Biological signal of suicide can be found in blood, reveals a study

Researchers have found that a set of RNA biomarkers in blood can be used to create a test which can determine the risk of a person committing suicide.

Dr. Alexander Niculescu, a professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine, explains why suicide is so difficult to deal with, in saying, “It is a big problem in the civilian realm, it is a big problem in the military realm and there are no objective markers. There are people who will not reveal they are having suicidal thoughts when you ask them, who then commit it and there’s nothing you can do about it. We need better ways to identify, intervene and prevent these tragic cases.”

Published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers took data from four studies which had a large group of male patients who were diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Apart from this, researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine conducted a round of interviews and three testing which involved taking blood samples from these patients as well.

After analyzing the blood samples, there were significant gene differences between those experiencing high rates of suicidal thinking apart from those who didn’t. What they also found was that the marker SAT1 along with others showed a strong biological signal related to suicidal thoughts.

To corroborate their findings, they also took blood samples of the suicide victims from the coroner’s office where the same markers were also elevated.

The researchers believe that a test can be used to predict one’s desire to commit suicide in the future using these RNA markers.