Brain Chemical More Active in Suicidal Behavior

Will there soon be a tool to prevent suicide? Lena Brundin, M.D.,Ph.D., led an international team of researchers and believes there soon could be. Her team found that glutamate, which is an amino acid long suspected to be involved in depression, is more active in those who try to commit suicide. By measuring quinolinic acid, researchers can examine glutamate activity. The team studied one hundred patients in Sweden, two-thirds of whom were in the hospital due to suicide attempts. Those who had attempted to commit suicide had over twice the level of quinolinic acid as non-suicidal people. Anti-glutamate drugs are currently being developed and could be a tool for preventing suicide in the future.

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