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Environmental Stressors May Drive Inflammation and Alter Neurocircuitry to Promote Suicidal Behavior

  • Eve K. MościckiEmail author
  • John C. Umhau
Mood Disorders (E Baca-Garcia, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Mood Disorders

Abstract

Suicide morbidity and mortality are serious public health problems, accounting for over 40,000 deaths annually and over $10 billion in combined medical and work loss costs. Suicidal behavior is the outcome of a complex causal web of distal and proximal risk processes that includes a range of interacting environmental and biological determinants. We review current understanding of risk and protective factors, including recent findings on inflammatory processes, discuss recent research on environmental risks for suicidal behaviors with a focus on economic stress, and examine potential mechanisms by which external factors and internal processes such as inflammation might contribute to pathways leading to suicidal behavior. We propose a model that links changes in the default network or resting state of brain activity with corresponding changes in brain structure and function, which in turn may be influenced by diverse inflammatory mediators, and suggest a potential framework that highlights multidisciplinary opportunities for further research.

Keywords

Suicidal behavior Neuroinflammation Stress fMRI Default network Unemployment 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The editors would like to thank Drs. Maria Oquendo and Michael Grunebaum for suggesting this topic and reviewing the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Eve K. Mościcki and John C. Umhau declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.WashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Office of New Drugs, Division of Psychiatry ProductsCenter for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug AdministrationSilver SpringUSA
  3. 3.Fort Belvoir Community HospitalFort BelvoirUSA

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