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Could a Blood Test Help Prevent Suicide?
Written by Erin MacPherson
Last updated on August 05, 2014 @ 6:49PM
Created on August 05, 2014 @ 6:06PM
Over 35,000 deaths are caused by suicide each year in the United States. So, what if there was a way to prevent this from happening? According to a new study, a simple blood test can make that possible.
 
Researchers were able to predict who had experienced suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide by seeing an increase of a certain chemical on a gene called SKA2. This gene apparently helps the brain to regulate negative thoughts and impulsive behavior. Scientists believe people that have that chemical have a harder time controlling their stress hormones.
 
This chemical was found in the brains of people who have killed themselves and it was consistently higher than normal. When 5 News talked to people in the community about this they were shocked with how far technology has come.
 
"I think it would be a really helpful thing," said Michael Hamrick, Upshur County resident. "The things that they have discovered to help people is really out of this world."

By having this blood test, experts don't have to rely simply on asking people how they're feeling, but can see the risk and could potentially stop it before something would happen. Experts say they're still years away from making this a reality, but once it does happen it could help save lives.

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