Investigating associations of childhood abuse and serum brai
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This study finds that suicidal behaviors in patients with depressive disorders were associated with child abuse and not with serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels.

Doctors 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 and interactive associations of any childhood abuse and serum BDNF levels with four types of suicidal behaviors were analyzed using logistic regression models, after adjusting relevant covariates.

- Individual associations of childhood abuse were significant only with previous suicide attempts, 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 particular, individual associations of childhood abuse were significant only with previous suicide attempts, 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.

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