A simple test that measures the sweat gland activity of a depressed person can determine if he or she is suicidal with 97 per cent accuracy scientists say.
Suicide prevention all over the world needs aid in identifying the target group. Scientists have found that a simple test can measure the sweat gland activity of a depressed person and can determine if he or she is suicidal. The tests can prove to be 97 per cent accurate.
German and Swedish researchers found blood pressure; blood circulation and activity in the sweat glands of the fingers can reveal if a person is suicidal.
"The results are so strong that I'm astonished. We can determine very accurately whether a person risks committing suicide, which can revolutionise suicide prevention," said Lars-Hakan Thorell, associate professor in experimental psychiatry at Linkoping University in Sweden, one of the researchers behind the study.
783 depressed in-patients were tested in the study in Germany for hyporeactivity reduced ability to react to various stimuli. The result confirms previous research stating that there is a strong correlation between hyporeactivity and suicide in depressed people.
The test found that hyporeactivity was present in up to 97 per cent of depressed patients who later committed suicide, compared to just 2 per cent of the depressed patients who were not hyporeactive.
The study also found no relation between the severity of depression and hyporeactivity. "It indicates a certain per cent, even if the normal population can have this neurophysical disorder. Everyone who has it is not suicidal - but almost all suicidal, depressed patients have it," Thorell said.
Of 126 patients, 80.2 percent bipolar patients exhibited hyporeactivity compared to 67.3 percent of the depressed patients and 58.5 per cent of those with other diagnoses. The study also shows that people with recurrent depression run a risk of becoming hyporeactive at some later point in life.
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