Sweat could reveal suicide risk

Monitoring the sweat glands of people with depression could help prevent suicides, a Swedish researcher has said.

Dr. Lars-Håkan Thorell of Linköping University says activity in the sweat glands of the fingertips can be linked to tendency of depressed people to kill themselves.

Thorell has developed a method for measuring sweating from the fingertips using silver electrodes. He said he hopes the method will be used in the future on a range of psychiatric patients.

Psychiatrist Thomas Eriksson, who runs a private clinic in Linköping, said he welcomed the new method.

“If we can measure which patients are hyporeactive we can identify those cases where it is particularly important that we continue to treat,” he told Norrköpings Tidningar.