Ulster University launches NI study into Anxiety and Depression

  • Ulster University has announced the launch of a new study in Northern Ireland to examine possible genetic links to Anxiety and Depression.

    One in three people will experience serious anxiety or depression in their lifetimes, making them the most common mental health disorders worldwide and a target of ongoing research. Much of the research into these conditions focuses on environmental factors, but studies have shown that around 30-40% of the risk factors for developing them is actually genetic.

    Ulster University has announced the launch of a new Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) study across Northern Ireland to investigate the genetic component of anxiety and depression in the hopes of finding more effective treatments. This is particularly important for Northern Ireland as it suffers a 25% higher incidence of mental health disorders than elsewhere in the UK.

    The project is being led by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Mental Health BioResource and researchers at King’s College London, and has partnered with universities across the UK including Ulster University. The project aims to collect and analyse DNA samples and questionnaires from around 40,000 people across the UK.

    Professor Cherie Armour, Director of the Institute of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University commented on the study: "This UK-wide study into the genetic links to anxiety and depression has the potential to truly transform our understanding and treatment of two common mental health conditions. Mental health is a key research priority at Ulster University; through our Institute of Mental Health Sciences we are taking a holistic approach to mental health research, exploring all aspects from gene to gym."

    If you've experienced depression or anxiety and want to help this ground-breaking research and want to register for the study, head over to https://gladstudy.org.uk/ni/ and fill out the short 30 minute questionnaire.

    Source: Press Release

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