Background: Suicide is a major public health problem on a global scale, with about 800.000 deaths every year. In particular, it represents one of the main causes of death among adolescents and young adults aged between 15 and 29 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes suicide as “an act of deliberate killing” and that is placed at the extreme end of the continuous spectrum of suicidal behaviors (SBs). These include suicidal ideation, attempted suicide and suicide itself.
Objective: The aim of the present review was to better clarify the suicide vulnerability genetic biomarkers and genetic variants correlated with the response to lithium and clozapine and to evaluate some correspondences.
Methods: We reviewed the current literature, focusing our attention on genetic molecular studies about neurobiological systems involved in SBs and pharmacogenetic studies about antisuicidal drugs (lithium and clozapine).
Results: The studies that we have reviewed have shown mixed results. Interestingly, rs1800532 polymorphism of the SLC6A4 gene, encoding for the serotonin transporter, is potentially correlated with both suicide vulnerability and a poor response to lithium and clozapine.
Conclusion: Due to the impact of suicide on public health, more studies are needed to open a promising route to prevent suicide in personalized and precise psychiatry.