Northern Ireland news

Study to explore genetic links to anxiety and depression

Professor Cherie Armour

THE largest study of the genetic links to anxiety and depression will today by launched by Ulster University.

The Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (Glad) Study is a research project which aims to explore genetic and environmental risk factors for depression and anxiety.

It is led by the National Institute of Health Research Mental Health BioResource and researchers at King's College London.

Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health disorders worldwide. In Britain and Northern Ireland, one in three people will experience significant symptoms during their lifetime.

Following a successful campaign in England where more than 20,000 people took part in less than four months, it is now being expanded to Northern Ireland.

Professor Cherie Armor, Associate Dean of Research and Impact in the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences at UU, is the Northern Ireland principal investigator.

Research has consistently shown that environmental factors are important in why these conditions develop and that up to 40 per cent of the risk of developing either is genetic.

Glad will study both environmental and genetic links to find effective treatments and improve people's lives.

To take part, people must have experienced clinical anxiety and/or depression, be aged 16 or over and live in the UK. For further information visit

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