Test may predict suicidality

Patients who are at risk of antidepressant-induced suicidality could soon be identified by a test that detects genetic markers. Sundance Diagnostics is developing the test based on research carried out at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry.

Researchers at the institute found that when suicidality occurs, it is usually within two weeks of beginning medication or changing the dose. The phenomenon occurs in 8.1 per cent of patients.

The team also found that the risk of antidepressant-induced suicidality is not limited to people under 25, as claimed by the American Food and Drug Administration. The condition arises in people of all ages.

Scientists at Max Planck found 79 genetic biomarkers, giving a 91 per cent probability of identifying patients at risk.

Sundance will be applying for a licence to market the tester in 2015.