Neurobiological factors associated with suicidal behavior

Bun Hee Lee, Yong Ku Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Suicide is a major public health issue and a significant cause of death worldwide. Many animal, post-mortem, clinical, and genetic studies have produced results implicating at least 3 neurobiological systems in the pathogenesis of suicidal behavior: a deficiency in the serotonergic system, hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and excess of norepinephrine release followed by norepinephrine deficiency. In addition, several studies have pointed to the involvement of the dopaminergic system, neurotrophic factors, cholesterol, and cytokines in the pathogenesis of suicidal behavior. However, more research will be required in order to confirm these associations. In the future, a greater understanding of suicidal behavior and its neurobiology may facilitate the detection of at-risk individuals, and contribute to the development of more effective interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatry Investigation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Aug


  • Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal
  • Neurobiology
  • Norepinephrine
  • Serotonin
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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