Neurobiological Underpinnings of Suicidal Behavior: Integrating Data From Clinical and Biological Studies

Published English-language literature was reviewed to identify evidence supporting a multi-dimensional model of putative causal pathways for suicidal behaviour. There is evidence that clinical, neurochemical, neuroendocrine, neurocognitive, & neurophysiological contributory factors may be useful as intermediate phenotypes in describing putative causal pathways from genetics & early-life adversity to suicidal acts. It is concluded that determining […]

Trauma, Attempted Suicide, and Morning Cortisol in a Community Sample of Adolescents

This sutdy explored the association between morning cortisol, trauma, & suicide attempts or ideation among young people. In a community-based sample of 501 15-year-olds, using data from a DSM-IV-compatible interview on suicidal behaviour/ideation, trauma, & morning cortisol, the authors found no association between these factors & morning cortisol. A significant gender interaction was found for […]

Gonadal Axis Hormones in Psychiatric Male Patients After a Suicide Attempt

Plasma levels of testosterone, luteinizing hormone, & follicle stimulating hormone were estimated in 80 male subjects after a suicide attempt & in whom a psychiatric assessment was done during their hospitalization. Suicide intent was evaluated in 72 subjects. A group of 56 healthy males served as controls. As a group, attempters showed significantly lower testosterone […]

A Pilot Study on a Gene-Hormone Interaction in Female Suicide Attempts

In a first set of analyses, an association between menses & suicide attempts was replicated. According to the polymorphism of the serotonin transporter promoter area, subjects could be classified as S individuals (s/s or s/l) or L individuals (l/l). This third set of analyses tested for an interaction between the same polymorphism & low hormonal […]

Suicidal Behavior in Young Women


The Possible Factors Affecting Suicide Attempts in the Different Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

This study investigated whether there is a relationship between the menstrual cycle & suicide attempts, & determined the factors affecting suicide attempts in different phases of the menstrual cycle. The study sample included 52 women admitted to an emergency room because of a suicide attempt. The incidence of suicide attempts in menstrual follicular phase was […]

Serum Cholesterol and Leptin Levels in Patients With Borderline Personality Disorder


Dysregulation in the Suicide Brain: mRNA Expression of Corticotropin-releasing Hormone Receptors and GABA Receptor Subunits in Frontal Cortical Brain Region


Lack of Effect of HPA Axis Hyperactivity on Hormonal Responses to D-Flenfluramine in Major Depressed Patients: Implications for Pathogenesis of Suicidal Behaviour

The aim of this study was to investigate whether hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity is associated with 5-HT dysfunction in depressed patients, especially in those with suicidal behavior. Patients with a history of suicide attempt, when compared with patients without such a history, showed lower hormonal responses to d-fenfluarmine but comparable basal & post-desamethasone suppression test […]

Association Between the Menses and Suicide Attempts: a Replication Study

Based on their own earlier findings, the authors tested their hypothesis that the proportion of suicide attempters during the menses is significantly higher than the expected probability in the general population using a replication naturalistic study of 120 fertile adult female suicide attempters with regular menstruation cycles during a 1-year period in the emergency room […]

Decreased Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (CRH) Concentrations in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of Eucortisolemic Suicide Attempters

Published in “Suicide Risk & Protective Factors in the New Millennium,” ed. by O T Grad

Mortality and Morbidity in Transsexual Patients With Cross-Gender Hormone Treatment

The number of deaths & morbidity cases in 425 transsexual patients treated with cross-gender hormones were evaluated retrospectively & compared with the expected number in a similar reference group of the population. The number of deaths in male-to-female transsexuals was five times the number expected, due to increased numbers of suicide & deaths of unknown […]

Prolactin Response to Fentanyl in Depression

Ten unmedicated female inpatients with major depression & 10 healthy volunteer women were given an intravenous injection of 0.1mg fentanyl at 9:00 AM & 9:00 PM on different days. The prolactin secretory response to this opioid agonist was investigated for 1 h with serial blood sampling. Repeated measures Analysis of Variance yielded a significant effect […]

