Fadi T. Maalouf, M.D.

Fadi T. Maalouf, M.D., University of Pittsburgh

Young Investigator Grant (2008): $85,000

Mentor: David Brent, MD, University of Pittsburgh

Cognitive Control and Emotion Processing Markers of High-Intent Suicide Ideations in Adolescents

Abstract: This study will investigate cognitive control of emotion processing in adolescents with high-intent suicide ideation as compared to non-suicidal and healthy adolescents using computerized behavioral tasks and self-report measures. None of the subjects will have a history of a suicide attempt. The subject populations will be 30 adolescents with major depressive disorder and high-intent suicide ideation, 30 adolescents with major depressive disorder and no history of suicide ideation and 30 healthy controls. Performance comparisons will be made between the three groups on these tasks and tested to see if they predict worsening of suicidal ideation or suicide attempt at a nine-month follow-up. This is the first study to examine the cognitive and emotion processing profile in young high-intent suicide ideators and how it longitudinally predicts suicide attempts. The cognitive and emotion processing deficits, once identified in this population, may be targeted by future interventions to help prevent the potentially fatal outcome of a suicide attempt.