Possible genetic indicator of suicide found

Organisation: Position: Deadline Date: Location:

US researchers have identified a genetic indicator that could be used to predict a person’s risk of attempting suicide. [s]News-Medical[/s] reports that the indicator can be detected using a simple blood test, meaning therapists and doctors could be made aware of suicidal tendencies before it is too late for them to intervene. The study, led by Dr Zachary Kaminsky from [b]Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine[/b], focused on a mutation of the [i]SKA2 gene[/i] which is involved in keeping levels of the stress hormone cortisol under control. When Kaminsky and team analysed brain samples from healthy people and people who were mentally ill, they found that [i]SKA2[/i] levels were significantly reduced in samples taken from people who had committed suicide. ‘We need to study this in a larger sample but we believe that we might be able to monitor the blood to identify those at risk of suicide,’ Kaminsky said.

Full News-Medical report
American Journal of Psychiatry abstract


Receive Medical Brief's free weekly e-newsletter



Related Posts

Thank you for subscribing to MedicalBrief


MedicalBrief is Africa’s premier medical news and research weekly newsletter. MedicalBrief is published every Thursday and delivered free of charge by email to over 33 000 health professionals.

Please consider completing the form below. The information you supply is optional and will only be used to compile a demographic profile of our subscribers. Your personal details will never be shared with a third party.


Thank you for taking the time to complete the form.