Unravelling the neural correlates of suicide and the effects of antidepressants in major depression

Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide with a great personal, social, and economic impact. It is the most common disorder at the time of death by suicide, which is a major public health concern. For each death by suicide, it is estimated a greater number of attempts. In fact, 10-20% of patients with depression attempt suicide over their lifetime, with an estimate lifetime risk of 3.4% for death by suicide. The presence of suicidal ideation in this disorder is associated with more severe symptoms and poorer treatment response. However, only one third of patients with suicidal
ideation will act on their thoughts, increasing the unpredictability of future suicide attempts. Prompt by this context, we use multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate the structural and functional correlates of suicidal ideation, attempts and the transition between them in a cohort of patients with Major Depression under antidepressant treatment. Moreover, as the standard care for patients with depression during a suicidal crisis is based on the initiation or optimization of oral antidepressants, which despite their relevance do not work similarly for every patient, we intend to
explore the impact of commonly used and the new fast-acting antidepressants in the structural and functional brain networks. This integrative approach aims to develop new personalized therapeutic
interventions based in specific neural signatures of suicidal ideation and behavior.

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S. Queirós, “Right ventricular segmentation in multi-view cardiac MRI using a unified U-net model”, in E. Puyol Antón et al. (eds) Statistical Atlases and Computational Models of the Heart. Multi-Disease, Multi-View, and Multi-Center Right Ventricular Segmentation in Cardiac MRI Challenge. STACOM 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 13131, pp. 287-295, Springer, Cham, 2022.

“Best Paper Award in the M&Ms-2 Challenge”, by M&Ms2 Challenge organizers and the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) Society.

Main Project Outcomes

1. Reis, J.V.*, Vieira, R*., Portugal-Nunes, C., Coelho, A., Magalhães, R., Moreira, P., Ferreira, S., Picó-Pérez, M., Sousa, N., Dias, N., & Bessa, J. M. (2022). Suicidal ideation is associated with reduced functional connectivity and white matter integrity in drug-naïve patients with major depression. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13(838111), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.838111 *Co-first Authorship.