McGill Group for Suicide Studies

Montréal, Canada

McGill Group for Suicide Studies

Montréal, Canada
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Halfon N.,University of Quebec at Montréal | Labelle R.,University of Quebec at Montréal | Labelle R.,University of Montréal | Cohen D.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | And 5 more authors.
European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry | Year: 2013

Although children and adolescents with bipolar disorder (BD) are at elevated risk for suicide, little research to date has been conducted on suicidality in this population. The purpose of this descriptive review of the past 10 years of scientific literature on suicidality in youths with BD was to identify the risk and protective factors associated with this phenomenon, and to discuss the implications for research and clinical practice. Searches on Medline and PsycINFO databases for the period from early 2002 to mid-2012 yielded 16 relevant articles, which were subsequently explored using an analysis grid. Note that the authors employed a consensus analysis approach at all stages of the review. Four primary categories of risk factors for suicidality in youths with BD were identified: demographic (age and gender), clinical (depression, mixed state or mixed features specifier, mania, anxiety disorders, psychotic symptoms, and substance abuse), psychological (cyclothymic temperament, hopelessness, poor anger management, low self-esteem, external locus of control, impulsivity and aggressiveness, previous suicide attempts, and history of suicide ideation, non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors and past psychiatric hospitalization), and family/social (family history of attempted suicide, family history of depression, low quality of life, poor family functioning, stressful life events, physical/sexual abuse, and social withdrawal). Youths with BD who experienced more complex symptomatic profiles were at greater risk of suicidality. Few protective factors associated with suicidality have been studied among youths with BD. One protective factor was found in this descriptive literature review: the positive effects of dialectical behavior therapy. This article allows a better appreciation of the risk and protective factors associated with suicidality among youth with BD. Greater awareness of risk factors is the first step in suicide prevention. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Schaffer A.,Task Force on Suicide | Schaffer A.,Sunnybrook Health science Center | Schaffer A.,University of Toronto | Isometsa E.T.,University of Helsinki | And 27 more authors.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry | Year: 2015

Objectives: Many factors influence the likelihood of suicide attempts or deaths in persons with bipolar disorder. One key aim of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Task Force on Suicide was to summarize the available literature on the presence and magnitude of effect of these factors. Methods: A systematic review of studies published from 1 January 1980 to 30 May 2014 identified using keywords 'bipolar disorder' and 'suicide attempts or suicide'. This specific paper examined all reports on factors putatively associated with suicide attempts or suicide deaths in bipolar disorder samples. Factors were subcategorized into: (1) sociodemographics, (2) clinical characteristics of bipolar disorder, (3) comorbidities, and (4) other clinical variables. Results: We identified 141 studies that examined how 20 specific factors influenced the likelihood of suicide attempts or deaths. While the level of evidence and degree of confluence varied across factors, there was at least one study that found an effect for each of the following factors: sex, age, race, marital status, religious affiliation, age of illness onset, duration of illness, bipolar disorder subtype, polarity of first episode, polarity of current/recent episode, predominant polarity, mood episode characteristics, psychosis, psychiatric comorbidity, personality characteristics, sexual dysfunction, first-degree family history of suicide or mood disorders, past suicide attempts, early life trauma, and psychosocial precipitants. Conclusion: There is a wealth of data on factors that influence the likelihood of suicide attempts and suicide deaths in people with bipolar disorder. Given the heterogeneity of study samples and designs, further research is needed to replicate and determine the magnitude of effect of most of these factors. This approach can ultimately lead to enhanced risk stratification for patients with bipolar disorder. © 2015 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2015.

