Major study finds brain structure linked to suicide attempts


The most significant difference was the size of the thalamus, a small part of the brain that connects sensory and motor information to the cerebral cortex.

Research found that the left and right thalamic regions in the brains of people who had attempted suicide were smaller than in people of the other two groups.


He also found that the right pallidum and the inferior surface of the left inferior parietal lobe were smaller in the group that had carried out a suicidal action.

According to the organization Word Health, around 800,000 people worldwide die of suicide each year, while the number of suicide attempts is believed to be even higher.

In Australia, more than 3,000 people die from suicide each year, according to the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare, and it was the leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 19 in 2019.

Study co-lead author Lianne Schmaal of the University of Melbourne said suicidal behavior was extremely complex, but studies like theirs have given scientists a better understanding of the complex interplay of biological factors. and social issues that could lead someone to attempt suicide.

“If we can expand the research into the driving mechanisms of suicide, we can hopefully help reduce its personal and societal burden,” said Professor Schmaal.

Lead researcher Adrian Campos said the findings were important because the study was the first large-scale global study to examine the question of links between brain structure and suicidal action.

“Previous studies had fairly small samples, but by examining the brains of nearly 19,000 people in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, we were able to provide strong statistical evidence for the role of the brain structure in suicidal behavior, ”he said.


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