A study of thousands of people with bipolar disorder suggests that genetic risk factors may influence the decision to attempt suicide.
Johns Hopkins scientists, reporting in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, have identified a small region on chromosome 2 that is associated with increased risk for attempted suicide. This small region contains four genes, including the ACP1 gene, and the researchers found more-than-normal levels of the ACP1 protein in the brains of people who had committed suicide. This protein is thought to influence the same biological pathway as lithium, a medication known to reduce the rate of suicidal behavior.
The researchers say that the findings could lead to better suicide prevention efforts by providing new directions for research and drug development.