Project Overview

Epilepsy and other common mental disorders are likely to be common in poor regions using the locally adapted assessment tools for epilepsy, autism, ADHD and psychosis have similar issues regarding perception and stigma in the community and can be managed with inexpensive and widely available medication and easily scalable interventions. There are no reliable epidemiological studies of mental and neurological disorders and the relationship and comorbidities of epilepsy and common mental health disorders in rural areas of Kenya.

There is substantial genetic diversity in African populations, which provides a unique opportunity to identify very rare genetic variants of epilepsy and psychosis in genome-wide association studies. These genetic variants can inform use and development of therapeutic options for mental disorders that are specific to the African population. In Africa, it is possible that genetic and environmental factors interact to explain the risk for epilepsy and psychosis. The study aims to collect blood and saliva samples and examine the genetic profile and examine the genetic diversity of populations in Kilifi.


Dr. Symon Kariuki

Principal Investigator

Mary Bitta

Mary Bitta


Mercy Atieno

Project Coordinator

Clarah Khalayi

Clarah Khalayi

Study Clinician

Collaborating institutions