Could Blood Test One Day Predict Suicide Risk?

Can blood proteins indicate a person’s capability and desire to commit suicide?  A small study indicates that there is some possibility of measuring the probability of a person committing suicide. The online science journal, Molecular Psychiatry, in their August 20 issue, hints that the new research, while not conclusive, is pointing in that direction. Nine men, already diagnosed with bipolar disorder, were used in the initial test.  Their blood was examined for particular proteins before, during, and after they expressed strong suicidal inclinations. Another test group, men who had already committed suicide, were also used; their blood, obtained during autopsies, showed the same high propensity of certain blood proteins. Psychiatrists are hoping that this line of research will result in a blood test that can warn medical professionals when a person with a condition such as clinical depression or other mental aberration is at high risk of attempting to kill themselves. In New York City, which has the highest rate of suicides in the United States, Dr. Charles Luther of Lennox Hill Hospital explains that such a procedure, while it could be of great value, is still not even in the experimental stages.  Much more research needs to be done.  He believes it would be a valuable tool, if and when it is ever created.