2008 issue 3

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Volume 17, issue 3

Review article

Neurobiological determinants of impulsive and suicidal tendencies: the role of the endocannabinoid system

Piotr Wierzbiński1, Piotr Gałecki1, Maciej Kuśmierek1, Sławomir Szubert1, Kinga Bobińska1, Stanisław Teleśnicki2, Antoni Florkowski1
1. Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Łodzi
2. Oddział Obserwacji Sądowo-Psychiatrycznej Szpitala przy Areszcie Śledczym w Krakowie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2008; 17 (3): 219-223
Keywords: impulsivity, endocannabinoids

Abstract

Objectives. The etiology of impulsivity and aggressive behavior is explained in terms of many factors, including social, environmental, and socioeconomic characteristics. Moreover, neurobiological factors seem to be of the utmost importance. The concurrence of affective disorders with the individual's enhanced impulsivity significantly increases his/her suicide risk.
Review. The findings of recent years have shown the endocannabinoid system involvement in a number of processes occurring in the central nervous system. Interaction between the endocannabinoid system, neurotransmitters and the neuroendocrine system suggests a considerable influence of endocannabinoids on psychological well-being.
Conclusions. Endocannabinoid receptor antagonists reduce aggression, impulsivity and may lead to mood improvement, thus potentially contributing to a decrease in suicide rates.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Piotr Wierzbiński
Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Łodzi
Szpital im. J. Babińskiego, Oddział XIB
ul. Aleksandrowska 159, 91-229 Łódź
tel.: (042) 652-12-89
faks: (042) 640-50-58
e-mail: piotrek2008@wp.pl