Leo Sher, M.D.
A research report, “Increased efficiency of brain connectivity networks in veterans with suicide attempts” has recently been published in NeuroImage: Clinical (1). The authors examined the neural connectivity in white matter in veterans with suicide behavior.
Twenty-eight veterans without a history of suicide behavior, 29 veterans with a history of suicidal ideation only, and 23 veterans with a history of suicide attempt were enrolled in the study. The principal inclusion criteria were that participants be veterans between the ages of 18–55, male or female, not currently being treated as inpatients. Study participants completed diffusion tensor brain imaging, the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale and Barratt Impulsiveness Scale. Weighted and undirected network of each participant was constructed for the topological measurements.
The authors of the report found that suicide attempters had shorter characteristic path length and greater global efficiency and mean weighted degree of global network metrics. Participants with a history of suicide attempt had more hub nodes in comparison to subjects without a history of suicide behavior and participants with suicide ideation only. The left posterior cingulate cortex showed significantly greater weighted degree in suicide attempters in comparison to other groups.
The results of this study suggest that veterans with a history of suicide attempt had altered connectivity networks characteristics in the white matter relative to veterans with suicide ideation only. The authors also suggest that hyperconnected posterior cingulate cortex in suicide attempters may be associated with impulsivity of suicide behavior.
- Hwang J, Legarreta M, Bueler CE, DiMuzio J, McGlade E, Lyoo IK, Yurgelun-Todd D. Increased efficiency of brain connectivity networks in veterans with suicide attempts. Neuroimage Clin. 2018 Apr 23;20:318-326. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2018.04.021. eCollection 2018.