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Spinal Fluid Chemical Levels Linked To Suicidal Behavior

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the worth-looking-into dept.

Medicine 85

An anonymous reader writes "For the first time, researchers have found that a chemical in the brain called glutamate is linked to suicidal behavior. While previous research and drugs have targeted serotonin to fight severe depression, this study shows that more attention should be paid to this chemical."

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Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (4, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 2 years ago | (#42301939)

Medical Daily is not a reliable source, in my opinion. Is the publication paying for so many links to it? Does the owner of Slashdot, Dice Holdings, have a financial relationship with Medical Daily?

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (3, Informative)

BeanThere (28381) | about 2 years ago | (#42301977)

TFA contains a direct link to the original article in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology [nature.com] FFS, can we advance to the next stage of logical fallacies now ..

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (5, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42302083)

OK then, it's Bush's fault....

The original FA (in the journal) has a reasonable abstract:

The NMDA-receptor antagonist ketamine has proven efficient in reducing symptoms of suicidality, although the mechanisms explaining this effect have not been detailed in psychiatric patients. Recent evidence points towards a low-grade inflammation in brains of suicide victims. Inflammation leads to production of quinolinic acid (QUIN) and kynurenic acid (KYNA), an agonist and antagonist of the glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, respectively. We here measured QUIN and KYNA in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 64 medication-free suicide attempters and 36 controls, using gas chromatography mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography. We assessed the patients clinically using the Suicide Intent Scale and the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). We found that QUIN, but not KYNA, was significantly elevated in the CSF of suicide attempters (p less than 0.001). As predicted, the increase in QUIN was associated with higher levels of CSF interleukin-6. Moreover, QUIN levels correlated with the total scores on Suicide Intent Scale. There was a significant decrease of QUIN in patients who came for follow-up lumbar punctures within 6 months after the suicide attempt. In summary, we here present clinical evidence of increased QUIN in the CSF of suicide attempters. An increased QUIN/KYNA quotient speaks in favor of an overall NMDA-receptor stimulation. The correlation between QUIN and the Suicide Intent Scale indicates that changes in glutamatergic neurotransmission could be specifically linked to suicidality. Our findings have important implications for the detection and specific treatment of suicidal patients, and might explain the observed remedial effects of ketamine.

TL;DR - Suicidally depressed patients seem to have a low level inflammatory process going on. They measure two compounds (out of many) in spinal fluid samples of depressed and control patients that are part of the inflammatory pathway are related to the turnover of glutamate, an amino acid felt to be a neurotransmitter (first link the TFS, a nice short explanation). The glutamate agonist levels were higher in suicidal patients, the glutamate antagonist not.

Potentially a method of quantitating level of suicideality which is a very problematic issue (witness the recent shootings in Connecticut). Very early data. Manuscript submitted but not accepted. At the level of interesting but don't run down to the local Szechuan restaurant and OD on MSG. Oh, and leave the ketamine to the vets.

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42302091)

Forgot to add:

Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Ball.

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about 2 years ago | (#42303071)

Mr Hoppy!

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (5, Funny)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | about 2 years ago | (#42302769)

glutamate, an amino acid felt to be a neurotransmitter

Felt to be a neurotransmitter in the same way that hemoglobin is felt to be important to your circulatory system.

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42303103)

Speaking of which, are suicide rates lower in Japan? According to my buddies wife, who lived there for a while, it's actually hard to find regular salt because almost everyone uses MSG exclusively. I also use MSG almost exclusively instead of table salt. Not because it tastes better or anything, I just like to freak people out when I cook for them and they want to know what I put in it. As soon as I whip out the MSG their eyes get big "I thought that was poisonous!!!" lol

FYI: MSG + Onion powder + fresh ground white and black pepper mixed in with ground beef is the ultimate recipe for burgers.

