Suicide Risk Can Be Predicted

Posted: Aug 18 2015, 6:46am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

Suicide Risk can be Predicted
People being treated for bipolar disorder and other psychiatric illnesses are at greater risk of attempting suicide, but physicians may now have tools to predict which of those individuals will attempt it and intervene early to prevent such tragedies from occurring. CREDIT: Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Creation of Biomarkers and Applications that Gauge Chances of Suicide

Researchers have taken part in the creation of biomarkers and applications. These gauge the chances of suicide among those most at risk of taking their own lives.

There are people afflicted with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. They may be more at risk of committing suicide. Scientists have the tools necessary to predict their attempts at taking their own lives. This is so that intervention could be possible in the nick of time. Tragedies could be averted.

Indiana University School of Medicine researchers reported Tuesday in the Nature Publishing Group's leading journal in psychiatry, Molecular Psychiatry, that they have developed special tests to predict suicide risk. The tests include blood analysis and questionnaires. These measure susceptibility to self-harm and suicidal tendencies.

"We believe that widespread adoption of risk prediction tests based on these findings during healthcare assessments will enable clinicians to intervene with lifestyle changes or treatments that can save lives," said Alexander B. Niculescu III, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and medical neuroscience at the IU School of Medicine and attending psychiatrist and research and development investigator at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The accuracy rate of the tests is more than 90%. Risk prediction and prevention are of the essence. Both lifestyle transformations and drug treatments may lessen the chances of suicide. RNA biomarkers alongside an app may benefit suicidal patients. The hospitalization rates could get predicted too. It shows the wonders of technology and the miracles of the medical healing arts.

The questionnaires got put on tablets and the patients answered them. The accuracy rate was high. It was 98% for those with bipolar disorder. The onset of suicidal thoughts could get predicted almost 80% of the time. And that too with remarkable precision.

A broad array of tools for predicting suicidal ideation and the chances of committing suicide are finally here. The patients got tested for switchover from no suicidal ideation to high suicidal ideation. And the good thing was that this dangerous trend of self-killing behavior could get predicted with accuracy.

RNAs got identified in their blood which were a biomarker for this tendency. Mood swings and anxiety states were also measured. It was an organized approach that is meant to predict and prevent suicide. Only the future may tell whether it is an excellent heuristic. It might end up as one of the rest of the attempts at psychiatric intervention.

"We now have developed a better panel of biomarkers that are predictive across several psychiatric diagnoses. Combined with the apps, we have a broader spectrum predictor for suicidality," Dr. Niculescu said. "In additional to reproducing and expanding our own previous work, we reproduce and expand other groups' results in this burgeoning field."

Suicide is a rich man’s disease. The poor and downtrodden are too busy in search of where their next meal will come from to think of suicide. It is a sign that something is wrong with the unfortunate person’s thinking. In a way a suicidal person’s processes of cognition have gone out of whack. Self-preservation is the first law of life.

To take one’s own life would seem to be the unthinkable. Yet it is the case when dark and sombre thoughts of gloom and doom take over a person’s thinking. The results can range from mild depression to full-blown suicidal attempts.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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