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Brain Enzyme Linked to Teen Suicide

Brain Enzyme Linked to Teen Suicide

by Kevin Caruso

A study published in the July 2004 issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry indicates that a brain enzyme known as protein kinase C (PKC) is linked to teen suicide.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago studied the brains of 17 teenagers who died by suicide and 17 who died of other causes. Of the 17 who died by suicide, ten were male, seven were female, nine had a history of mental disorders, and two had a history of alcohol or drug abuse.

All of the teens who died by suicide had significantly lower levels of PKC in their brains. The cause for the lower PKC levels could not be determined, but might be related to abnormalities in the way the brain interacts with hormonal glands.

Previous studies have indicated that PKC is related to mood disorders, but this study helped to establish the link between PKC and teen suicide.

Larger studies will be performed, and if the findings are consistent with this study, the development of a PKC blood test to identify youths at risk could be developed. Also, better drugs could be developed to help correct the PKC deficiency.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.

Thank you.

I love you.

Take care,

Kevin Caruso

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