In an earlier, separate study, the authors found that human aggression
and suicide (a specific aggression-related behavior) were associated with
lower levels of CSF 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), a serotonin
metabolite. That study focused on subjects with personality disorders
without affective illness. In the present study they examine the life
history of aggression and history of suicidal behavior in 12 subjects with
borderline personality disorders without major affective disorder.
Histories of aggressive behaviors and of suicide attempts were
significantly associated with each other, and each was significantly
associated with lower 5-HIAA levels. Altered serotonin metabolism may be a
highly significant contributing factor to these behaviors in whatever
diagnostic group they occur.