Charles Newton

Charles Newton
University of Oxford | OX · Department of Psychiatry

MBChB MA MD FRCPCH FRCP

About

706
Publications
276,948
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Introduction
Charles Newton currently works at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford and the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Programme in Kilifi. His current current projects include NeuroDevelopmental disorders in Kenya (Neuro-Dev), Autism and Neuropsychiatric genetics of African Populations- Psychosis (NeuroGap-P) and Epilepsy in sub-Saharan Africa.
Additional affiliations
October 2011 - present
University of Oxford
January 2011 - December 2012
January 2010 - present
Makerere University

Publications

Publications (706)
Article
Background : Epilepsy affects 70 million people worldwide, 80% of whom are in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs). Parasitic infections contribute considerably to the burden of epilepsy in LMICs, but the nature and presentation of epilepsy following these infections is not fully understood. We examined if epilepsy outcomes are associated with t...
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Background Stigma against persons with mental illness is a universal phenomenon, but culture influences the understanding of etiology of mental illness and utilization of health services. Methods We validated Kiswahili versions of three measures of stigma which were originally developed in the United Kingdom: Community Attitudes Toward the Mentall...
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Calls for diversity in genomics have motivated new global research collaborations across institutions with highly imbalanced resources. We describe practical lessons we have learned so far from designing multidisciplinary international research and capacity-building programs that prioritize equity in two intertwined programs — the NeuroGAP-Psychosi...
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Background In sub-Saharan Africa, data on virologic outcomes of young people living with HIV (YLWH) enrolled on antiretroviral therapy (ART) remains scarce. In this study, we describe the prevalence of HIV virological non-suppression (VNS) and its associated factors among YLWH aged 18–24 years from the Kenyan coast. Methods Data were analyzed for...
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Background : Self-reporting of psychotic symptoms varies significantly between cultures and ethnic groups. Yet, limited validated screening instruments are available to capture such differences in the African continent. Methodology : Among 9,059 individuals participating as controls in a multi-country case–control study of the genetic causes of ps...
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Objective We studied the psychometric properties of the 12-item short version of the Berger HIV stigma scale and assessed the correlates of HIV-related stigma among adults living with HIV on the Kenyan coast. Design Cross-sectional study. Setting Comprehensive Care and Research Centre in the Kilifi County Hospital. Participants Adults living wit...
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Background: Little is known about the educational experiences of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in the Kenyan Coastal context. Objectives: We examined the diagnostic and placement procedures used in education on the Kenyan coastal region. In addition, we investigated the education-related challenges faced by children with...
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The likelihood of a newborn child dying before their fifth birthday (under-5 mortality rate) is universally acknowledged as a reflection of the social, economic, health, and environmental conditions in which children (and the rest of society) live, but little is known about the likelihood of a newborn child having a lifelong disability before their...
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Background In sub-Saharan Africa, there is little data on the challenges faced by young people living with HIV transitioning into adult life. Adapting the socio-ecological framework, this qualitative study investigated the challenges faced by emerging adults living with HIV from a rural Kenyan setting. Additionally, the study explored support syste...
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Background There is a dearth of instruments that have been developed and validated for use with children living with HIV under the age of 17 years in the Kenyan context. We examined the psychometric properties and measurement invariance of a short version of the Berger HIV stigma scale administered to perinatally HIV-infected adolescents in a rural...
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Background: In sub-Saharan Africa, there is paucity of research on substance use patterns among young people living with HIV (YLWH). To address the gap, we sought to: i) determine the prevalence of substance use, specifically alcohol and illicit drug use, among YLWH compared to their HIV-uninfected peers; ii) investigate the independent associatio...
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The takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in August, 2021, and the associated collapse of governmental institutions has led to innumerable security and humanitarian concerns, particularly for women and girls.1 Even before this event, more than 550 000 Afghans had been internally displaced during 2021.2 At the end of 2020, 3 million Afghans were in...
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Objective In this systematic review, we aimed to summarise the empirical evidence on common mental disorders (CMDs), cognitive impairment, frailty and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among people living with HIV aged ≥50 years (PLWH50 +) residing in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Specifically, we document the prevalence and correlates of these ou...
