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Approved Research

A neurobiological and genetic study of loneliness

Principal Investigator: Dr Richard Ramsey
Approved Research ID: 68324
Approval date: January 28th 2021

Lay summary

Loneliness is an increasingly common experience found in the general population, especially in younger adults and the elderly. The experience of loneliness has detrimental outcomes for mental health as well as physical health, with much research showing links between loneliness and both disease and premature death. The effects of loneliness on health and wellbeing are so severe that its associated morbidity and mortality rates are comparable to that of smoking and obesity.

The proposed research project aims to investigate the associations and possible causes of loneliness, taking into account psychological and social factors, as well as differences in the brain, biology and genetics. We hope that by understanding how loneliness appears in the population, we may be able to gain an insight into how we can reduce experiences of loneliness and possibly even treat loneliness in the future. The project will take place over a period of 3 years.