Given the increasing rate of death by suicide in the United States, it is imperative to examine specific risk factors and to identify possible etiologies of suicidal behavior in at-risk clinical subpopulations. There is accumulating evidence to support an elevated risk of death by suicide in individuals with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this review article, after defining terms used in suicidology, we discuss the associations of TBI with death by suicide, suicide attempt, and suicidal ideation. A model for repetitive TBIs, leading to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is also discussed as a neuroinflammatory process, with discussion about its possible link with suicide. The review concludes with an overview of interventions to prevent suicidal behavior.
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