Rachel V. Gow, PhD is a Guest Researcher in the Section of Nutritional Neuroscience (SNN) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S. She has been in this post since 2012. Rachel is the Lead Associate Investigator for our NORAA (Neuroimaging, Omega-3 and Reward study in Adults with ADHD) trial. This is a randomized placebo controlled trial which evaluates mechanisms of action of omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) in reward processing using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques. The trial will strengthen the knowledge and understanding of how omega-3 fats compared to a placebo influence brain function in healthy volunteers with ADHD. Specifically, we will understand whether omega-3 HUFAs can improve deficits in reward processes characterized by dopaminergic dysfunction. Restoring deficits in dopamine mediated reward dysfunction is central to the pathology of addictive, affective and impulsive disorders. For more information, please visit: http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT02156089
Prior to this post, Rachel completed a PhD in the department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. Rachel’s doctorate involved designing and conducting a clinical study which investigated the relationship between blood measures of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and assessments of brain function using electroencephalography / event related potentials and neuropsychological testing in children with and without ADHD. Rachel received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Kingston University which was awarded “First Class with Honours” and was accredited by the British Psychological Society. Rachel also obtained a Master of Science in Psychological Research Methods which was awarded the highest obtainable grade of “Distinction” from Birkbeck, University of London.
Rachel’s key research interests are cognitive neuropsychology, mental-health and nutritional neuroscience. She is particularly interested in the role of brain-selective nutrients such as omega-3 HUFAs and brain function having significant expertise in neurodevelopmental disorders including ADHD and comorbid symptoms related to conduct/oppositional behaviours, anxiety, depression, impulse control and emotional dysregulation. Rachel is interested in asking critical questions related to the investigative role of nutritional interventions and testing these using sophisticated and sensitive measures such as neuro-imaging techniques. Despite promising and emerging data, there remains a significant gap in knowledge in relation to the union of nutritional and psychiatric fields.
Rachel has been a member of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) since 2008 and was awarded one of their New Investigator’s Awards in 2012. Rachel is also a Fellow of the Institute of Food, Brain and Behavior in England. Rachel has published a number of peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters in the field of ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders. In her spare time, Rachel is currently writing a book about Nutrition and the Brain.
Dr. Rachel V. Gow can be contacted at: