Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Concussion and risk of suicide: who, when and under what circumstances?

A new analysis has found that concussion and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are linked to an increased risk of suicidal behaviours and thoughts. However, a host of risk factors might influence this correlation, and careful investigation is required to establish which individuals with mTBI might be most at risk of suicide.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Fralick, M. et al. Association of concussion with the risk of suicide: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Neurol. (2018).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Redelmeier, D. A. & Bhatti, J. A. On the link between concussions and suicide. JAMA Neurol. (2018).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Collins, M. W. et al. A comprehensive, targeted approach to the clinical care of athletes following sport-related concussion. Knee Surg. Sports Traumatol. Arthrosc. 22, 235–246 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bahraini, N. & Brenner, L. A. Screening for TBI and persistent symptoms provides opportunities for prevention and intervention. J. Head Trauma Rehabil. 28, 223–226 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Sampson, R. J. & Laub, J. H. in Developmental Theories of Crime and Delinquency: Advances in Criminological Theory Ch. 4 (ed. Thornberry, T.) (Transaction Publishers, 2004).

  6. Forrest, C. B. & Riley, A. W. Childhood origins of adult health: a basis for life-course health policy. Health Aff. (Millwood) 23, 155–164 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Brenner, L. A., Vanderploeg, R. D. & Terrio, H. Assessment and diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other polytrauma conditions: burden of adversity hypothesis. Rehabil. Psychol. 54, 239–246 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Seguin, M. et al. Life trajectories and burden of adversity: mapping the developmental profiles of suicide mortality. Psychol. Med. 37, 1575–1583 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. O’Rand, A. The precious and the precocious: understanding cumulative disadvantage and cumulative advantage over the life course. Gerontologist 36, 230–238 (1996).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Reid, M. W. et al. Adversity and resilience are associated with outcome after mild traumatic brain injury in military service members. J. Neurotrauma 35, 1146–1155 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Lisa A. Brenner or Nazanin H. Bahraini.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

L.A.B. consults for a professional sports league. The views, opinions and findings contained in this article are those of the authors and should not be construed as official Department of Veterans Affairs positions, policies or decisions unless so designated by other documentation.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Brenner, L.A., Bahraini, N.H. Concussion and risk of suicide: who, when and under what circumstances?. Nat Rev Neurol 15, 132–133 (2019).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing