Deakin University

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A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of minocycline and/or omega-3 fatty acids added to treatment as usual for at risk Mental States: The NAYAB study

journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-14, 04:27 authored by I Qurashi, IB Chaudhry, AB Khoso, M Omair Husain, D Hafeez, T Kiran, S Lane, HA Naqvi, FA Minhas, A Tamizuddin Nizami, B Razzaque, S Qambar Bokhari, Alison YungAlison Yung, B Deakin, N Husain
Background: Inflammatory mechanisms are thought to contribute to the onset of psychosis in persons with an at-risk mental state (ARMS). We investigated whether the anti-inflammatory properties of minocycline and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3), alone or synergistically, would prevent transition to psychosis in ARMS in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Pakistan. Methods: 10,173 help-seeking individuals aged 16–35 years were screened using the Prodromal Questionaire-16. Individuals scoring 6 and over were interviewed using the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS) to confirm ARMS. Participants (n = 326) were randomised to minocycline, omega-3, combined minocycline and omega-3 or to double placebo for 6 months. The primary outcome was transition to psychosis at 12 months. Findings: Forty-five (13.8 %) participants transitioned to psychosis. The risk of transition was greater in those randomised to omega-3 alone or in combination with minocycline (17.3.%), compared to 10.4 % in those not exposed to omega-3; a risk-ratio (RR) of 1.67, 95 % CI [0.95, 2.92] p = 0.07. The RR for transitions on minocycline vs. no minocycline was 0.86, 95 % CI [0.50, 1.49] p > 0.10. In participants who did not become psychotic, CAARMS and depression symptom scores were reduced at six and twelve months (mean CAARMS difference = 1.43; 95 % CI [0.33, 1.76] p < 0.01 in those exposed to omega-3. Minocycline did not affect CAARMS or depression scores. Interpretation: In keeping with other studies, omega-3 appears to have beneficial effects on ARMS and mood symptom severity but it increased transition to psychosis, which may reflect metabolic or developmental consequences of chronic poor nutrition in the population. Transition to psychosis was too rare to reveal a preventative effect of minocycline but minocycline did not improve symptom severity. ARMS symptom severity and transition to psychosis appear to have distinct pathogeneses which are differentially modulated by omega-3 supplementation. Funding: The study was funded by the Stanley Research Medical Institute.



Brain, Behavior, and Immunity













Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal


Elsevier BV