Dr Shareefa Dalvie, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town
Mental health disorders represent a major public health problem in most countries. Thirty per cent of adults will experience a mental disorder in their lifetime. Mental and substance-use disorders have the fifth largest disease burden, higher than diabetes and HIV. This burden is expected to increase, especially in low-to-middle income countries.
Psychiatric disorders have been shown to have a high heritable genetic basis. However, the exact genetic variants that underlie these diagnoses are unknown. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs in a subset of individuals who have experienced trauma and is characterised by symptoms of re-experiencing, avoidance, negative alterations in cognition and mood as well as alterations in arousal and reactivity.
The first lecture will provide an introduction to the field of psychiatric genomics, particularly with regard to new technological developments and approaches. The second will give an insight into the complexity of the genetics underlying trauma and PTSD.