An increase in suicidal thoughts is a known and serious side-effect for various types of antidepressants. Recent studies suggest that there may be some genetic factors that increase the risk for this reaction. A new study, in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, identifies two specific genetic variants that are associated with worsening suicidal ideation in patients taking antidepressants.
The researchers led by Geraldine Voegeli of the VA San Diego Healthcare System did genotype testing on 78 patients who experienced a worsening of suicidality while on antidepressants and compared the results to patients in antidepressants who did not report a worsening of these symptoms. They found that two common genetic variants affecting the neurotrophin pathway, involved in the development and function of neurons, were associated with antidepressant-worsening suicidal ideation.
Voegeli, G., Ramoz, N., Shekhtman, T., Courtet, P., Gorwood, P. and Kelsoe, J.R., 2016. Neurotrophin Genes and Antidepressant-Worsening Suicidal Ideation: A Prospective Case-Control Study. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, p.pyw059. (Full Text)