A chemical in the brain may explain why some people become suicidal — and it may link inflammation of the body to disorders of the mind.
According to new research, suicidal individuals have elevated levels of quinolinic acid in the fluid surrounding the central nervous system.
The discovery could explain a missing link between inflammation and mental illness, said study researcher Lena Brundin, a professor of translational science and molecular medicine at Michigan State University.
Previously, scientists had linked suicidal feelings to the kind of bodily inflammation that occurs during illness or stress, but they weren't able to explain how inflammation could translate to depression, hopelessness and a desire to kill oneself.
The new study of 100 Swedish patients finds that the higher the level of quinolinic acid in the spinal fluid, the stronger their desire to commit suicide.
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