Rodriguez A, Reglero G, Ibañez E (2010) Recent trends in the advanced analysis of bioactive fatty acids. Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis 51:305–326
7. Bean F Omega-3 Fish Oils and Children’s Behavioural Disorders.