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42303119)

Answered my own question:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_Japan [wikipedia.org]
Looks like MSG wont do you any good. But if anything will get you out of your funk and keep you from offing yourself, my burger recipe is it.

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (2)

number6x (626555) | about 2 years ago | (#42303585)

re-read the article. The people who attempted suicide had higher levels of glutamate:

The research indicated that the patients who had attempted suicide had quinolinic levels that were twice as high as the controls had. That indicated that their glutamate levels were far higher than that of healthy people. The patients who had reported having the strongest desire to kill themselves also had the highest levels of quinolinic acid.

So you should keep those burgers away from depressed people with easy access to knives. From the look of the article you linked to, It might do the Japanese some good to cut down as well.

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304199)

Interestingly, I saw an article recently that links glutamate-like poisons in red tide outbreaks to squid beachings in California.

http://www.livescience.com/25550-mass-squid-suicide.html
"The poisonous chemical mimics a brain chemical called glutamate in mammals, though domoic acid is 10,000 times more potent than glutamate. The similar structure means domoic acid can bind to glutamate receptors on neurons."

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (1)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#42304781)

So are we saying that Japanese ritual suicide may in fact just be the result of a seasoning selection??? Hhhhmmmm, DEATH BY UMAMI!!!!

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (1)

AsmCoder8088 (745645) | about 2 years ago | (#42303615)

I thought the article said that the suicidal patients had *higher* levels of glutamate, not lower. So wouldn't the extra glutamate from MSG intake make you more suicidal? In any case, it's like they say, all things in moderation.

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (1)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 2 years ago | (#42341101)

True story, I was once given a stern lecture on the dangers of MSG's by a colleague while he sat smoking a cigarette. No trace of irony in his voice. That said, MSG's probably really aren't very good for you.

xCT cystein antiporter ! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304875)

It may all come down the the xCT cystein antiporter on glial cells. These cells mop up excess extracellular glutamic acid and turn it into inactive glutamine which can be safely returned to neurons as well as producing Glutathione together with cystein

as our bodies produce superoxide radical O2^- as a by product of respiration we've developed a defense mechanism the SuperOxideDismutase enzyme which turns it into the less harmful H2O2, consuming glutathione in the process. Glutathione is a tripeptide manifactured from Cystein Glutamic Acid and Glycine. Now while none of these are classed as essential amino acids, disruption of their metabolisms are being linked to disease states. Glutathione has recently become more famous due to experimental use in ameliorating parkinsons, and also due to its skin whitening effects.

Glutathione is also crucial for many detoxification systems in the body, recycling other antioxidants, and in defending the body and CNS from certain heavy metals, and other toxins.

The body makes around 45g/day of glycine, although other products such as serine and trimethylglycine depend on the levels of homocystine and if the person is suffering from a methylation block. Interestingly Glycine has shown therapeutic effects in schizophrenia, and for improving depth and quality of sleep. Cystine is a particularly important aminoacid, involved in the methylation cycle and a necessary component of many enzymes. It can become a limiting factor for synthesis of Glutathione.

When the ratio of cystein to glutamic acid swings too far the xCT cystine antiporters on Glial cells do not function correctly leading to excess extra-cellular glutamic acid and excitotoxicity. This is compounded by the decreased production of Glutathione which would alleviate this excitotoxicity.

The body recycles cysteine through a cycle involving the conversion into homocystine and back, utilising folic acid, B12 and B6. Homocystine is neurotoxic, a factor in cardiovascular disease, and typically accumulates with age.

the enzymes involved in the synthesis and recycling of of glutathione have been shown to be induced by melatonin, another very important antioxidant that concentrates in CSF, the nucleolus and mitochondria where is protects DNA. read Jennifer Anne Lukes thesis.

So part of the problem could be a deficiency of Glutathione, and or cystine, and or methylation block leading to to excess homocysteine, possibly exacerbated by reduced melatonin levels seen in the mentally ill.

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42305033)

Karma whore!

