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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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171. Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors are Associated with Reduced Left Caudal Middle Frontal Gyrus Cortical Thickness

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young individuals (i.e., <35 years of age) in the United States. In stark contrast to its widespread prevalence, remarkably little is known about the neural circuitry that may contribute to risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STB). Using data from 1,284 young adults who completed the Duke Neurogenetics study, we tested whether the lifetime presence of STB (n=79; assessed using the e-MINI; not dependent upon depression symptom endorsement) is correlated with regional prefrontal cortical thickness and subcortical volumes (FreeSurfer version 6.0) previously linked to disorders associated with suicide. An adjusted Bonferroni p value of p=0.005 was determined using matrix spectral decomposition. After accounting for demographic factors, depression, and intracranial volume as well as multiple testing, left caudal middle frontal gyrus cortical thickness was negatively correlated with suicidal thought and behaviors (β=-0.08, p=0.004; right: β=-0.04, p=0.05). No other regions showed evidence of association. Building upon a limited literature exploring neural correlates of STB in the context of depression, these data suggest that reduced cortical thickness in the left caudal middle frontal gyrus may contribute to the expression of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Allison Moreau
Washington University in St. Louis

Erin Bondy
Washington University in St. Louis

Annchen Knodt
Duke University

Ahmad Hariri
Duke University

Ryan Bogdan
Washington University in St. Louis


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