Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Genetic Linkage Study Finds Gene Associated with Suicide

Defendants should not be asked to pay for genetic abnormalities.

"A new study in patients with bipolar disorder (BPD) strongly suggests a genomewide association between attempted suicide and a region on chromosome 2 containing the ACP1 gene.

Expression of this gene, which influences a lithium-regulated pathway, is also elevated in BPD individuals who complete suicide, according to the study, which was published online March 22 in Molecular Psychiatry.

Suicide risk is greater in individuals with alcoholism, depression, or BPD. However, previous work has shown that offspring of mood-disordered and suicidal parents are at higher risk (12%) of attempting suicide than offspring of similar but nonsuicidal parents (2%).

The present genomewide association study looked for genetic associations with suicidal behavior in BPD individuals with or without a history of attempted suicide. Diagnosis of BPD was based on criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Third Edition Revised) or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition).

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were analyzed in 1201 BPD individuals who had attempted suicide and 1497 who had not. Initial genotyping found 2507 SNPs associated with suicide attempts at P < .001, with strongest association (P = 1.09 × 10−6) at a locus on chromosome 2 (2p25)."

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