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Clinical Trial Summary

Several elements suggest that suicidal vulnerability may be associated with an alteration in the perception of affective touch. On the one hand, anhedonia, characterized by a decrease in the pleasure felt, is strongly associated with suicidal ideation, independently of depression. However, the ability to feel pleasure is essential in the perception of affective touch. On the other hand, suicidal behaviors are associated with interpersonal difficulties, of which communication is an integral part, and communication is partly through touch. The investigators therefore wish to explore the perception of affective touch in suicidal behavior by using an affective tactile stimulation in 72 subjects with and without a history of suicide attempts (SA).


Clinical Trial Description

This study aims to compare the perceived hedonic nature of affective touch in euthymic subjects with a history of SA and euthymic subjects without a history of SA. The investigators also aim to : - compare the perceived hedonic nature of non-affective touch in this population; - compare the perceived intensity of affective touch; - compare the perceived intensity of non-affective touch; - study the association between decision making performance and perceived pleasantness of affective vs. non-affective touch; - study the association between plasma beta-endorphin levels and the perceived pleasantness of affective vs. non-affective touch; - study the effect of the tactile stimulation on the expression of opioidergic genes, by comparing the mRNA levels of 6 genes coding for opioidergic receptors and peptides before and after tactile stimulation; - investigate the association between tactile stimulation-related opioidergic gene expression variation and the perception of the pleasantness of affective versus non-affective touch. To do so, 72 euthymic women will be included and divided in two groups: 1) Euthymic patients with a lifetime history of major depressive episode and a history of suicidal behavior; 2) Euthymic patients with a lifetime history of a major depressive episode and no history of suicidal behavior. Participants will be subjected to tactile stimulation (affective and non-affective), following a clinical and neurospychological assessment. During the experimental touch, participants will be asked to evaluate the pleasantness of the touch and its intensity. In addition, blood samples will be taken before and after the stimulation. Participation will be done in one day or in two visits, up to 72 hours apart. The investigators expect: 1) subjects with a history of TS to have a decreased perceived pleasantness of affective touch compared to subjects without a history of TS; 2) the difference between the perceived pleasantness of affective versus non-affective touch to be smaller in patients with a history of TS; 3) decision making to be related to the hedonic nature of affective touch; 4) a change in the expression of opioidergic genes. This study will contribute to a better knowledge of the vulnerability to suicidal behaviors and to a better understanding of psychopathology in order to offer specific and more adapted prevention and management strategies. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05182827
Study type Interventional
Source University Hospital, Montpellier
Contact Emilie OLIE, MD PhD
Phone +33 4 67 33 85 81
Email [email protected]
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date January 2022
Completion date July 2023

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