Post-mortem studies of serotonin in suicide

Hélène Bach-Mizrachi, Mark D Underwood, J John Mann and Victoria Arango

in Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198570059
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199640461 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Post-mortem studies of serotonin in suicide

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Abnormalities of the serotonergic system have been implicated in suicide. Post-mortem brain studies of suicides have begun to elucidate the underlying molecular changes in the brain serotonergic system that may provide an understanding of the biology of suicide. There is evidence for alterations in the presynaptic serotonin transporter and serotonergic receptors in both the serotonin-synthesizing neurons in the brainstem and their targets in the prefrontal cortex. Some of these changes may represent primary pathophysiology, while other changes may reflect homeostatic regulatory responses to low serotonin or even maladaptive nonspecific stress responses. We review the post-mortem studies of suicides and discuss a model of homeostatic plasticity in the human brain in a serotonin-deficient environment.

Chapter.  4489 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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