Biomarkers Linked to Suicidal Behavior

(HealthDay News) – Several blood biomarkers have been identified that are associated with a higher likelihood of suicidal behavior, according to a study published online Aug. 20 in Molecular Psychiatry.

Helen Le-Niculescu, PhD, from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and colleagues used a convergent functional genomics approach to identify blood biomarkers associated with suicidal behavior in nine men with bipolar disorder who switched from no suicidal ideation to high suicidal ideation.

The researchers identified 41 biomarkers that were produced differently in the two states. Levels of the biomarkers were measured in nine age-matched suicide completers from the general population as verification, with six biomarkers passing stringent statistical tests. In 42 men with bipolar disorder and 46 men with psychosis, several of the six biomarkers predicted past and future hospitalizations due to suicidality.

"Of note, this simple approach does not directly ask about suicidal ideation, which some individuals may deny or choose not to share with clinicians," Le-Niculescu and colleagues write. "Overall, suicidality may be underlined, at least in part, by biological mechanisms related to stress, inflammation, and apoptosis."

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