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42306831)

Just to complete the discussion, as one who has had to face depression in the past, freshly prepared buttermilk works like a direct antidote a neural "soothing" chemical if you can say that within minutes of reaching the stomach - cold buttermilk with sugar is even better.

Been there, seen that, works like magic.

Drink one glass of sweet cool buttermilk twice a day at the minimum.
More when you feel tense / worried / restless.

You're welcome in advance.

And you heard it here first.

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42308359)

[...]Drink one glass of sweet cool buttermilk twice a day at the minimum.
More when you feel tense / worried / restless.

You're welcome in advance.

And you heard it here first.

Actually this grandma's home remedy has been around in India/Asia/Middle East for 1000s of years. Buttermilk tinged with sugar is called chaaz in Northern India

So yeah, we've heard it much before here.

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (1)

Panruru (1782876) | about 2 years ago | (#42312447)

Thanks for the tip! I will try this tomorrow.

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | about 2 years ago | (#42308847)

Oh, and leave the ketamine to the vets.

Soldiers have all the fun

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42308033)

It's the study that is debatable. So many times these studies fail to examine enough subjects to have an accurate view of a problem. The differences in spinal fluid contents is not enough base anything on.

Studies do not have all the facts when they make such a discovery. There may be some other activity or situation that increases the glutamate unrelated to suicidal thoughts. For instance how many of the subjects were students and would have high Subliminal Distraction exposure.

VisionAndPsychosis.Net Visit the Wayback Machine for the full psychology project from VisionAndPsychosis.Net while the new linear site is written.

Re:Suggestion: Stop linking to Medical Daily. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42315843)

Medical Daily is not a reliable source, in my opinion. Is the publication paying for so many links to it? Does the owner of Slashdot, Dice Holdings, have a financial relationship with Medical Daily?

Look at how many articles come from The Register. There seems to be some high preference for low quality tabloid journalism. I don't think it's money.

first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42301951)

first

And the antidote: (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#42301993)

Special K.

"No, officer, I'm not abusing drugs, I'm suicidal"

Re:And the antidote: (2)

demonlapin (527802) | about 2 years ago | (#42302183)

It is one hell of an antidepressant. Really.

Re:And the antidote: (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#42302525)

I know a few more that kick in really well. Oddly, none of them make it into prescription drugs.

The mad tinfoil hatter in me claims it's because it's much more profitable to keep selling pills that don't work and tell people that they "need a while to work".

Re:And the antidote: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303151)

Dextromethorphan hit the same spot with the addition of dopamine and serotonin. But sadly both K, DXM, Dizocilpine and Phencyclidine cause the retrosplenial cortex brain cells to secrete heat shock protein at high or regular dosage.

Glutamate (5, Informative)

Canjo (1956258) | about 2 years ago | (#42302029)

Glutamate is one of the major neurotransmitters, involved in almost everything the brain does. Reading this summary is kind of like reading "Scientists have discovered that a mysterious substance called 'blood' is involved in heart disease...."

Re:Glutamate (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 years ago | (#42302165)

It also overlooked the obvious correlation of suicide with dihydrogen monoxide. Not only has every person who committed suicide ingested this chemical, some even commit suicide by inhaling it!

Re:Glutamate (1)

Divebus (860563) | about 2 years ago | (#42303485)

Ha! I always kept a jug full of liquid labeled "dihydrogen monoxide cleaning fluid" in my fridge. Nobody ever touched it but they sure asked about it.

Re:Glutamate (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 2 years ago | (#42305127)

It's even worse than that -- although glutamate has been found in only trace amounts, dihydroden monoxide seems to have completely taken over the bodies of suicide victims, almost as if their bodies were made of the stuff....

Focus the research where it matters (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 2 years ago | (#42305479)

The important part is that the suicidal people had dihydrogen monoxide in their cerebrospinal fluid.

Re:Glutamate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42302175)

High blood pressure does lead to heart disease, like high brain activity leads to depression.

