Can we use the brain’s ‘biochemical changes’ to predict—and prevent— suicide?

scientists can see suicide risks brain imaging
Image: Fred Tanneau

No field of scientific inquiry can single-handedly untangle a phenomenon as complex as suicide. But [Kees] van Heeringen and many other scientists are hoping to shed light on the problem by digging into the neurobiological processes underlying thoughts about ending one’s own life and attempts to do so. This work is building support for the idea that suicide is tied to specific biochemical changes that can be measured and targeted independently of, and possibly in parallel with, the mental health disorders they often accompany. Findings from this work, researchers hope, could help reveal new treatments, and perhaps even opportunities to identify the people most at risk in time to intervene.

[Psychiatric genetic epidemiologist Nadine] Melhem says she’s hopeful that combining techniques will improve predictive approaches in the coming years. In 2019, she and colleagues published a model that improved on the accuracy and performance of existing models to predict suicide attempts based on factors such as the severity and variability of a person’s depression symptoms over time. Integrating this sort of easy-to-collect clinical data with biological information from brain scans or other diagnostic tests should lead to more-accurate predictions, she says.

Read the original post here

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend