Review of Imipramine Binding in Platelets from Psychiatric Patients: Its Relevance to the Biology of Suicide
Biological research in the field of suicidology is strictly linked to biological aspects of depressive illness. About half of suicides are retrospectively diagnosed as having suffered from depression, while most of them had had depressive symptoms prior to death (Beskow 1979; Van Praag 1982). The biochemical mechanisms at the basis of depressive illness are not yet fully understood. Several studies suggest an involvement of noradrenaline and serotonin. Low levels of serotonin, or its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), have been observed in the brain of suicides (Lloyd et al. 1974). Van Praag (1977) suggested that low concentrations of 5-HIAA in the CNS could be a marker for the vulnerability to depression. Several groups have studied the relationship between suicidal behavior and the concentrations of 5-HIAA in the CNS (Åsberg et al. 1976; Träskman et al. 1981; Van Praag 1982; Roy et al. 1984). Many, but not all of the investigators, observed a correlation between low levels of 5-HIAA and suicidally. Considering that 2% of those who attempt suicide are successful, it is important to predict the risk of suicide to prevent it.
KeywordsDepression Schizophrenia Serotonin Noradrenaline Choline
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