Can Neurocognitive Function Predict Suicide?

December 8, 2016

A study of Army administrative data found an association between decreased neurocognitive functioning and suicide in soldiers. Researchers found that lower scores on a computerized test of neurocognitive functioning—including problems in decision-making, problem-solving, verbal fluency, and memory—were linked to suicide attempts or death and suicidal thoughts in the following 12 months. The study showed more suicide attempts in soldiers who were female, less educated, white non-Hispanic, and younger at the time of testing, and who had a mental health diagnosis before testing. The researchers say that neurocognitive testing may be a useful tool in predicting future risk of suicide. (Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior, Nov. 1, 2016)