Re:Glutamate (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#42302191)

Yeah, I can see how thinking too hard can lead to depression in this world.

Re:Glutamate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303199)

Thinking too hard and getting absolutely nowhere, with no horizon of actually getting somewhere.

Anecdotally, I've noticed that people who don't like thining hard, and don't care if they get anywhere, are the happiest people out there. And because of the preconditions, you won't find them on Slashdot.

Re:Glutamate (2)

TeslaBoy (1593823) | about 2 years ago | (#42302209)

Indeed. Glutamate is THE MAIN neurotransmitter used by the brain. Drugs targetting glutamate transmission are very common, but because it is so fundamental to brain function, drug effects are very non-specific (wake up, fall asleep, or highly toxic). Medical Daily is clear not a reputable source.

Re:Glutamate (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#42302881)

Alas, that's about the state of neuropharmacology. The whole serotonin SSRI anti-depressant thing is at about the same level (and probably wrong).

Re:Glutamate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303573)

As a neuroscientist, I endorse this response.

Re:Glutamate (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about 2 years ago | (#42304481)

Or it would be like saying that "electrons have been found to play a critical role in the transmission of signals in CPUs. It's a true statement, but the neurotransmitters are used in a huge variety of circuits and not limited to just one subset of neurons that subserve just one set of functions.

Re:Glutamate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42322599)

I think the the discovery of a low-grade inflammation is the big find here.

Flavour enhancer (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#42302105)

Glutamate is a quite common flavour enhancer in processed food. Does that mean processed food can make you suicidal?

Re:Flavour enhancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42302179)

May be that's why brains are tasty!

Re:Flavour enhancer (5, Funny)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#42302495)

Glutamate is a quite common flavour enhancer in processed food. Does that mean processed food can make you suicidal?

No, but it does explain why brains are so tasty.

Re:Flavour enhancer (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 2 years ago | (#42304899)

Glutamate is a quite common flavour enhancer in processed food. Does that mean processed food can make you suicidal?

No, but it does explain why brains are so tasty.

These [ihatemymessageboard.com] ought to be delicious, then! (Er, but you can try them first, though...)

Warning; link NSFL ("Not Safe For Lunchtime").

Re:Flavour enhancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42302577)

Maybe it explains the Twinkie defense [wikipedia.org] (considering that going on a killing spree is a self-destructive behavior since you'll end up in jail).

Re:Flavour enhancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303247)

Glutamate is a quite common flavour enhancer in processed food. Does that mean processed food can make you suicidal?

Could explain the depression that follows withdrawal from said food. In "Supersize Me", among other things, the guy noticed how his sense of self-worth and self-esteem plumetted after eating fast food, and that got fixed only when he got his next meal. Glutamate overdosing? Body ejecting it in an attempt to balance itself, but overshoots?

Re:Flavour enhancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303367)

IIRC, sodium monoglutamate is used to give good taste to meat products. Just because it contains the word "glutamate" doesn't mean processed food makes you suicidal. Just because it contains the word "sodium" doesn't mean sodium chloride tastes like meat or that it's a good idea to drink chloride.

tl;dr You have no idea what you're talking about. No offense, I hope that answers your question.

Re:Flavour enhancer (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#42306319)

Reading your comment, I'm not sure that you know what you are talking about.

Let's start with your last example, of sodium chloride. When solved in water, it is separately sodium ions and chloride ions. Sop yes, you are drinking chloride when you're drinking sodium chloride. And there's nothing wrong with that as long as you don't drink (or eat) too much of it. Maybe you were confusing it with chlorine (same element, but neutral molecules; drinking that certainly is not a good idea, although at normal conditions it's a gas anyway, so you'd more likely breathe than drink it; of course breathing it isn't exactly healthy either).

