Schizophrenia

A 2000 review of clinical trials concluded that although EPA (from fish oils) may help up to one-third of people avoid initiation of standard treatment with antipsychotic drugs, but there is no clear evidence of any benefit from EPO, and in fact it may lower seizure threshold in some patients (Halat & Dennehey 2003, Joy et al 2000).

RAYNAUD'S SYNDROME

Prostaglandin E-, and prostacyclin have been used in Raynaud's syndrome, but as these compounds are unstable and require intravenous administration, other treatments that increase the body's own production of these chemicals have been sought, for example, by administration of the precursor EFA. A small, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 21 patients with Raynaud's phenomenon found that EPO significantly reduced the number of attacks as the weather worsened compared with placebo. Visual analogue scales assessing the severity of attacks and coldness of hands improved in the EPO group, but no changes were seen in either group for objective measures of blood flow although changes in platelet behaviour and blood prostanoids were observed (Belch et al 1985).

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