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Gene expression associated with suicide attempts in US veterans

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Journal Article - Open Access

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U.S Army Center for Environmental Health Research Fort Detrick United States

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According to a recent report from the Office of Suicide Prevention in the US Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans represent 8.5 of the US population, but account for 18 of all deaths from suicide. The aim of this study of psychiatric patients n 39 87 male was to compare blood gene expression data from veterans with a history of one or more suicide attempts to veterans who had never attempted suicide. The attempter and non-attempter groups were matched for age and raceethnicity, and both groups included veterans with a diverse psychiatric history that included posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD and substance-use disorders. Veterans were interviewed for lifetime psychiatric history, including a detailed assessment of prior suicide attempts and provided a blood sample. Results of Ingenuity Pathway Analysis IPA identified several pathways associated with suicide attempts, including the mammalian target of rapamycin mTOR and WNT signaling pathways. These pathways are of particular interest, given their role in explaining pharmacological treatments for suicidal behavior, including the use of ketamine and lithium. These results suggest that findings observed in civilians are also relevant for veterans and provide a context for interpreting results observed in postmortem samples. In conclusion, an emerging body of work that shows consistency in findings across blood and brain samples suggests that it might be possible to identify molecular predictors of suicide attempts.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
  • Psychology

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