Now to sodium monoglutamate. The "sodium" part means there are sodium ions (unlike for anions, kations are not named differently from their neutral form; however it's quite clear that it doesn't contain netral, i.e. metallic, sodium). The "mono" in "monoglutamate" means that there there's just one glutamate per sodium ion. So it comes doen to what is meant with "glutamate" here. Since it is very unusual to name two completely different things the same name in chemistry, I strongly doubt that the glutamate in sodium monoglutamate is a different substance than the glutamate in the brain. Moreover the basic function of glutamate, namely being a flavour enhancer, fits quite well with it being a neurotransmitter. That's because it does not taste like meat, but it enhances the taste, effectively making the taste buds transmit a stronger signal. It makes sense that a neurotransmitter might have that effect.

Does that suffice to imply that processed food makes you suicidal? Of course not. It just means that there might be a connection. That's why I formulated it as question, not as claim.

tl;dr: Before accusing others not to know what they are talking about, you should make sure you know what you are talking about yourself.

Re:Flavour enhancer (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | about 2 years ago | (#42308867)

Before accusing others not to know what they are talking about, you should make sure you know what you are talking about yourself.

Welcome to the new /.

Re:Flavour enhancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42306429)

Thank you!

Precisely what I was thinking. Just because it has glutmate, doesn't mean it's going to go through the entire metabolic process and end up in your brain!

High levels of glutamate indicate low levels of B6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42302125)

Because B6 converts glutamate to GABA, a more sedative / relaxing neurotransmitter; so, basically, they're saying that people with a B6 deficiency are prone to depression. This is not a surprise.

Glutamate has become very common in modern food (3, Informative)

dtjohnson (102237) | about 2 years ago | (#42302239)

Glutamate has become very common in all sorts of pre-cooked prepared foods...everything from canned soup to rice-a-roni mixes. It's usually added as something called "MSG" or monosodium glutamate although it is also often added under names such as 'hydrolyzed protein,' 'autolyzed protein,' 'sodium caseinate,' 'autolyzed yeast,' or 'yeast extract.' Food manufacturers have found that adding MSG has a powerful on flavor and makes consumers more likely to 'like' the food and consume greater quantities. A more scientific name for 'glutamate' is 'glutamic acid' and it is a common amino acid found in protein. Food manufacturers have argued successfully for years that since it is an amino acid found in protein, there should be no restrictions on its use. However, as TFA discusses, the quantity of glutamic acid consumed DOES matter and artificially spiking a variety of food with it to make the food taste better may be causing a lot of suicides. Perhaps the school shooter in Connecticut was a heavy consumer of something spiked with MSG such as, for example, many (although not all) varieties of potato chips.

Re:Glutamate has become very common in modern food (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | about 2 years ago | (#42302619)

You do realize that it is not only so called 'processed' foods that have MSG, right? Yes it is obviously a drug, but a very effective one. Used in the correct dosage it can make flavors more intense. Unfortunately I am highly sensitive to MSG and can only use very small quantities of it.

Re:Glutamate has become very common in modern food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42302681)

I have severe migraines and can NEVER eat anything with MSG in it -- I recently have completely given up on whey protein largely because the ingredients you mentioned are added. I take MAX-ALT at the onset of a migraine with alters serotonin levels and is very effective. I find this article interesting.

Re:Glutamate has become very common in modern food (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42302701)

the blood/brain barrier is not permeable to glutamate

Re:Glutamate has become very common in modern food (1)

chriscappuccio (80696) | about 2 years ago | (#42302877)

More to the point, MSG is the beginning of modern food science. It was first extracted from seaweed. It was the first chemical extracted from food. Considered a "chemical condiment" which increased food reward and therefore food consumption. None of the potential effects of increasing food reward in such a high-potency fashion, or any negative effects from constant increase in brain neurotransmitter levels were considered (and hardly are today, over 100 years later)

Re:Glutamate has become very common in modern food (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#42302941)

Perhaps the school shooter in Connecticut was a heavy consumer of something spiked with MSG such as, for example, many (although not all) varieties of potato chips.

