Is Suicide in Your Genes?

The DNA and RNA in your genes can reveal your chances of getting breast cancer, your child's father, and now, scientists have found it can even tell the likelihood that someone's thinking of committing suicide.

According to, researchers have discovered a series of RNA biomarkers in blood that could be used to develop a test to predict the risk of a person committing suicide.

Let's be clear, though.  The participants in the study all had bipolar disease, but it's still something that might be applied to anyone, at some point.  And they were all male.

Blood was taken from patients at three-month intervals and results of the analysis revealed significant gene differences between the patients who experienced high states of suicidal thinking and the people with low states of suicidal feeling.

"There are people who will not reveal they are having suicidal thoughts when you ask them, who then commit it and there's nothing you can do about it.  We need better ways to identify, intervene and prevent these tragic cases," Dr. Alexander Niculescu, associate professor of psychiatry and medical neuroscience at the Indiana University School of Medicine, tells

In 2010, according to the CDC, there were almost 39,000 suicides in the U.S.

Studies on women are in the future. "There could be gender differences. We would also like to conduct more extensive, normative studies, in the population at large," quotes Niculescu.

Researchers also hope to conduct "further research within other groups, such as those who have less impulsive, and more planned or deliberate suicide ideation."

The point?  To try to find out beforehand, and prevent a needless death.


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