Investigating associations of childhood abuse and serum brai
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Synergistic interactive effects of child abuse and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels on suicidal behaviors were found in patients with depressive disorders.

Researchers aimed to investigate the individual and interactive effects of childhood abuse and serum BDNF on suicidal behavior before and after pharmacologic treatment in patients with depressive disorders.

At baseline, reported childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse were ascertained and serum BDNF levels were measured in 1094 patients with depressive disorder, 884 of whom were followed during a 1-year period of stepwise pharmacotherapy. Suicidal behaviors evaluated at baseline were previous suicide attempts and baseline suicide severity, and suicidal behaviors evaluated at follow-up were increased suicide severity and fatal/non-fatal suicide attempt.

- Individual associations of childhood abuse were significant only with a previous suicide attempt, and no significant individual associations were found for serum BDNF with any suicide outcome.

- However, the presence of both childhood abuse and lower serum BDNF levels was associated with the highest prevalence/incidence of all four suicidal behaviors, with significant interactions for baseline suicide severity and fatal/non-fatal suicide attempt during follow-up.

In conclusion, synergistic interactive effects of child abuse and serum BDNF levels on suicidal behaviors were found before and after pharmacologic treatment in patients with depressive disorders. Information combining childhood abuse and serum BDNF levels could improve predictions of suicidal behavior in patients with depressive disorders.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
Source: https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.2021.82
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