Well, one thing is for certain, due to the demise of Hostess, if he had survived, he wouldn't have been able to use the "Twinkie Defense": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twinkie_defense [wikipedia.org]

Re:Glutamate has become very common in modern food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42302963)

sodium caseinate

Is a variation on protein in milk and cheese, and actually consist mostly of the amino acid proline instead of glutamate. If you want to avoid this, you need to pretty much avoid all dairy products.

' 'autolyzed yeast,' or 'yeast extract.'

This should be a hint that yeasty food also has a lot of glutamates in it, so if you are trying to avoid them, you should avoid anything made with yeast...

more scientific name for 'glutamate' is 'glutamic acid'

No, glutamate is a more generic term that includes various salts in addition to the simple acid form, they are not synonymous words. The distinction of such things can frequently be important when discussing the ability of various molecules to cross barriers within the body, as salt forms sometimes differ from the acid form.

So besides cheese and dairy products, don't forget to avoid many soy products, shellfish, seaweed, a lot of fish, many kinds of tea, and possibly most meat, although many veggies have more free glutamates than meat, such as corn, stuff in the potato/tomato family, peas.

Re:Glutamate has become very common in modern food (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303189)

Oh horrors, better start avoiding that unnatural glutamate. All meat, fish, cheese and tomato products are evil and full of that stuff! All that savory tasting stuff.

The reason it tastes good is because it is one of the few things we have taste receptors for. We like added glutamate for the same reason we like all those hearty tasting stews, roasts, casseroles and such that naturally contain it.

That scary sounding monosodium, disodium and such parts in front of the name are mostly irrelevant. They just sound scary but mean that the glutamic acid is added in it's a sodium salt form. (like the scary sounding sodium chloride, table salt)

Simply said:
Glutamic acid is an non-essential amino acid (an amino acid that the body also synthesises by itself) and pretty important for cellural metabolism and liver functions. Perfectly natural thing. The glutamate you eat doesn't magically start screwing up your brain.
Since most mental states (and many problems) are caused by different balances of neurotransmitters it not strange that a change in glutamate balance affects the mind in some way. That is how the brain works. Eating added glutamate does not directly affect the amount of glutamate released in your neurons.

Re:Glutamate has become very common in modern food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303587)

Eating added glutamate does not directly affect the amount of glutamate released in your neurons

It better else you'll have lots of excess glutamate in your body. The body doesn't waste resources making things it doesn't need when it's healthy. There's feedback sensors which cut or increases production of different chemicals as needed.

Re:Glutamate has become very common in modern food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303395)

Effective troll is effective.

Re:Glutamate has become very common in modern food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303583)

Glutamate has become very common in all sorts of pre-cooked prepared foods...everything from canned soup to rice-a-roni mixes.

Rice-a-roni, the suicidal treat. *ding* *ding*

I consume lots of MSG, and it doesn't make me feel suicidal. Sleepy, yeah. Perhaps feeling tired can make some people more depressed?

Re:Glutamate has become very common in modern food (1)

slothman32 (629113) | about 2 years ago | (#42306167)

Glutamate and glutamic acid are 2 different things.
One is an acid and the other the conjugate base of it.
Glutamic acid has 2 Hydrogens it can lose.
MSG has 1.
In a basic enough solution it could even lose the other Hydrogen.

Re:Glutamate has become very common in modern food (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 2 years ago | (#42312665)

That explains why when I eat a REALLY good curry, I think to myself "I could die now, happy". Damn that MSG!

Glutamate linked to suicide? (3, Funny)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 2 years ago | (#42302283)

Then just lay off the cheap chinese food, and "things will get betterer"?

How does this account for all the people committing suicide in Finland? There aren't many cheap chinese food places there, but those people kill themselves all the time.

Monosodium? Whatever. Listen, I got an AGENDA to push, so don't get in the way with chemistry. The shit's like alchemy - bad for you.

