Researchers from the University of Michigan found that the glutamate contained in the brain can push a person to commit suicide. A team of scientists led by Lina Brandin found that the more active the chemical in people who have tried to commit suicide, according to Science Daily.
Amino glutamate responsible for transmitting signals between neurons, experts of its long been associated with depression. "Our results are very important because they explain the mechanism of disease in patients. We have carefully studied for 40 years, another neurotransmitter - serotonin. However, research has shown us that we need to shift its attention and focus it on glutamate," - said L.Brandin.
She studied with colleagues glutamate activity by measuring quinolinic acid (glutamate causes it to send more signals to nearby cells, "turning over" chemical switch) in the cerebrospinal fluid from 100 patients in Sweden. Two-thirds of the participants, as it is known, was admitted to hospital after attempting suicide, while the rest were healthy.
Experts have found out who tried to kill himself quinolinic acid twice in the cerebrospinal fluid when compared with samples of the liquid, which belonged to healthy people. Indicators declined immediately after the suicidal man left. The results explain the cause of inflammation in the brain, which was identified in previous studies as an indicator of the risk of suicide. Quinolinic acid in the body produces an immune response that causes inflammation.
Medicines to fight with glutamate, according L.Brandin, is still under development, but may soon appear effective method that will help prevent suicidal thoughts. A number of recent clinical studies have shown that inhibition of glutamate signaling anesthetic "Ketamine" in the fight against depression is a very powerful, but it has some side effects.
Physicians should be aware that inflammation - a probable sign of suicidal behavior, explained L.Brandin. "It is likely that in the future people suffering from severe depression and suicidal behavior, they will take blood samples to detect inflammation. Emergency doctors have to work on this issue together with psychiatrists" - said L.Brandin.
The study is published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.