Effect of Omega-3 and Korean Red Ginseng on Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: An Open-Label Pilot Study
Jeewon Lee 1, Areum Lee 1, Ji Hoon Kim 2, Yun Mi Shin 3, Seong-Ju Kim 3, Woo Dong Cho 3, Soyoung Irene Lee 1*
1Department of Psychiatry, Soonchunyang University Bucheon Hospital, 2Department of Psychiatry, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, 3Department of Psychiatry, Ajou University Hospital
Received: February 22, 2019; Revised: April 21, 2019; Accepted: April 24, 2019; Published online: April 24, 2019.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of omega-3 and Korean red ginseng on improving ADHD symptoms and cognitive function in children with ADHD.
Methods: A total of 40 children aged 6-12 years diagnosed with ADHD participated in this open-label trial. Participants received daily supplements containing 500mg of omega-3 (EPA 294mg, DHA 206mg) and 3mg of Korean red ginseng extract (combination of ginsenoside Rg1, Rb1, and Rg3) for 12 weeks. No psychotropic drug was allowed during the study period. ADHD symptoms were assessed using the ADHD Rating Scale (ADHD-RS) and Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S) scale. Neuropsychological tests on sustained attention, short-term memory, and executive function were also assessed.
Results: After 12 weeks, participants showed significant improvements on ADHD-RS (31.12±8.82 at baseline, 24.15±11.45 at endpoint, p<0.001) and CGI-S (3.38±1.18 at baseline, 2.94±1.00 at endpoint, p<0.001). On the Continuous Performance Test (CPT), commission errors significantly decreased, while reaction time significantly increased. Immediate recall and delayed recall on both Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) and Complex Figure Test (CFT) showed significant improvements. Scores of Color-Word Task from Stroop Color-Word Test (SCWT) also showed significant improvements after the treatment. The supplement was well tolerated.
Conclusions: The results of this pilot study suggest that the combination of omega-3 and Korean red ginseng may improve ADHD symptoms and cognitive function including attention, memory, and executive function in children with ADHD. Future randomized placebo-controlled trials with a larger sample is warranted.
Keywords: ADHD, Children, Omega-3, Ginseng