We live in caves. We speak with our hands.

Re:Glutamate linked to suicide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303043)

"How does this account for all the people committing suicide in Finland?"

The Finnish culture has traditionally stressed that people should carry their own burdens and not cause trouble to others. The Swedish-speaking minority is very different in that respect and its suicide rate much lower.

As a product of the Finnish-speaking Finnish culture, I agree with its ideals and consider suicide a valid exit strategy in numerous situations. For example, two of my grandparents had Alzheimer's and I'm determined not to let my loved ones see me in that condition.

Alas, Finland is inching toward the Western mainstream. Instead of quietly killing oneself, one more commonly kills others (possibly killing oneself afterwards).

Re:Glutamate linked to suicide? (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 2 years ago | (#42303089)

Wow. All Finland's neighbours have to do then is open up a bunch of cheap chinese restaurants in Finland, and you fuckers will all be dead at your own hands in a matter of weeks!

Re:Glutamate linked to suicide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303135)

Why would Finland's neighbors want us dead?

Re:Glutamate linked to suicide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304483)

Good question.
Not sure that we want you dead, really, but I suppose if it just happened, we(the swedes) I could be prepared to split the loot with the russians.
But I suppose that they would get the land. No point giving it to us, really, as we'd would just lose it anyway, as we always seems to do in the end.
Also, it would satisfy their inherent imperialistic ambitions.
They would also claim any leftover booze so we would probably focus on other things like dismounting sauna heaters.

Re:Glutamate linked to suicide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303657)

What about Hungary, then? The rate has been even higher there. Oh wait, now I get it: Hungary for more of those extra flavoured foods, spiced with MSG!

Re:Glutamate linked to suicide? (1)

JockTroll (996521) | about 2 years ago | (#42303901)

Hungary has suicide-inducing songs ("Vége a világnak", known elsewhere as "Gloomy Sunday"). They had to get Sam M. Lewis to add a stanza to defuse it, or upon radio broadcasting it would have caused a massive epidemy of suicide-o-mania across the globe. It is rumored Nikola Tesla, an ancestor of the Winchester brothers and Marsupial Man were involved in the operation.

Re:Glutamate linked to suicide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304977)

Humans are not made to live in the dark and cold for most of the year. Duh.

Sunlight is *essential* for the production of many vitamins and neurotransmitters (including some that make you happy). Exercise is *essential* for your health and well-being, not only because the limbic system only got muscle movement to pump around the antibodies.

You can tell me what you want, but for most of the year, you can't do that in Finland. You know how to find out where humans naturally should live and belong to? Simple. Strip off all your clothes so you're completely naked. Now go outside for a whole day. (Let's assume there are either no other people there or everybody is comfortable with nudity.) Can you even go outside? Do you feel comfortable and mentally well-adjusted? How about in the evening when you come home? No? Then you shouldn't live there!
(Even if it's warm, you won't feel well in in the evening, when you haven't seen much sunlight. If you don't, after a day, you definitely will feel depressed after a week or month.)

I, for one, built myself a huge full-spectrum daylight lamp. (LEDs won't work. They look like daylight, but the bad spectrum [three thin lines] doesn't trigger the production of certain substances. So they are useless.) Which I will use, until I can afford to move to some place at least as far south as Spain.
Now if only they had those at the public indoor pools around here and in public transport trains, buses and stations. A single 1h travel in the evening is depressing enough that you start to think about wanting to live.

Re:Glutamate linked to suicide? (1, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 2 years ago | (#42305871)

How does this account for all the people committing suicide in Finland? There aren't many cheap chinese food places there

Finns in general have an asian genetic admixture. So, their food is chinese :-) . They also culturally drink incredible amounts of coffee. And there are cultural differences, including a stoicism that may lead to people getting less help for emotional issues. But perhaps the biggest issue is:

It's dark there. For much of the winter. People are sensitive to light.