Schaffer A.,Task Force on Suicide | Schaffer A.,Sunnybrook Health science Center | Schaffer A.,University of Toronto | Isometsa E.T.,University of Helsinki | And 28 more authors.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry | Year: 2015

Objectives: Bipolar disorder is associated with elevated risk of suicide attempts and deaths. Key aims of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Task Force on Suicide included examining the extant literature on epidemiology, neurobiology and pharmacotherapy related to suicide attempts and deaths in bipolar disorder. Methods: Systematic review of studies from 1 January 1980 to 30 May 2014 examining suicide attempts or deaths in bipolar disorder, with a specific focus on the incidence and characterization of suicide attempts and deaths, genetic and non-genetic biological studies and pharmacotherapy studies specific to bipolar disorder. We conducted pooled, weighted analyses of suicide rates. Results: The pooled suicide rate in bipolar disorder is 164 per 100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval = [5, 324]). Sex-specific data on suicide rates identified a 1.7:1 ratio in men compared to women. People with bipolar disorder account for 3.4-14% of all suicide deaths, with self-poisoning and hanging being the most common methods. Epidemiological studies report that 23-26% of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide, with higher rates in clinical samples. There are numerous genetic associations with suicide attempts and deaths in bipolar disorder, but few replication studies. Data on treatment with lithium or anticonvulsants are strongly suggestive for prevention of suicide attempts and deaths, but additional data are required before relative anti-suicide effects can be confirmed. There were limited data on potential anti-suicide effects of treatment with antipsychotics or antidepressants. Conclusion: This analysis identified a lower estimated suicide rate in bipolar disorder than what was previously published. Understanding the overall risk of suicide deaths and attempts, and the most common methods, are important building blocks to greater awareness and improved interventions for suicide prevention in bipolar disorder. Replication of genetic findings and stronger prospective data on treatment options are required before more decisive conclusions can be made regarding the neurobiology and specific treatment of suicide risk in bipolar disorder. © The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2015.

Richard-Devantoy S.,McGill University | Richard-Devantoy S.,McGill Group for Suicide Studies | Richard-Devantoy S.,University of Angers | Richard-Devantoy S.,Center Integre Of Sante | Wilhelmy M.,Center Integre Of Sante
Information Psychiatrique | Year: 2015

More than a philosophical act, performed when confronting the absurdity of existence, or a rational act as an end to a desperate vital situation, suicidal behaviour could also, from a neurocognitive perspective, witness the failure of some executive functions to solve problems and a lack of parallel cognitive control of pathological brain aging. Without using a strict "biological" or "cortextual" perspective of the problem of suicide in the elderly, the cognitive dimension clarifies, as well as complicates, the understanding of the genesis of an act located at the borders of free will or a singular psychopathology. How can the epilogue of a life be summed up in the murder of oneself? The suicide of seniors would therefore not be a choice, but rather an inadequate attempt at a response to a painful and indefinable environment, constantly changing and frightening, alien or new, insurmountable and inconceivable. The significant impairment of executive functions, particularly decision-making and cognitive inhibition in elderly depressed individuals with a history of attempted suicide compared to those without this history reflects the inability of the subject to confront their internal and external necessities. This is a basic prerequisite for any therapeutic plan, identification of the propensity of some people to develop a suicidal crisis when faced with stressful life circumstances is partly based on a neurocognitive assessment.

Richard-Devantoy S.,McGill University | Richard-Devantoy S.,University of Angers | Orsat M.,Center Hospitalier Specialise Of La Sarthe | Dumais A.,University of Montréal | And 5 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Psychiatry | Year: 2014

Objective: Schizophrenia is associated with an increase in the risk of both homicide and suicide. The objectives of this study were to systematically review all published articles that examined the relation between neurocognitive deficits and suicidal or homicidal behaviours in schizophrenia, and to identify vulnerabilities in suicidal and homicidal behaviour that may share a common pathway in schizophrenia. Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed using MEDLINE to include all studies published up to August 31, 2012. Results: Among the 1760 studies, 7 neuropsychological and 12 brain imaging studies met the selection criteria and were included in the final analysis. The neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging studies were inconclusive. The structural imaging studies reported various alterations in patients with schizophrenia and a history of homicidal behaviour, including: reduced inferior frontal and temporal cortices, increased mediodorsal white matter, and increased amygdala volumes. Patients with a history of suicidal acts showed volumetric reductions in left orbitofrontal and superior temporal cortices, while right amygdala volume was increased, though, these findings have rarely been replicated. Finally, no study has directly compared neurocognitive markers of suicidal and homicidal risk. Conclusion: These results suggest that brain alterations, in addition to those associated with schizophrenia, may predispose some patients to a higher risk of homicide or suicide in particular circumstances. Moreover, some of these alterations may be shared between homicidal and suicidal patients. However, owing to several limitations, including the small number of available studies, no firm conclusions can be drawn and further investigations are necessary.

