Still, he praised the "sophistication and creativity" of the work, in finding blood markers that might be associated with "a range of suicidal thoughts, intent or attempts," at least in this group of men.
Even if a blood test for suicide risk becomes reality, it would only be one part of assessing patients, Niculescu said. "You're not just going to rely on a blood test to recommend that someone be hospitalized," he noted.
Instead, he said, a psychiatrist might use the test along with other information on a patient's risk factors, and questions about his current depression and anxiety symptoms.
No single test will ever determine a treatment plan, Luther agreed. "We're dealing with human beings, with complex emotions and experiences," he said. "We need to know more about them than just blood test results."
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers help to people at risk.
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