Re:Glutamate linked to suicide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42307143)

"But perhaps the biggest issue is: It's dark there. For much of the winter."

No. Suicide is most common in May, when it doesn't get dark even in the night anymore. Besides, Norwegians, Icelanders and Swedes living hundreds of kilometers further up north from Helsinki commit only half as many suicides as Finns in Helsinki.

It's culture, plain and simple. Finnish men don't give a damn about each other.

MSG makes you clevererer (1)

formfeed (703859) | about 2 years ago | (#42311717)

Just let me summarize this whole discussion:
1. MSG is brain food.
2. If you eat lots of it you become really smart.

3a. That's why Chinese kids are good at math.
3b. American teens eat it and realize that they are losers, so they become suicidal.

(People in Finland just kill themselves because they are Finns.)

Bullshit.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42302325)

There is NO overall neurotransmitter imbalance. Saying that glutamate is related to suicidal behaviour is like saying high temperature causes drownings (because we swim more when it is summer).

Anxiety can cause suicidality as well as myriad of other things (severe brain damage etc) but, in general, there is nothing wrong in brain at neurotransmitter level.

=> You cannot prevent suicide (or other psychiatric conditions or behaviour) by trying to modify neurotransmitters, except in very clear (0.1%) of cases when there is a clear neurological condition.

Psychiatrists and their related research and marketing is full of quackery. If you really think there is something wrong in your brain, you should go to see a neurologist but in majority of "psychiatric" conditions there is none. Still using drugs to modify brain function is just bad idea, they cause way more problems than they solve.

Mod parent up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42302449)

EXACTLY! We have a whole industry based upon bad science and that perpetuates this BS. Instead of focusing solely on guns when some nut shoots people we should focus on how many of them have been on or are on drugs... we had plenty of guns in the past; my father kept his rifle in his high school locker and went shooting after school, as an after school activity! Now a pocket knife invokes a zero-brain policy.

Life is rarely binary.

Re:Mod parent up. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#42304189)

my father kept his rifle in his high school locker and went shooting after school, as an after school activity! Now a pocket knife invokes a zero-brain policy.

Toy guns and rubber knives apply to the zero-tolerance policies too. One kid got suspended for an Optimus Prime gun (the miniature size for the toy to hold).

MSG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42302551)

Clearly a vital ingredient for Kamikaze

glutamine != glutamate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304295)

Despite the similarity of their names and the fact that they are both amino acids, glutamine and glutamate are very different compounds. To indicate some link exists between them without scientific support is a bad joke that's over the heads of the lay public.

More 'psychiatry' bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304847)

Yes, suicide is 'caused by a chemical imbalance', that'll be it! It's not at all likely that problems in people's actual LIVES make them unhappy, which by definition, means they have different 'chemical balances' in their brains.

Psychiatry is the world's biggest fraud- ALL psychiatrists are sociopaths, incapable of feeling, so they try to dampen their patients' emotions so that the poor widdle psychiatrists don't have to feel them either... assholes.

Yeah, because it's a chemical that causes suicide. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304901)

Not, you know, being in a shit life, all alone, devoid of love, in a piece-of-shit dog-eat-dog society, working a slave job for no money, and everything around you being shit. Nooo, that can't be it! Because you can't just "fix" that by popping a pill and carry on... now without caring that you're still in the same shit situation!

Re:Yeah, because it's a chemical that causes suici (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42309329)

I was suicidal for no reason until I was prescribed Seroquel.

Now, I haven't had a suicidal thought in years.

Sucks being depressed even though your life rocks. No one understands whats wrong with you.

Not news to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42306079)

I know if I have a lot of food high in MSG (eg. any name brand junk food) several days in a row my mood is negatively affected, and if I'm already in a bad mood that makes it noticeably worse.

Search for MSG intolerance and see all the people who already know this.

One day this stuff will be banned.

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