Ke Liao, Bruce D. McCandliss, Susan E. Carlson, John Colombo, D. Jill Shaddy, Elizabeth H. Kerling, Rebecca J. Lepping, Wichian Sittiprapaporn, Carol L. Cheatham, Kathleen M. Gustafson (2016). Event-related potential differences in children supplemented with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids during infancy. Developmental Science.
Hoglund Brain Imaging Center, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA
Graduate School of Education, Stanford University, USA
Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA
Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, USA
School of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Mae Fah Luang University, Bangkok, Thailand
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
Department of Neurology, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA
Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) have been shown to be necessary for early retinal and brain development, but long-term cognitive benefits of LCPUFA in infancy have not been definitively established. The present study sought to determine whether LCPUFA supplementation during the first year of life would result in group differences in behavior and event-related potentials (ERPs) while performing a task requiring response inhibition (Go/No-Go) at 5.5 years of age. As newborns, 69 children were randomly assigned to infant formulas containing either no LCPUFA (control) or formula with 0.64% of total fatty acids as arachidonic acid (ARA; 20:4n6) and various concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n3) (0.32%, 0.64% or 0.96%) for the first 12 months of life. At 5.5 years of age, a task designed to test the ability to inhibit a prepotent response (Go/No-Go) was administered, yielding both event-related potentials (ERPs) and behavioral data. Behavioral measures did not differ between groups, although reaction times of supplemented children were marginally faster. Unsupplemented children had lower P2 amplitude than supplemented children to both Go and No-Go conditions. N2 amplitude was significantly higher on No-Go trials than Go trials, but only for supplemented children, resulting in a significant Group × Condition interaction. Topographical analysis of the ERPs revealed that the LCPUFA-supplemented group developed a novel period of synchronous activation (microstate) involving wider anterior brain activation around 200 ms; this microstate was not present in controls. These findings suggest that LCPUFA supplementation during the first 12 months of life exerts a developmental programming effect that is manifest in brain electrophysiology.