Characterisation of mental health issues
Charles Newton, Symon Kariuki
Problems in LMIC settings are common in childhood, adolescence and adulthood and a major challenge to “the developing child”. We pioneered the use of the Kilifi Development Assessment scale (now widely used across Africa) and will integrate 22 previous cohort studies including epidemiology, neuropsychology and neurophysiology to apply novel approaches to data assimilation and data sharing. We are establishing a clinic cohort of 3,500 people with epilepsy and other psychiatric disorders. We will further characterize this cohort through deep phenotyping, genetics and biomarker studies and pragmatic clinical trials. We have identified psychosis as a common presentation to clinic, and depression as an under-recognized illness in the community. Over the next 5 years we will conduct community surveys of common mental disorders. We have ongoing studies examining the psychosocial impact and health outcomes of aging with HIV and will conduct detailed longitudinal phenotyping and ethnographic studies to understand perceptions of illness in older people.