McGirr A.,McGill Group for Suicide Studies | Diaconu G.,McGill Group for Suicide Studies | Berlim M.T.,McGill Group for Suicide Studies | Pruessner J.C.,McGill University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience | Year: 2010

Background: Suicidal behaviour aggregates in families, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and noradrenergic dysregulation may play a role in suicide risk. It is unclear whether stress dysregulation is a heritable trait of suicide or how it might increase risk. We investigated stress reactivity of the autonomic nervous system and the HPA axis in suicide predisposition and characterized the effect of this dysregulation on neuropsychologic function. Methods: In this family-based study of first-degree relatives (n = 14) of suicide completers and matched controls with no family or personal history of suicidal behaviour (n = 14), participants underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). We used salivary α-amylase and cortisol levels to characterize stress reactivity and diurnal variation. We administered a series of neuropsychologic and executive function tests before and after the TSST. Results: Despite normal diurnal variation, relatives of suicide completers exhibited blunted cortisol and α-amylase TSST reactivity. Although there were no baseline differences in conceptual reasoning, sustained attention or executive function, the relatives of suicide completers did not improve on measures of inhibition upon repeated testing after TSST. Secondary analyses suggested that these effects were related to suicide vulnerability independ ent of major depression. Limitations: The sample size was small, and the design prevents us from disentangling our findings from the possible traumatic consequences of losing a relative by suicide. Conclusions: Blunted stress response may be a trait of suicide risk, and impairment of stress-induced executive function may contribute to suicide vulnerability. © 2010 Canadian Medical Association.

Jollant F.,McGill University | Jollant F.,University Institute of Mental Health | Jollant F.,McGill Group for Suicide Studies | Guillaume S.,Montpellier University | And 8 more authors.
Psychiatry Research | Year: 2013

Disadvantageous decision-making has been reported in patients who had attempted suicide and may represent a cognitive risk factor for suicide. Making decisions necessitates both implicit/associative and explicit/analytic processes. Here, we explored explicit mechanisms, and hypothesized that suicide attempters fail to use explicit understanding to make favorable choices. The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) was used to assess decision-making in 151 non-depressed patients with a history of mood disorder and suicidal act, 81 non-depressed patients with a history of mood disorders but no suicidal act, and 144 healthy individuals. After performing the task, we assessed the explicit understanding of the participants of the contingencies in the task, i.e. which options yielded higher gain or loss. Correct explicit understanding was reported less often in suicide attempters and affective controls than in healthy controls (45.7% and 42.0% vs. 66.0%). Moreover, understanding was associated with better performance in healthy and affective controls, but not in suicide attempters, with no between-group difference among those who did not reach understanding. Patients with histories of suicide attempt, therefore, show a disconnection between what they "know" and what they "do", possibly reflecting underlying impairments in implicit associative processes. These cognitive alterations should be addressed in preventative interventions targeting suicide. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

PubMed | McGill University, University of Queensland, Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal, University of Quebec at Montréal and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biological psychiatry | Year: 2016

Variations in the expression of the Netrin-1 guidance cue receptor DCC (deleted in colorectal cancer) appear to confer resilience or susceptibility to psychopathologies involving prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction.With the use of postmortem brain tissue, mouse models of defeat stress, and in vitro analysis, we assessed microRNA (miRNA) regulation of DCC and whether changes in DCC levels in the PFC lead to vulnerability to depression-like behaviors.We identified miR-218 as a posttranscriptional repressor of DCC and detected coexpression of DCC and miR-218 in pyramidal neurons of human and mouse PFC. We found that exaggerated expression of DCC and reduced levels of miR-218 in the PFC are consistent traits of mice susceptible to chronic stress and of major depressive disorder in humans. Remarkably, upregulation of Dcc in mouse PFC pyramidal neurons causes vulnerability to stress-induced social avoidance and anhedonia.These data are the first demonstration of microRNA regulation of DCC and suggest that, by regulating DCC, miR-218 may be a switch of susceptibility versus resilience to stress-related disorders.

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