discover four "suicide genes" Increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions

The study shows that suicide is linked to genes as scientists found four genetic differences that are more common in veterans who have committed suicide or experienced suicidal thoughts.

These genes have previously been associated with mental conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and schizophrenia.

The researchers say that while these genes may increase the risk of suicidal ideation, more work is needed to see if the identification of genetic markers could lead to targeted therapy.

The findings improve understanding of how hereditary risk factors play a role in the pathology of suicidal thoughts and actions.

In 2020, when the most recent data is available, 45,979 Americans committed suicide. Military veterans were most at risk, with 6,146 deaths that year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death for American men under the age of 45.

As rates among women have increased by 50% in recent years, increased stress levels and self-esteem issues caused by social media may play a role, experts warn.

Conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychosis are more likely to lead to suicide.

Researchers at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, studied blood samples from a database of 630,000 veterans.

The samples were sequenced to build each participant’s genetic profile, which was then compared to their medical records.

Genes play a role in every aspect of a person’s life, from how they look to how their body and brain work.

Each person has over 20,000 pairs of genes. They receive one trait from their father and one from their mother to form each pair in the womb.

And the effects that different genes can have on the brain, nervous system, and general bodily functions of a person may be responsible for dramatic changes in mental health.

There were 121,211 cases of suicidal thoughts or attempts among the participants.

The researchers also found that four genes are more common in people with suicidal thoughts: ESR1, DRD2, DCC and TRAF3.

This means that there is a genetic link to suicidal behavior along with other mental health conditions.

ESR1 is an estrogen receptor that has previously been associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. These are proteins in the cell that are activated by estrogen.

The researchers also noted that estrogen and how men and women process this hormone differently are at the heart of why men are more likely to die by suicide than women.

The second gene, DRD2, is a dopamine receptor associated with feelings of pleasure and happiness. It has previously been linked to schizophrenia, mood disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and substance abuse.

DCC, which is expressed in brain tissues throughout life, is associated with multiple mental states and is elevated in the brains of people who die by suicide.

Finally, TRAF3 is associated with antisocial behavior, drug use, and hyperactivity.

Lithium, a type of drug known as a mood stabilizer, modulates the expression of TRAF3 and several other inflammatory genes.

“Although genetics poses little risk compared to other factors, we need to better understand the biological pathways that underlie the risk of engaging in suicidal behavior,” said Dr. Nathan Kimbrill, study co-author and associate professor. Duke University.

The researchers found no association between specific ethnicity or background and a person’s risk of suicide.

The results are published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Source: Daily Mail