Long-Term Surveillance of Mortality and Cancer Incidence in Women Receiving Hormone Replacement Therapy

The major focus of this paper was to monitor mortality & cancer incidence in 4544 British women receiving hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Overall mortality was significantly lower than expected on the basis of national rates & mortality ratios were below unity for all specific causes of death examined apart from cancer of the ovary & […]

Sex Difference in Seasonal Variations in Suicide Rate

This letter to the editor is a comment on Meares et al’s (1981) study which found that suicide rates peaked at different months for men & women. The author hypothesizes that this difference could be attributable to different circannual rhythms of estrogen & testerone. These differential rhythms could exasperate a disorder of dopamine metabolism (such […]

Acute Onset of Schizophrenia Following Autocastration

The authors present a case of autocastration occurring during the prodome of schizophrenia with florid psychosis emerging only after the act. Although the patient had many other problems, it seems a prolonged period of sleep deprivation contributed to an impulsive decision to kill himself. Possible neuroendocrinal & neurotransmitter interactions underlying the appearance of the schizophrenia-like […]

Suicide (IN: Sex Roles and Psychopathology, ed. by C S Widom)

This chapter analyzes possible mitigating factors that could explain the apparent gender difference in suicide rates. Marital status, individual characteristics, method choice, physiological differences, psychosis, & social roles are examined as possible factors. The author asserts that, although further research is required, there is some evidence for a relationship between gender roles & suicide. (35 […]

CSF Testosterone in 43 Male Suicide Attempters

The general aim of this study was to gain knowledge of the importance of testosterone in suicide attempters. In a sample of men with a recent suicide attempt, patients were found to have lower CSF testosterone levels than aggressive violent patients in other studies. These & other findings are discussed. The authors suggest that suicide […]

Clinical Applications of Biological Aspects of Suicide

This paper attempts to outline the new information from biological sciences & to address the clinical applications of this information to the biological aspects of suicide. The most consistent candidate for potential clinical use an an indicator of suicide risk has been serotonin & its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleactic acid. However, despite these developments it is concluded […]

Suicide as an Indicium of Biologically-Based Brain Disease

Suicide is not an illness; it is a behaviour that may in some instances be a symptom of a psychiatric disorder or an indicant of impulsivity resulting from neuropharmacologic changes that are genetically determined. Slaby reviews the literature supporting the fact that suicide results from biologically-based brain disease & outlines avenues of research to further […]

Growth Hormone Response to Clonidine in Nondepressed Patients With a History of Suicide Attempts

Growth hormone responses to intravenous clonidine challenge were measured in nondepressed patients with a history of suicide attempts. Patients were subgrouped into suicide attempters (n=7) & nonattempters (n=11). The clonidine test was performed on all subjects at bedrest after an overnight fast. Mean growth hormone responses to clonidine did not differ between the 2 groups. […]

Relationship Between Alpha2-Adrenergic Function and Suicidal Behavior in Depressed Patients

This article reports on an assessment of growth hormone response to clonidine, a selective A2-adrenergic agonist, in 15 DSM-III-R major depressive inpatients with a history of suicide attempts, compared with 15 matched major depressive inpatients without a history of suicidal behavior. Hormone peak responses were significantly lower in attempters than controls. Study results suggest a […]

Psychobiology of Suicide, Impulsivity, and Related Phenomena (IN: Psychopharmacology: the Third Generation of Progress, edited by H Y Melzer)

Biological factors were of little importance until 2 clusters of biological variables that tend to correlate with suicidal behavior emerged. This chapter reviews the evidence linking different types of disinhibition to serotonin-related & neuroendocrine variables & a psychobiological model for suicide. It summarizes controlled studies of biological measures in suicidal behavior & correlates of violence, […]