UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurology

Publication Date


Document Type



Suicide; Depressive Disorder, Major; Biological Markers


Mental and Social Health | Neurology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Major depression occurs at high prevalence in the general population, often starts in juvenile years, recurs over a lifetime, and is strongly associated with disability and suicide. Searches for biological markers in depression may have been hindered by assuming that depression is a unitary and relatively homogeneous disorder, mainly of mood, rather than addressing particular, clinically crucial features or diagnostic subtypes. Many studies have implicated quantitative alterations of motility rhythms in depressed human subjects. Since a candidate feature of great public-health significance is the unusually high risk of suicidal behavior in depressive disorders, we studied correlations between a measure (vulnerability index [VI]) derived from multi-scale characteristics of daily-motility rhythms in depressed subjects (n = 36) monitored with noninvasive, wrist-worn, electronic actigraphs and their self-assessed level of suicidal thinking operationalized as a wish to die. Patient-subjects had a stable clinical diagnosis of bipolar-I, bipolar-II, or unipolar major depression (n = 12 of each type). VI was associated inversely with suicidal thinking (r = -0.61 with all subjects and r = -0.73 with bipolar disorder subjects; both p

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Copyright: © 2012 Indic et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



Indic P, Murray G, Maggini C, Amore M, Meschi T, et al. (2012) Multi-Scale Motility Amplitude Associated with Suicidal Thoughts in Major Depression. PLoS ONE 7(6): e38761. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038761. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

PloS one

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PubMed ID