Fish oil supplements 'may help adults with depression'

Researchers report that fish oil supplements may be useful for treating clinical depression in adults.

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago made this discovery while studying the effects of various drugs on patient-derived elements.

The team analyzed skin cells from two types of adult patients - those who had previously responded to anti-depressant treatment and who were resistant to - - and the cells transformed into stem cells and transformed into neurons.

When the fish oil was tested, the cells of both groups reacted similarly to the prescribed drugs.

The lead researcher of this study, Professor Mark Rasenik, said this research will allow future research into how the brain works, and why some people respond better to anti-depressants than others.

"It's also exciting to find scientific evidence that fish oil - an easy, natural product - is an effective treatment for depression," he explained.

He said scientists studying depression should focus on glial cells in the brain, which detect neurons and provide the necessary insulation and support.

"We have noticed that fish oil works on glial cells rather than on neurons," says Professor Rasenik. "Over the years, scientists have focused on glia - a brain cell that detects neurons - but there is growing evidence that glia may play a role in depression. Our study suggests that antidepressant activity is also important for glia."

The results of the full study have been published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

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