£2.2m will help treat mental health
RESEARCHERS at Edinburgh University are to receive £2.2 million to better understand mental health conditions such as depression.
The funding, they say, represents a “step-change” in the approach and could pave the way for new treatment.
The research is based on big data that draws meaningful insights from vast amounts of information.
Scientists will pool data from several sources including anonymous health records, genetics and psychological studies to build a picture of the development of disease.
Andrew Mcintosh, professor of biological psychiatry at Edinburgh University, said: “Our vision is to make meaningful links between ongoing research studies spanning the whole lifespan and anonymised health records to better understand the causes and consequences of mental health conditions.
“We hope that this will enable more effective treatments and ultimately pave the way for improving resilience to common mental health disorders.”
Experts say one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health issue in a given year.
The £2.2m, a combination of a Medical Research Council Data Pathfinder award and backing from Edinburgh University, will create secure facilities for health data research.
The project builds on Scotland’s expertise in health data science and ties in with Edinburgh’s ambition to become data capital of Europe.
Mr Mcintosh added: “Edinburgh is poised to make significant advances in mental health research.”