Curr Treat Options Neurol 2002 Nov;4(6):457-468
Arciniegas DB, Anderson CA.
Neuropsychiatry Service, Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 East Ninth Avenue, Campus Box C268-68, Denver, CO 80262, USA.
The risk of attempted or completed suicide is increased in patients with migraine with aura, epilepsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, and Huntington's disease.
Contrary to the general perception that the risk of suicide among patients with Alzheimer's disease and other dementing conditions is low, several reports suggest that the risk of suicide in these patients increases relative to the general population.
Some patients at risk for neurologic disorders are also at increased risk for suicide; in particular, the risk of suicide is increased among persons at risk for Huntington's disease, independent of the presence or absence of the Huntington's gene mutation.
The risk of attempted or completed suicide in neurologic illness is strongly associated with depression, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, and social isolation.
Additional suicide risk factors in persons with neurologic illness include cognitive impairment, relatively younger age (under 60 years), moderate physical disability, recent onset or change in illness, a lack of future plans or perceived meaning in life, recent losses (personal, occupational, or financial), and prior history of psychiatric illness or suicidal behavior.
Substance dependence, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, and some personality disorders (eg, borderline personality disorder) may also contribute to increased risk of suicide among persons with neurologic illnesses.
Identification and aggressive treatment of psychiatric problems, especially depression, as well as reduction of modifiable suicide risk factors among patients with neurologic illness is needed to reduce the risk of attempted and completed suicide in this population.