Professor Matthew Large is Conjoint Professor in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales
Suicide risk assessment works notoriously badly and it might be very useful to have some sort of test for future suicide. However, this study should be seen in the light of two major limitations.
First, it is entirely unsurprising that the very many data points produced by functional magnetic imaging can be used to retrospectively classify a very small sample of patients. Any excitement about this should await replication in a larger, untested group of people.
Second, even if suicide thoughts could be reliably determined by a machine, suicide thoughts themselves are only weakly associated with suicide attempts and are of next to no value in predicting who will and will not suicide.