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Genotype-phenotype feasibility studies on khat abuse, traumatic experiences and psychosis in Ethiopia

Adorjan, Kristinaa,,b,,c; Mekonnen, Zeleked; Tessema, Fasile; Ayana, Miod; Degenhardt, Franziskaf; Hoffmann, Perf,g; Fricker, Nadinef; Widmann, Marinah,,i; Riedke, Heikeh,,i; Toennes, Stefanj; Soboka, Matiwosk; Suleman, Sultanl; Andlauer, Till F.M.m; Tesfaye, Markosn; Rietschel, Marcellao; Susser, Ezrap,,q; Odenwald, Michaelh,,i; Schulze, Thomas G.a,,*; Mattheisen, Manuelr,,s,,*

doi: 10.1097/YPG.0000000000000242
Brief report: PDF Only

Studying the relationship between mental illnesses and their environmental and genetic risk factors in low-income countries holds excellent promises. These studies will improve our understanding of how risk factors identified predominantly in high-income countries also apply to other settings and will identify new, sometimes population-specific risk factors. Here we report the successful completion of two intertwined pilot studies on khat abuse, trauma, and psychosis at the Gilgel Gibe Field Research Center in Ethiopia. We found that the Gilgel Gibe Field Research Center offers a unique opportunity to collect well-characterized samples for mental health research and to perform genetic studies that, at this scale, have not been undertaken in Ethiopia yet. We also supported service development, education, and research for strengthening the professional profile of psychiatry at the site.

aInstitute of Psychiatric Phenomics and Genomics

bDepartment of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

cCenter for International Health, University of Munich, Munich, Germany

dDepartment of Medical Laboratory Sciences and Pathology, Jimma University

eDepartment of Epidemiology, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

fInstitute of Human Genetics, University of Bonn

gDepartment of Genomics, Life & Brain Center, University of Bonn, Bonn

hDepartment of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany

ivivo internationale.V. Konstnaz

jDepartment of Forensic Toxicology, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

kDepartment of Psychiatry, Jimma University

lSchool of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jimma University Institute of Health, Jimma, Ethiopia

mDepartment of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany

nDepartment of Psychiatry, St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

oDepartment of Genetic Epidemiology in Psychiatry, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

pMailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

qNew York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, USA

rDepartment of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics, and Psychotherapy, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany

sDepartment of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

* Dr. Thomas G. Schulze and Dr. Manuel Mattheisen contributed equally to the writing of this article.

Received 29 March 2019 Accepted 13 August 2019

Correspondence to Kristina Adorjan, MD, Institute of Psychiatric Phenomics and Genomics (IPPG), Medical Center of the University of Munich, Nussbaumstr. 7, 80336 Munich, Germany, Tel: + 49 89 4400 55560; fax: +49 89 4400 55547; e-mail:

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