Suicide genes

A database covering all deceased persons in Sweden diagnosed with schizophrenia, who either died from suicide or cancer, was generated several years ago. From cases where biological samples, primarily formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded tissues, are available, a protocol for DNA extraction and amplification has been established, and genetic analysis focus on previously suggested, and certain other possible, candidate suicide genes. The advantage of this approach over previous studies is the large sample, the detailed background and circumstantial information, and the reduced number of confounding factors, given that both cases and controls share a severe psychiatric history. Identification of genes that may increase risk for suicide may substantially improve preventative efforts, and for forensic purposes assist in the differentiation between different manners of death in obscure cases of unnatural death.