The Science Of Suicide
It’s one of the most haunting aspects of suicide—why? But now new research offers up an answer: It could be in the blood.
When coupled with someone’s mood and mental state, six biomarkers in the blood could predict 80% of the time that someone will be hospitalized from a suicide attempt. Mood and mental state alone has a 65% prediction rate.
These markers were narrowed down to six in a series of four studies, with the “aha” moment coming when researchers discovered that the top biomarker for suicidality increased dramatically in blood samples from suicide victims collected from the coroner’s office, says principal investigator Alexander B Niculescu, III, MD, PhD, an associate professor of psychiatry and medical neuroscience at Indiana University School of Medicine.
This discovery, published in the journal ofMolecular Psychiatry, could pave the way for new treatments of mood disorders, as well as pinpointing who’s most at risk of suicide.
“That being said, your genes are not your destiny, and biomarkers by themselves will likely not lead to clinical decisions,” says Dr. Niculescu. “You have to place them in context, i.e.
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