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Science Sunday, August 19th 2012 at 12:00 pm

The U.S. Military is Designing Anti-Suicide Spray

A scientist from the Indiana University School of Medicine has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Army to design a nasal spray that should suppress thoughts of suicide. Unfortunately, it makes perfect sense that the military would be looking into alternative methods to keep soldiers from killing themselves. According to RT, 116 U.S. soldiers have died of suspected suicide in 2012, and the army currently has the highest recorded rate of suicide in its history.

Developed by Dr. Michael Kubek, the spray would deliver an extra dose of thyrotropin-releasing hormone, (TRH for short) which causes a “euphoric, calming, antidepressant effect.” TRH has been used in the past to treat severe depression and bi-polar disorders. Between the quick-acting effect of the chemical and fairly direct delivery system, the drug might be able to literally stop people from killing themselves on the spot.

You may be asking, “why haven’t doctors been using this kind of drug to treat depression for years?” The problem is the delivery system. TRH isn’t effective when taken in pill form or by blood injection. Right now, the only way to administer it is with an injection directly into the spine. That’s why they want to develop a new delivery system.

Obviously, if the chemical works it won’t be long before doctors start prescribing TRH for depression and thoughts of suicide to everyone. That’ll be an especially big help for anyone taking one of the dozens of designer drugs that may increase thoughts of suicide.

(RT via reddit, image credit via Nicole Aptekar)

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