A blood test for suicide risk? Alterations to a single gene could predict risk of suicide attempt

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A blood test for suicide risk? Alterations to a single gene could predict risk of suicide attempt Empty A blood test for suicide risk? Alterations to a single gene could predict risk of suicide attempt

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:43 pm

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered a chemical alteration in a single human gene linked to stress reactions that, if confirmed in larger studies, could give doctors a simple blood test to reliably predict a person's risk of attempting suicide.

The discovery, described online in The American Journal of Psychiatry, suggests that changes in a gene involved in the function of the brain's response to stress hormones plays a significant role in turning what might otherwise be an unremarkable reaction to the strain of everyday life into suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
"Suicide is a major preventable public health problem, but we have been stymied in our prevention efforts because we have no consistent way to predict those who are at increased risk of killing themselves," says study leader Zachary Kaminsky, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "With a test like ours, we may be able to stem suicide rates by identifying those people and intervening early enough to head off a catastrophe."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730043402.htm

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A blood test for suicide risk? Alterations to a single gene could predict risk of suicide attempt Empty Re: A blood test for suicide risk? Alterations to a single gene could predict risk of suicide attempt

Post by Ben Reilly on Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:51 pm

Really interesting, and I think if such a thing becomes widespread, it'll be controversial, as some employers would probably use it as a way to discriminate in the hiring process, etc. What would be best is if this work led to a new generation of anti-depressants.

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A blood test for suicide risk? Alterations to a single gene could predict risk of suicide attempt Empty Re: A blood test for suicide risk? Alterations to a single gene could predict risk of suicide attempt

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:57 pm

Ben_Reilly wrote:Really interesting, and I think if such a thing becomes widespread, it'll be controversial, as some employers would probably use it as a way to discriminate in the hiring process, etc. What would be best is if this work led to a new generation of anti-depressants.

Clearly some employment laws would be required to prevent such an eventuality.

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