Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic link to suicidal behavior confirmed

Date:
October 7, 2011
Source:
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Summary:
A new study has found evidence that a specific gene is linked to suicidal behavior, adding to our knowledge of the many complex causes of suicide. This research may help doctors one day target the gene in prevention efforts.

A new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has found evidence that a specific gene is linked to suicidal behaviour, adding to our knowledge of the many complex causes of suicide. This research may help doctors one day target the gene in prevention efforts.

In the past, studies have implicated the gene for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in suicidal behaviour. BDNF is involved in the development of the nervous system.

After pooling results from 11 previous studies and adding their own study data involving people with schizophrenia, CAMH scientists confirmed that among people with a psychiatric diagnosis, those with the methionine ("met") variation of the gene had a higher risk of suicidal behaviour compared to those with the valine variation.

The review, published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, included data from 3,352 people, of whom 1,202 had a history of suicidal behaviour.

"Our findings may lead to the testing and development of treatments that target this gene in order to help prevent suicide," says Dr. James Kennedy, director of CAMH's Neuroscience Research Department. "In the future, if other researchers can replicate and extend our findings, then genetic testing may be possible to help identify people at increased risk for suicide."

As the low-functioning BDNF met variation is a risk factor for suicidal behaviour, it may also be possible to develop a compound to increase BDNF functioning, Dr. Kennedy says.

About 90 per cent of people who have died by suicide have at least one mental health disorder, the researchers note. Within the studies they reviewed, participants had schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder or general mood disorders. In each case, the researchers compared the genotypes of people who had attempted or completed suicide with those who were non-suicidal.

"Our findings provide a small piece of the puzzle on what causes suicidal behaviour," says Dr. Kennedy.

"When assessing a person's suicide risk, it's also important to consider environmental risk factors, such as early childhood or recent trauma, the use of addictive drugs or medications and other factors."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Clement C. Zai, Mirko Manchia, Vincenzo De Luca, Arun K. Tiwari, Nabilah I. Chowdhury, Gwyneth C. Zai, Ryan P. Tong, Zeynep Yilmaz, Sajid A. Shaikh, John Strauss, James L. Kennedy. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene in suicidal behaviour: a meta-analysis. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2011; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S1461145711001313

Cite This Page:

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "Genetic link to suicidal behavior confirmed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111007113941.htm>.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2011, October 7). Genetic link to suicidal behavior confirmed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111007113941.htm
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "Genetic link to suicidal behavior confirmed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111007113941.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins