GLAD reaches first milestone

On Tuesday 18 September 2018, the largest study investigating the genetic factors in depression and anxiety was launched.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and a collaboration between the NIHR BioResource and King’s College London, the GLAD (Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression) study is calling for 40,000 people with depression and/or anxiety to sign up to their study so researchers can investigate these two conditions.

From a small saliva sample, researchers will extract the DNA and will look at the links to what causes the conditions with the aim to develop new therapies and treatments.

Going live

Within 24 hours after the launch, the study hit multiple news platforms, featuring on ITV news, Guardian newspaper and BBC News. It generated a huge response and over 10,000 people have already signed up to take part. By the end of the first week thousands of saliva kits were sent out to participants.

The study has also received a tremendous support from famous faces such as television presenter Gabby Logan and Pointless presenter Alexander Armstrong. The study hopes to be the first step to better understanding anxiety and depression and improve the lives of future patients.

Dr Gerome Breen, NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, who is leading the study said: “It’s a really exciting time to become involved in mental health research, particularly genetic research which has made incredible strides in recent years – we have so far identified 66 genetic links for depression and anxiety. By recruiting 40,000 volunteers willing to be re-contacted for research, the GLAD Study will take us further than ever before. It will allow researchers to solve the big unanswered questions, address how genes and environment act together and help develop new treatment options.”

Get involved

Find out how to join the GLAD study - to understand anxiety and depression

The GLAD study still need more people to sign up and it is open to anyone in England aged 16 or over, who has experienced clinical anxiety and/or depression. If you would like to take part, register at or watch this animation or find out more on their Twitter page.

With your help, researchers can understand these mental health conditions and find better treatments for people in the future.

First published 25 September 2018.