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Psychiatr Pol. 2006 Sep-Oct;40(5):985-94.

[Influence of impulsivity, suicidality and serotonin genes on treatment outcomes in alcohol dependence].

[Article in Polish]

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Katedra i Klinika Psychiatryczna AM w Warszawie.



The aim of the study was to identify risk factors of relapse by investigating relationships among suicidality, impulsivity, genetic markers of serotonin activity, and relapse in alcohol-dependent patients.


90 alcohol dependent patients were followed for 12 months after the baseline assessment, which entailed evaluation of suicidality and impulsivity as well as collection of DNA samples. Polymorphisms of genes involved in the synthesis and activity of the serotonin system were analyzed. After 12 months from the first visit, the patients were re-contacted and interviewed for relapse.


Relapse rates were significantly higher among patients with the history of suicidal attempts recorded at the baseline assessment. The genetic analysis showed that patients with the G/G genotype in the 5HTR1A gene were more likely to relapse, whereas patients with the C/C genotype were more likely to abstain. Moreover, there was a strong trend for an association between the G/G genotype and a history of suicide attempts.


High level of suicidality may predict relapse in alcoholic patients. Altered serotonergic function increases the risk of a suicide attempt and may contribute to higher risk of relapse in alcohol dependent patients.

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