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Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2016 Jul;171(5):719-32. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32435. Epub 2016 Feb 23.

Discovery of biochemical biomarkers for aggression: A role for metabolomics in psychiatry.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Psychology, VU Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2
EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Good Biomarker Sciences Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands.
4
Division of Analytical Biosciences, Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands.
5
The Netherlands Metabolomics Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.
6
Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
7
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, GGZ inGeest/VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
8
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Department of Surgical Sciences, Puericultura Institute and Neonatal Section, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.
9
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.
10
BBMRINL: Infrastructure for the Application of Metabolomics Technology in Epidemiology, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Human aggression encompasses a wide range of behaviors and is related to many psychiatric disorders. We introduce the different classification systems of aggression and related disorders as a basis for discussing biochemical biomarkers and then present an overview of studies in humans (published between 1990 and 2015) that reported statistically significant associations of biochemical biomarkers with aggression, DSM-IV disorders involving aggression, and their subtypes. The markers are of different types, including inflammation markers, neurotransmitters, lipoproteins, and hormones from various classes. Most studies focused on only a limited portfolio of biomarkers, frequently a specific class only. When integrating the data, it is clear that compounds from several biological pathways have been found to be associated with aggressive behavior, indicating complexity and the need for a broad approach. In the second part of the paper, using examples from the aggression literature and psychiatric metabolomics studies, we argue that a better understanding of aggression would benefit from a more holistic approach such as provided by metabolomics.

KEYWORDS:

aggression; biomarkers; metabolomics; psychiatry

PMID:
26913573
DOI:
10.1002/ajmg.b.32435
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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