Researchers have discovered a series of blood RNA biomarkers that can be used to develop tests to predict an individual risk of suicide.
Scientists (IndianaUniversity) analyzed a large group of male patients from four cohort studies over a three-year period; all patients had confirmed bipolar disorder.
At the beginning of the study, a specialized psychiatric interview was conducted with all participants, and then after three and six months, they also took blood samples. Each test visit included the use of the Hamilton Psychiatric Scale for assessing the level of depression, which included the assessment of suicidal intentions to determine the level of suicidal mood.
Scientists conducted blood tests of patients who noted dramatic changes in mood from the complete absence of suicidal thoughts to obsessions.
The results of the analysis revealed a significant gene difference between patients with high and low levels of suicidal mood.
According to the researchers themselves, they found that the SAT1 biomarker, along with a series of others, turned out to be a strong biological signal in relation to suicidal thoughts.
In support of their findings, they also analyzed blood samples from suicide victims from the local forensic department, and it was found that the content of some previously identified markers was increased.
Further, in a blood test of two more groups of patients, it was noted that high levels of specific biomarkers were associated with future hospitalizations due to suicide attempts.
As Professor Alexander Niculescu (Dr. Alexander Niculescu, ass. Prof. Ofpsychiatry & medicalneuroscience) explains, suicide is currently recognized as a serious problem in many areas of modern society, however, no objective biomarkers have been discovered so far.