Multi-Scale Motility Amplitude Associated with Suicidal Thoughts in Major Depression
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CitationIndic, Premananda, Greg Murray, Carlo Maggini, Mario Amore, Tiziana Meschi, Loris Borghi, Ross J. Baldessarini, and Paola Salvatore. 2012. Multi-scale motility amplitude associated with suicidal thoughts in major depression. PLoS ONE 7(6): e38761.
AbstractMajor depression occurs at high prevalence in the general population, often starts in juvenile years, recurs over a lifetime, and is strongly associated with disability and suicide. Searches for biological markers in depression may have been hindered by assuming that depression is a unitary and relatively homogeneous disorder, mainly of mood, rather than addressing particular, clinically crucial features or diagnostic subtypes. Many studies have implicated quantitative alterations of motility rhythms in depressed human subjects. Since a candidate feature of great public-health significance is the unusually high risk of suicidal behavior in depressive disorders, we studied correlations between a measure (vulnerability index [VI]) derived from multi-scale characteristics of daily-motility rhythms in depressed subjects (n = 36) monitored with noninvasive, wrist-worn, electronic actigraphs and their self-assessed level of suicidal thinking operationalized as a wish to die. Patient-subjects had a stable clinical diagnosis of bipolar-I, bipolar-II, or unipolar major depression (n = 12 of each type). VI was associated inversely with suicidal thinking (r = –0.61 with all subjects and r = –0.73 with bipolar disorder subjects; both p<0.0001) and distinguished patients with bipolar versus unipolar major depression with a sensitivity of 91.7% and a specificity of 79.2%. VI may be a useful biomarker of characteristic features of major depression, contribute to differentiating bipolar and unipolar depression, and help to detect risk of suicide. An objective biomarker of suicide-risk could be advantageous when patients are unwilling or unable to share suicidal thinking with clinicians.
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