Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Adherence to psychotropic medications, pharmacogenomics, toxicology and polygenic risk for suicide

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.09.00  Medical sciences  Psychiatry   

Code Science Field
3.02  Medical and Health Sciences  Clinical medicine 
suicide, depressive disorder, antidepressants, adherence, pharmacogenetics, genetic biomarkers, genome-wide association study
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on December 9, 2023; A3 for period 2017-2021
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  290  8,785  8,160  28.14 
Scopus  272  10,826  10,137  37.27 
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  55960  Andrea Grof Kavčič    Technical associate  2021 - 2023 
2.  24344  PhD Nataša Kejžar  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2021 - 2023  152 
3.  08095  PhD Mojca Kržan  Neurobiology  Researcher  2021 - 2023  268 
4.  55201  Martin Mervic  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2021 - 2023 
5.  18323  PhD Peter Pregelj  Psychiatry  Researcher  2021 - 2023  364 
6.  53471  Vesna Sočan  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2021 - 2023 
7.  08992  PhD Janez Stare  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2021 - 2023  276 
8.  53469  Iris Šalamon Arčan  Psychiatry  Junior researcher  2021 - 2023  28 
9.  52587  Peter Štrafela  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2021 - 2023 
10.  27742  PhD Alja Videtič Paska  Medical sciences  Researcher  2021 - 2023  213 
11.  17942  Katja Vodopivec Mohorčič    Technical associate  2021 - 2023 
12.  22072  PhD Tomaž Zupanc  Medical sciences  Head  2021 - 2023  189 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0381  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine  Ljubljana  1627066  45,408 
Suicidal behaviour is a complex behavioral phenomenon and locally and globally major public health, economic and social burden. Presence of psychiatric disorder(s) and suicide attempt substantially influences overall risk and temporality for completed suicide. Due to new insights into the pathophysiology of depression a range of new drugs have been developed that are not proven to be more effective than standard therapy. Although the role of heredity in the antidepressant response is not known, it does seem to run in families, suggesting a genetic component. Resolution on the National Mental Health Program 2018-2028 (ReNMHP) is the first strategic document in Slovenia that comprehensively addresses the field of mental health care and highlights suicide as a major public health problem. Among the five key specific objectives of suicide prevention is early identification and providing access to help and treatment for those at risk of suicide. The overall aim of the proposed research is to investigate possible associations between adherence to treatment with prescribed psychotropic medications and suicide and systematic investigation of fenotype and genotype of suicide victims in the Slovenian population. The purpose of the research is to develop a predictive algorithm of adherence with prescribed psychotropic drugs based on the way of managing data on prescribed drugs in Slovenia involving the metabolic status of the individual for the each prescribed psychotropic drug and results of postmortem toxicological measurements as confirmation of adherence to prescribed drugs. The second goal is to genotype the entire genome of the phenotypically well-defined sample of suicide victims. We anticipate that we could identify significant differences in single nucleotide polymorphisms of genes in fenotypically well-defined groups of suicide completers, rather than among all suicide completers and control group. The genetic profile of depressed suicide victims, could be better defined than other genetic profiles of suicidal behavior. Genetic factors of suicidal behaviour could be the result of small effects of genetic variations in many genes, which could have a direct impact on the individual's impulsivity and aggressiveness. The proposed research could also help to examine connection of the use of reuptake inhibitors of monoamines, specially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, to the risk for violent suicide. Discovery of a set of new polygenic biomarkers associated with suicide and mental disorders means a set of novel potential risk indicators, which could contribute to earlier identification of endangered individuals based on polygenic risk assessment of the onset of suicidal behaviour. One of the parallel goals of the research is also the longitudinal retrospective-prospective monitoring of epidemic Covid-19 disease on the suicide. The ultimate goal is to provide new knowledge to promote a better understanding of how pharmacotherapy can be improved in groups at risk for suicide and the role of heredity in responding to antidepressant therapy. This could contribute to the creation of new conceptual guidelines in the field of prevention and clinical strategies to assess and reduce the risk of suicidal behavior and thereby to the realization of the set of goals of the ReNMHP connected with suicidal behaviour. In this way, we could also reduce the cost of treating mental disorders, relieve the health fund and social burden due to the premature death of suicide victims.
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