Has fish oil been shown to be a helpful part of treatment for children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS)?
This is a difficult question that I am often asked by families. There are not really any specific studies yet in CAS with fish oil that would provide the level of evidence that we would like to see to make a recommendation for treatment. There have not been any studies with a placebo controlled trial where certain children would be receiving fish oil and certain children might be receiving vegetable oil. The only information currently available is based on an 'open label' trial where the families know what the child is receiving.
The areas where there is information on the benefits of fish oil are in ADHD and some studies in developmental dyspraxia where there did seem to be some mild improvements with the use of it. What I tend to tell families is the fish oil does not cause a lot of side effects. I cannot tell them this product is definitely going to help their child but, on the other hand, it is not going to hurt them to take it either. So I do see a lot of families that will choose to take the fish oil supplements. But, again, I would really like to see a placebo controlled study in this area so that we would know exactly how to proceed.
This Ask the Expert was taken from the course entitled: Medical Management of Childhood Apraxia of Speech by Amy Newmeyer, MD.
Visit the SpeechPathology.com eLearning Library to view all of our live, recorded, and text-based courses on a variety of topics.
Bio Amy Newmeyer is a clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics, section of developmental and behavior pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. She is also Director of The comprehensive CP program and Director of the developmental/behavioral pediatrics fellowship program at Nationwide Children's Hospital. She is a member of the Society for Pediatric Research Council. She is board certified in both general pediatrics and neurodevelopmental disabilities, and has evaluated children with CAS in an interdisciplinary team clinic for the last 8 years.