Applied Cell Biology

Applied Cell Biology

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Programmed Cell Death Vs Death by Suicide; A Functional Comparison

Prasanna N. de Silva*

Monkwearmouth Hospital, Sunderland, UK


This article reviews the physiology of programmed cell death (PCD); commonly known as cell suicide. The 3 main processes of PCD; apoptosis, necroptosis and pyroptosis are described, including external and internal signalling precipitating cell death. These are then compared with behavioural phenotypes of planned suicide, associated with toxic relationships, ‘anomie’ (disconnection from the contemporary social network), ‘learned helplessness’ (the main model for depression), social media reporting of suicides and political indoctrination leading to suicide bombings. Ethical arguments for and against active medical assistance in completing suicide by people with progressive neuropsychiatric disorders (such as dementias) and those with long standing severe mental illness (such as anorexia and personality disorder) are discussed. Emerging therapeutic prospects of ‘stalling’ PCD and using inflamatory interleukin patterns to predict overwhelming PCD and dramatic suicides are highlighted.

Apoptosis, Pyroptosis, Necroptosis, Anomie, Lithium, social media, assisted suicide
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