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Background : Epilepsy affects 70 million people worldwide, 80% of whom are in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs). Infections of the central nervous system (CNS) contribute considerably to the burden of epilepsy in LMICs, but the nature and presentation of epilepsy following these infections is not fully understood. We examined if epilepsy fout...
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Full-text available
Sepsis and meningitis due to invasive group B Streptococcus (iGBS) disease during early infancy is a leading cause of child mortality. Recent systematic estimates of the worldwide burden of GBS suggested that there are 319,000 cases of infant iGBS disease each year, and an estimated 147,000 stillbirths and young-infant deaths, with the highest burd...
Preprint
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African populations are the most diverse in the world yet are sorely underrepresented in medical genetics research. Here, we examine the structure of African populations using genetic and comprehensive multigenerational ethnolinguistic data from the Neuropsychiatric Genetics of African Populations-Psychosis study (NeuroGAP-Psychosis) consisting of...
Preprint
In June 2020, a door-to-door household survey was conducted in Mvolo County, an onchocerciasis endemic area in South Sudan. A total of 2,357 households containing 15,699 individuals agreed to participate in the study. Of these, 5,046 (32.1%, 95%CI: 31.4-32.9%) had skin itching and 445 (2.8%, 95% CI: 2.6-3.1%) were blind. An epilepsy screening quest...
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Genetic studies in underrepresented populations identify disproportionate numbers of novel associations. However, most genetic studies use genotyping arrays and sequenced reference panels that best capture variation most common in European ancestry populations. To compare data generation strategies best suited for underrepresented populations, we s...
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Background: In sub-Saharan Africa, common mental disorders (CMDs) like depression and anxiety are under-investigated amongst young people living with HIV (YLWH). To address the gap, in Kenya we: a) determined the prevalence of CMDs among YLWH compared to their uninfected peers; b) investigated HIV status as an independent predictor of CMDs in youn...
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Introduction The increasing evidence of SARS‐CoV‐2 impact on the central nervous system (CNS) raises key questions on its impact for risk of later life cognitive decline, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and other dementia. Methods The Alzheimer's Association and representatives from more than 30 countries—with technical guidance from the World Health...
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Introduction: The increasing evidence of SARS-CoV-2 impact on the central nervous system (CNS) raises key questions on its impact for risk of later life cognitive decline, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and other dementia. Methods: The Alzheimer's Association and representatives from more than 30 countries-with technical guidance from the World Healt...
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Objective: Nodding syndrome is a poorly understood epileptic encephalopathy characterized by a unique seizure type-head nodding-and associated with Onchocerca volvulus infection. We hypothesized that altered immune activation in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma of children with nodding syndrome may yield insights into the pathophysiology a...
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Background There is little data on the long-term neurocognitive and educational outcomes among school-aged survivors of neonatal jaundice (NNJ) and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) in Africa. This study investigates the long-term neurocognitive and educational outcomes and the correlates of these outcomes in school-aged survivors of NNJ or HIE...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused global anguish unparalleled in recent times. As cases rise, increased pressure on health services, combined with severe disruption to people’s everyday lives, can adversely affect individuals living with chronic illnesses, including people with epilepsy. Stressors related to disruption to healthcare, finances, menta...
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Background: Epilepsy remains a leading chronic neurological disorder in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. In Uganda, the highest burden is among young rural people. We aimed to; (i) describe socio-economic status (including schooling), and household poverty in adolescents living with epilepsy (ALE) compared to unaffected counterparts in the same co...
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Background Adolescents tend to experience heightened vulnerability to risky and reckless behavior. Adolescents living in rural settings may often experience poverty and a host of risk factors which can increase their vulnerability to various forms of health risk behavior (HRB). Understanding HRB clustering and its underlying factors among adolescen...
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Background Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is under-investigated in people living with HIV/AIDS from sub-Saharan Africa. In part, this is due to paucity of culturally appropriate measures for GAD which are psychometrically robust. This study aimed to evaluate the reliability, factorial structure, and validity of Swahili version of the 7-item GAD...
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Background: Depression remains under-investigated in people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa due to paucity of adequately validated measures. This study aimed to validate an adapted version of the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) among adults living with HIV compared to those from the community in Kilifi, Kenya. Methods: Analysis...
