I have long been an admirer of the work of Dr Alex Richardson and her FAB Research (Food and Behaviour Research) team.
Following in the footsteps of Dr Michael Crawford who, in the early 1970s, first highlighted the importance of dietary fats in the development of the brain, her group’s work is around epidemiology, genetics, biochemistry and psychophysiology. They also run clinical trials on nutritional supplementation mainly in relationship to behaviour and learning.
The FAB Research website offer a wealth of information on the implications of nutritonal deficiencies on a range of physical and mental issues, focusing especially on ADHD, autism, dyspraxia, anxiety and depression. The site includes not only their own research papers and fact sheets but regular reports on work carried out elsewhere – an includes these in a monthly newsletter, which is where I found the report below.
Reducing serious visual impairment in extremely premature infants
A groundbreaking new study, Halved risk for severe retinal disease in extremely premature infants, shows that the right nutritional supplementation can dramatically reduce serious visual impairment in extremely premature (EP) infants (born before 28 weeks’ gestation).
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) – a form of retinal damage linked with immaturity of blood vessels – is a well-known complication of early-pre-term birth that can cause permanent visual impairment and, at worst, blindness.
Oral supplementation with both omega-3 DHA and omega AA can reduce by half the number of early pre-term infants with ROP who suffer serious damage to their vision.
These ‘groundbreaking’ findings validate the pioneering work of Professor Michael Crawford – who flagged more than 20 years ago the need for the nutrition of pre-term infants to be designed to match the AA and DHA content that the placenta would have delivered to them in the critical 3rd trimester had they not been born prematurely.
For the related research article:
You can register to receive FAB’s regular newsletter on their site here.