Association between BDNF levels and suicidal behaviour: a systematic review protocol
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BACKGROUND: Suicide is a worldwide public health concern that claims close to 1 million lives each year. Suicidal behaviour is a significant risk factor for completed suicide and is much more prevalent than completed suicide. Many internal and external factors contribute to the risk of suicidal behaviour. Recent research has focused on biological markers in suicide risk, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a protein involved in the growth, function, and maintenance of the nervous system. It has been implicated in psychiatric disorders and suicide. While some evidence suggests that reduced levels of BDNF are associated with suicide, the precise relationship has yet to be determined. The aim of this study is to review the literature examining the relationship between levels of BDNF and suicidal behaviour. METHODS: A predefined search strategy will be implemented to search the following electronic databases: PubMed/MEDLINE, Excerpta Medica Database (EMBASE), PsycINFO, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) from inception. The articles will be screened by two independent authors (RE and SP) using predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Discrepancies will be resolved by consensus, or by a third author (ZS) in cases of disagreement. The primary outcome will be the association between levels of BDNF and suicidal behaviour. A meta-analysis will be conducted if appropriate. Quality of evidence and risk of bias will be evaluated. DISCUSSION: The findings of this review will assist in identifying and treating individuals at increased risk of suicide. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42015015871 .
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