Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Adolescents & Young
Adults with New Changes in Mental Health
(NAPLS Study)

Principal Investigator: Larry Seidman, Ph.D.

Study Overview

The central goal of this study is to see if Omega-3 fatty acids (also known as “fish oil”) improve symptoms and functional outcomes in young adults with new changes in thinking, feeling or functioning.

What will happen during the study?

Eligible participants will participate in the NAPLS Study baseline assessments and if eligible, be randomized to six months of Omega-3 or placebo, with monthly monitoring. Monthly assessments include personal interviews to discuss your history and possible changes in thinking, feeling and behavior. Symptoms and side effects will also be monitored, as well as vital signs, heart rate, weight and waist measurements. In addition, there will also be a blood draw at three points during the six month treatment phase to see how the Omega-3 or placebo is working in your body. At the six month mark, there will be cognitive testing to assess things like attention and memory, an MRI scan and an EEG of your brain activity. Participants can also receive up to six months of case management as needed.

As a participant, you would be asked to:

  • Sign a consent form indicating your agreement to participate.
  • If under age 18, have a parent sign a consent form indicating his/her agreement for you to participate.
  • Participate in monthly visits for six months, as well as one follow up visit after 12 months.

Who can participate?

  • Individuals between the ages of 12-35 with some of the following difficulties that have begun or worsened in the past year:
  • Worrisome drop in grades or work performance
  • Having trouble thinking clearly, focusing or concentrating
  • Suspiciousness or uneasiness with others
  • Decline in self-care or personal-hygiene
  • Withdrawal from friends or family – spending a lot of time alone
  • Increased sensitivity to sights or sounds, or mistaking noise for voices or messages
  • Having strange feelings or no feelings at all
  • Feeling like your mind is playing tricks on you

    The NAPLS Study takes place at the Commonwealth Research Center of BIDMC located at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. Individuals who complete all parts of the study will be compensated $1025 for their participation.

    For more information, please contact:

    Corin Pilo at (617) 754-1224
    or by email at


    Chelsea Wakeham at (617) 754-1237
    or by email at

To view the brochure please click on the link: NAPLS Omega-3 brochure