The largest single study of depression and anxiety has begun by the King’s College London. At least 40,000 people in England will be studied in order to understand the connection between genetic background and the instances of these disorders for future improvement of treatment for people with anxiety or depression. The research, called GLAD, will ‘store’ a list of the participants as potential volunteers for future research.


Although one-third of the population of England experiences anxiety or depression in their lifetime, psychological therapies and drug therapy are not beneficial to all. For the ones that are not affected by therapy, things do not seem to improve with time. The lack of proper treatment for patients who do not respond well to conventional treatment can mean the loss of relations, jobs, and a poor quality of life.


Research of this points to 30-40% role of genetics in depression and 60-70% as the role of outer factors. Doing research on people from different backgrounds will show just how much genes and the environment have a play in triggering anxiety. Thanks to the latest breakthroughs in genetic research, it has become possible to trigger this massive study.


So far, researchers have found 66 genetic factors associated with depression and anxiety. The large study of 40,000 volunteers will put these findings to the test and show how both genes and environmental factors act together to onset these conditions as well as find ways for future treatment.


The GLAD Study, which is funded by the National Institute for Health Research and is a collaboration between NIHR BioResource and King’s College London, will be an open study in which everyone will be able to participate and take part in the research. People who have anxiety or depression of any sort are encouraged to enroll.


The GLAD study is a straightforward study. It uses a short survey and a saliva DNA sample from people who have ever experienced clinical forms of anxiety or depression. People from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds, genders, and ages are encouraged to participate. This way, the research will be more objective and relative to all people.


Researchers from the King’s College London are hoping to find an answer in the genetic and environmental triggers of depression as the root cause that needs to be treated. Their hope is to have a world in which people will be able to have control of their mental health and stability.

Herrick Lipton is the CEO of New Horizon Counseling Center in New York and is also an advocate for mental health. For more information about Herrick or to get in touch with New Horizon Counseling Center for resources, please visit or call 718-845-2620.