Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD)

Study code

Lead researcher
Professor Gerome Breen

Study type
Samples and data

Institution or company
King’s College London, Mental Health BioResource

Researcher type

Speciality area
Mental Health


Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric disorders worldwide, affecting at least 30% of the population over their lifespan and are highly correlated, both phenotypically and genetically.

There is an acute need to understand the causes of depression and anxiety and to develop new treatments. These disorders can be debilitating, affecting all aspects of an individual’s life. However, efforts to understand the aetiology of these disorders requires very large sample sizes, which are not currently available. 

The development of the Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression or GLAD, comprised of individuals who have suffered a lifetime occurrence of anxiety or depression is designed to give researchers access to a large population based sample. The aim is to facilitate analysis and recall studies aimed at developing new treatments for both anxiety and depressive disorders. The aim of the current proposal project is to extend the mental health phenotyping in GLAD to the BioResource in general. We plan to invite all the participants in the NIHR BioResource for Translational Research in Common and Rare Diseases, to complete the GLAD questionnaire and some additional mental health phenotyping relevant to healthy individuals (personality scales and short online estimation of cognition). This phenotyping will provide additional depth to the NIHR BioResource.

The participants for the control group will be primarily recruited through an online platform as has been currently done for the GLAD cases. Adding such a large control group will further facilitate exploring genetic and environmental factors associated with risk for depression and anxiety disorders in the UK, to understand these common disorders and help develop better treatments.