• Psychosocial Correlates of Suicidal Behavior among Adolescents under Confinement Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Aguascalientes, Mexico: A Cross-Sectional Population Survey

      Hermosillo-De-la-torre, Alicia Edith; Arteaga-de-Luna, Stephania Montserrat; Acevedo-Rojas, Denise Liliana; Juárez-Loya, Angélica; Jiménez-Tapia, José Alberto; Pedroza-Cabrera, Francisco Javier; González-Forteza, Catalina; Cano, Manuel; Wagner, Fernando A (MDPI AG, 2021-05-07)
      Background: Suicide and suicidal behaviors were already a global public health problem, producing preventable injuries and deaths. This issue may worsen due to the COVID-19 pandemic and may differentially affect vulnerable groups in the population, including children, adolescents, and young adults. The current study evaluated the association of affective variables (depression, hopelessness, and anxiety), drug use (alcohol, tobacco, and others), emotional intelligence, and attachment with suicidal behaviors. Methods: A state-wide survey included 8033 students (51% female, 49% male; mean age of 16 years) from science and technology high-schools using a standardized questionnaire that was distributed online. Multinomial logistic regression models tested associations between suicidal behaviors and several covariates. The analyses accommodated the complex structure of the sample. Results: Approximately 21% of all students reported a suicidal behavior (11% with a low-lethality suicide attempt, 6% with self-injuries, and 4% with a high-lethality suicide attempt). Variables associated with higher odds of suicidal behavior included: female sex, depression, hopelessness, anxiety, alcohol and tobacco use, childhood trauma, and having to self-rely as issues affecting attachment, and low self-esteem. Security of attachment was associated with lower odds of suicidal behavior. Conclusions: The complexity of suicidal behavior makes it clear that comprehensive programs need to be implemented.
    • Toxoplasma gondii, Suicidal Behavior, and Intermediate Phenotypes for Suicidal Behavior

      Postolache, Teodor T; Wadhawan, Abhishek; Rujescu, Dan; Hoisington, Andrew J; Dagdag, Aline; Baca-Garcia, Enrique; Lowry, Christopher A; Okusaga, Olaoluwa O; Brenner, Lisa A (Frontiers Media S.A., 2021-06-11)
      Within the general literature on infections and suicidal behavior, studies on Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) occupy a central position. This is related to the parasite's neurotropism, high prevalence of chronic infection, as well as specific and non-specific behavioral alterations in rodents that lead to increased risk taking, which are recapitulated in humans by T. gondii's associations with suicidal behavior, as well as trait impulsivity and aggression, mental illness and traffic accidents. This paper is a detailed review of the associations between T. gondii serology and suicidal behavior, a field of study that started 15 years ago with our publication of associations between T. gondii IgG serology and suicidal behavior in persons with mood disorders. This "legacy" article presents, chronologically, our primary studies in individuals with mood disorders and schizophrenia in Germany, recent attempters in Sweden, and in a large cohort of mothers in Denmark. Then, it reviews findings from all three meta-analyses published to date, confirming our reported associations and overall consistent in effect size [ranging between 39 and 57% elevation of odds of suicide attempt in T. gondii immunoglobulin (IgG) positives]. Finally, the article introduces certain links between T. gondii and biomarkers previously associated with suicidal behavior (kynurenines, phenylalanine/tyrosine), intermediate phenotypes of suicidal behavior (impulsivity, aggression) and state-dependent suicide risk factors (hopelessness/dysphoria, sleep impairment). In sum, an abundance of evidence supports a positive link between suicide attempts (but not suicidal ideation) and T. gondii IgG (but not IgM) seropositivity and serointensity. Trait impulsivity and aggression, endophenotypes of suicidal behavior have also been positively associated with T. gondii seropositivity in both the psychiatrically healthy as well as in patients with Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Yet, causality has not been demonstrated. Thus, randomized interventional studies are necessary to advance causal inferences and, if causality is confirmed, to provide hope that an etiological treatment for a distinct subgroup of individuals at an increased risk for suicide could emerge.