Completed suicide is much more common in men than in women. Its incidence rises precipitously in adolescence. One biological hypothesis that accounts for the increased frequency of completed suicide in men is that the male sex hormone testosterone partially mediates the observed increase in suicide frequency among men. It is the aim of this communication to review the relevant literature and to describe putative biological mechanisms for this association. Specifically, we propose that the impairment wrought by of high levels of testosterone in the adolescent upon the emotion regulation system contribute to an account for these findings. Herein, we describe this neural system and the specific effects of testosterone upon the system. We conclude with a discussion of clinical implications and applications with an aim of stimulating further research.
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Corresponding author: Timothy R. Rice, MD, Assistant Professor, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1230, New York, NY 10029, USA, Phone: +212 241 7175, E-mail:
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