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Brain Proteomics to Understand Suicidal Behavior Biosignatures

2018 Standard Research Grant
Amount Awarded: $100,000
Focus Area: Neurobiological Studies

Maura Boldrini, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene

Inside the Research

Question: Do increased proteome levels in specific regions of the hippocampus affect suicide risk in major depressive disorder?

Strategy: Proteomics is the study of the processes related to proteins. Proteins impact gene structure and function, which, in turn, have an impact on behavior. This study compares the proteomics in the brains of people with major depression who died either by suicide (n=10) or from other causes and nonpsychiatric controls (n=10). In particular, the study focuses on the anterior dentate gyrus, a brain area associated with suicide.

Impact: Identifying biomarkers and treatment targets for suicide reduction.