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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163


CARBALLO, Juan J. et al. Neurobiological underpinnings of suicidal behavior: Integrating data from clinical and biological studies. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.4, pp.243-259. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and Objectives: Every year, suicide accounts for approximately one million preventable deaths worldwide. Suicidal behavior is complex and multi-determined with risk factors identified in multiple domains including clinical, genetic, environmental, behavioral, neurophysiological, and neurocognitive. Modeling causal pathways that integrate these factors may assist in better identification of high-risk individuals would allow for effective preventive intervention. Methods: Published literature in the English language was reviewed to identify evidence supporting a multi-dimensional model of putative causal pathways for suicidal behavior. Results: There is evidence that clinical, neurochemical, neuroendocrine, neurocognitive, and neurophysiological contributory factors may be useful as intermediate phenotypes in describing putative causal pathways from genetics and early-life adversity to suicidal acts. Conclusions: Determining the causes of suicidal behavior involves integrating risk factors from multiple domains.

Keywords : Suicide; Risk factors; Neurobiology; Genetics; Child abuse; Endophenotype.

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