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5-HIAA in cerebrospinal fluid. A biochemical suicide predictor?

Archives of General Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.75). 11/1976; 33(10):1193-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The incidence of suicidal acts was studied in 68 depressed patients and related to the level of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the cerebrospinal fluid. The distribution of 5-HIAA levels was bimodal. Patients in the low 5-HIAA mode (below 15 ng/ml) attempted suicide significantly more often than those in the high mode, and they used more violent means. Two of the 20 patients in the low mode, and none of the 48 patients in the high mode died from suicide.

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    • "Abnormalities in the serotonergic system have been pointed as a key factor in depression and other mental illness (Artigas, 2012). Clinical studies have demonstrated lower 5-HT metabolite concentrations in the CSF fluid of depressed patients which were correlated with suicide risk (Asberg et al., 1976). In agreement, most of the currently available antidepressants cause activation of serotonergic neurotransmission (Elhwuegi, 2004; Millan, 2004). "
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    • "Fifty-three patients had a history of suicide attempt (mean AE SD, 2.3 AE 1.2 lifetime suicide attempts) and 42 did not. Suicide was defined as a conscious intent of the patient to end his/her own life, however ambivalent, through means that the patient thought could have lead to death (Asberg et al., 1976). Patients with a positive suicide history were then classified as: recent suicide attempters (n = 32), if the suicidal act occurred during the current depressive episode and had triggered their psychiatric hospitalization (neuroendocrine tests were performed 12—35 days after most recent suicide attempt); or past suicide attempters (n = 21), if the most recent suicide attempt had not occurred during the current depressive episode (neuroendocrine tests were performed 4—97 months after most recent suicide attempt). "
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