A few months ago, I came across an article about the Australian Genetics of Depression study who were putting a call out for participants.
The study, which is being performed by QIMR Berghofer, is part of an international collaboration which aims to identify the genetic risks factors associated with clinical depression and how a person’s genes could influence the risk of developing depression.
From firsthand experience, depression is not easy to treat. I have trialled four different medications, my most recent being last week so I’m still not sure if this is the right combination for me. The study aims to understand the factors that influence why certain treatments work for some and not others. By using genetics, it hopes to create a more targeted treatment by determining which medications work for certain people and which don’t.
Although depression is not always linked to genetics, this is an important study nonetheless. We still have a long way to go in the way of study and research for mental health disorders, but this a step in the right direction. It is unlikely this study will benefit me in any way, but if I can play a part in helping somebody else’s treatment, then it is absolutely worth it!
What does the study involve?
The study hopes to recruit 20,000 Australians who are 18 years or older and have been treated for clinical depression in the past or are currently seeking treatment.
If you are eligible, you will be asked to complete a 15-minute core component survey which can be found here.
Depending on your responses to the survey, you may be asked to provide a saliva sample.
I’ve been asked to provide a saliva sample. What next?
The QIMR Berghofer Research team will send you a saliva collection kit in the mail, along with a reply-paid envelope to send your sample back.
There is no need to attend a clinic or laboratory, the saliva sample can be taken in the comfort and convenience of your own home. It only takes a few minutes to add your saliva to the tube.
Once complete, place the saliva kit into the reply-paid envelope, sign the consent form and note the time and date the sample was taken. All that’s left to do now is to pop the envelope in a post box – you don’t even have to go to the post office! Easy!
6,000 people have already participated in this study but more are needed (14,000 more to be exact!). If you fit the study’s key criteria, I highly recommend taking part. For a small amount of your time, you could make a big difference to someone else’s treatment.