David A. Brent, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry, Endowed Chair in Suicide Studies, Academic Chief, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Brent's work focuses on the clinical and family genetic risk factors for adolescent suicide, as well as on the treatment of depressed and suicidal adolescents.
Family genetic studies, suicide, and suicidal behavior
Article first published online: 12 JAN 2005
Copyright © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics
Special Issue: Genetics of Suicidal Behavior
Volume 133C, Issue 1, pages 13–24, 15 February 2005
How to Cite
Brent, D. A. and Mann, J. J. (2005), Family genetic studies, suicide, and suicidal behavior. Am. J. Med. Genet., 133C: 13–24. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.c.30042
- Issue published online: 19 JAN 2005
- Article first published online: 12 JAN 2005
- NIMH MH. Grant Numbers: 43366, 55123, 56612, 56390, 66371, 62185
- suicide attempt
The extant adoption, twin, and family studies of suicide and suicidal behavior are reviewed. Suicidal behavior is highly familial, and on the basis of twin and adoption studies, heritable as well. Both completed and attempted suicide form part of the clinical phenotype that is familially transmitted, as rates of suicide attempt are elevated in the family members of suicide completers, and completion rates are elevated in the family members of attempters. A family history of suicidal behavior is associated with suicidal behavior in the proband, even after adjusting for presence of psychiatric disorders in the proband and family, indicating transmission of attempt that is distinct from family transmission of psychiatric disorder. Impulsive aggression in probands and family members is associated with family loading for suicidal behavior, and may contribute to familial transmission of suicidal behavior. Shared environment effects such as abuse, imitation, or transmission of psychopathology are other possible explanations. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.