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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007 Jan;17(1):12-5. Epub 2006 Jun 8.

CSF monoamine metabolites and lethality of suicide attempts in depressed patients with alcohol dependence.

Author information

1
Division of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY 10032, USA. LS2003@columbia.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alcohol dependence (alcoholism) and major depressive disorder are frequently comorbid and are risk factors for suicidal behavior. Monoaminergic abnormalities have been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression, alcohol dependence, and suicidal behavior. Lower cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA) levels are associated with higher lethality of suicide attempts in major depression and predict a higher rate of future suicide. We sought to study the relationship of CSF monoamine metabolites to lethality of suicidal acts in depressed subjects with comorbid alcoholism.

METHODS:

We compared 16 high- and 16 low-lethality drug-free depressed suicide attempters with comorbid alcoholism. Subjects were free from any substance use disorder for at least two months. Demographic and clinical parameters, and CSF 5-HIAA, homovanillic acid (HVA), and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) levels were examined.

RESULTS:

The two groups did not differ with regard to the demographic characteristics. CSF 5-HIAA levels were lower in high-lethality attempters compared to low-lethality attempters. There were no group difference in CSF HVA or MHPG levels.

CONCLUSION:

Higher lethality of suicidal behavior in depressed patients with alcoholism is related to lower serotonergic activity.

PMID:
16762535
PMCID:
PMC3869621
DOI:
10.1016/j.euroneuro.2006.04.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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