? PROJECT 5 Conte Center Project 5 investigates the stress-diathesis model of suicidal behavior. Specifically, we examined stress response using the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and Ecological Momentary Assessment of daily stressors (EMA), and studied the role of childhood adversity (CA) and impulsive aggression in depressed suicide attempters, depressed nonattempters and healthy volunteers. We found that while aggression was higher in attempters, stress responsivity was heightened only in attempters with high reactive/impulsive aggression. We also observed that this highly stress responsive, impulsive group displayed a cluster of characteristics: a pattern of frequent brief, highly variable suicidal ideation (SI) that correlated to a history of CA and increased in response to daily stressors, together with poorer emotion regulation. In contrast, we found that high planning of suicide attempts was related to family history of suicide and persistent SI. Thus, we observe different sets of characteristics associated with suicidal outcomes at opposite ends of a continuum from very impulsive to highly planned and deliberate suicidal behaviors. In this application, we expand our work by further exploring the neurobiological and cognitive underpinnings of impulsivity/planning of suicide attempts. Specifically, we will examine executive functioning and emotion regulation strategies (in vivo during the TSST and EMA) and determine their relationships with suicidal behavior, SI variability and stress response. A second promising extension of our work is to study related stress response mechanisms, particularly inflammation, which is associated with suicide risk factors of CA and aggression. We have shown that the cytokine-activated kynurenine pathway is upregulated in attempters, and that lower levels of the anti-inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid predict suicide attempts, and we have pilot data on elevated IL-6 in high risk attempters, consistent with previous literature. A clearer delineation of the behavioral and physiological pathways to suicidal behavior will improve prevention by identifying a more personalized approach depending on the risk profile.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Specialized Center (P50)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
New York State Psychiatric Institute
New York
United States
Zip Code
Abreu, L N; Oquendo, M A; Galfavy, H et al. (2018) Are comorbid anxiety disorders a risk factor for suicide attempts in patients with mood disorders? A two-year prospective study. Eur Psychiatry 47:19-24
Rizk, Mina M; Rubin-Falcone, Harry; Lin, Xuejing et al. (2018) Gray matter volumetric study of major depression and suicidal behavior. Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 283:16-23
Daray, Federico M; Mann, J John; Sublette, M Elizabeth (2018) How lipids may affect risk for suicidal behavior. J Psychiatr Res 104:16-23
Rizk, Mina M; Galfalvy, Hanga; Singh, Tanya et al. (2018) Toward subtyping of suicidality: Brief suicidal ideation is associated with greater stress response. J Affect Disord 230:87-92
Rubin-Falcone, Harry; Zanderigo, Francesca; Thapa-Chhetry, Binod et al. (2018) Pattern recognition of magnetic resonance imaging-based gray matter volume measurements classifies bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. J Affect Disord 227:498-505
Boldrini, Maura; Fulmore, Camille A; Tartt, Alexandria N et al. (2018) Human Hippocampal Neurogenesis Persists throughout Aging. Cell Stem Cell 22:589-599.e5
Youssef, Mariam M; Underwood, Mark D; Huang, Yung-Yu et al. (2018) Association of BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism and Brain BDNF Levels with Major Depression and Suicide. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 21:528-538
Ganança, Licinia; Galfalvy, Hanga C; Oquendo, Maria A et al. (2017) Lipid correlates of antidepressant response to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation: A pilot study. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 119:38-44
Bernanke, J A; Stanley, B H; Oquendo, M A (2017) Toward fine-grained phenotyping of suicidal behavior: the role of suicidal subtypes. Mol Psychiatry 22:1080-1081
Ceñido, Joshua F; Itin, Boris; Stark, Ruth E et al. (2017) Characterization of lipid rafts in human platelets using nuclear magnetic resonance: A pilot study. Biochem Biophys Rep 10:132-136

Showing the most recent 10 out of 49 publications