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Full-text available
Sepsis and meningitis due to invasive group B Streptococcus (iGBS) disease during early infancy is a leading cause of child mortality. Recent systematic estimates of the worldwide burden of GBS suggested that there are 319,000 cases of infant iGBS disease each year, and an estimated 147,000 stillbirths and young-infant deaths, with the highest burd...
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Full-text available
Background Detection of meningitis is essential to optimise the duration and choice of antimicrobial agents to limit mortality and sequelae. In low and middle-income countries most health facilities lack laboratory capacity and rely on clinical features to empirically treat meningitis. Objective We conducted a diagnostic validation study to invest...
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Introduction Epilepsy is a major public health concern in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in resource-limited rural villages where persons with epilepsy (PWE) are often confronted with a wide treatment gap, frequent stigma and high cost of epilepsy care. We investigated stigma and economic cost related to epilepsy in the states of Maridi and Amadi...
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Background: Caring for a child with disabilities in a resource-poor setting brings many challenges to the caregiver. We examined the development of self-help groups for caregivers in a rural part of Kenya. Objectives: To conduct a process evaluation on the development of self-help groups during a 10-month set-up period, focusing on implementation...
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Background Preterm birth is a major global health challenge, the leading cause of death in children under 5 years of age, and a key measure of a population's general health and nutritional status. Current clinical methods of estimating fetal gestational age are often inaccurate. For example, between 20 and 30 weeks of gestation, the width of the 95...
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BACKGROUND: Estimates of children and adolescents with disabilities worldwide are needed to abstract inform global intervention under the disability-inclusive provisions of the Sustainable Development Goals. We sought to update the most widely reported estimate of 93 million children,15 years with disabilities from the Global Burden of Disease Stud...
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Background: Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is the most common enzyme deficiency state in humans. The clinical phenotype is variable and includes asymptomatic individuals, episodic hemolysis induced by oxidative stress, and chronic hemolysis. G6PD deficiency is common in malaria-endemic regions, an observation hypothesized to b...
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Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important metric of perceived wellbeing in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). However, research on HRQoL among PLWHA in sub-Saharan Africa is limited. This study investigates factors associated with HRQoL among PLWHA in Kilifi, coast of Kenya. Methods: Between February and April 2018, 45...
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Background Little data exists about the methodology of contextualizing version two of the Mental Health Gap Action Programme Intervention Guide (mhGAP-IG) in resource-poor settings. This paper describes the contextualisation and pilot testing of the guide in Kilifi, Kenya. Methods Contextualisation was conducted as a collaboration between the KEMRI...
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Background Genetic studies of biomedical phenotypes in underrepresented populations identify disproportionate numbers of novel associations. However, current genomics infrastructure--including most genotyping arrays and sequenced reference panels--best serves populations of European descent. A critical step for facilitating genetic studies in under...
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Background The Millennium Developmental Goals ensured a significant reduction in childhood mortality. However, this reduction simultaneously raised concerns about the long-term outcomes of survivors of early childhood insults. This systematic review focuses on the long-term neurocognitive and mental health outcomes of neonatal insults (NNI) survivo...
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Objectives To provide information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with epilepsy and provide consensus recommendations on how to provide the best possible care for people with epilepsy while avoiding visits to urgent care facilities and hospitalizations during the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Methods The authors developed consensus...
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Background Health risk behaviors during adolescence may cluster into patterns that might be predicted by specific factors, among which HIV may have an important role.Method In a cross-sectional study conducted between 2017 and 2018, clustering of HRB and its associated factors was investigated in rural Kenya among 588 adolescents (36% perinatally H...
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Bringing up a child with disabilities in a low-income setting is challenged by inadequate resources, limited psycho-social support and poverty. Not surprisingly, many caregivers experience fatigue, distress and isolation. To address and investigate these issues, action was taken to set up twenty self-help groups focusing on caregiver empowerment. A...
Article
Background: Studies in high-income countries have reported that school-aged children who survive neonatal jaundice (NNJ) and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) develop long-term neurocognitive problems. However, less is known about the patterns of functioning in school-aged survivors of NNJ and HIE in sub-Saharan Africa. This study examined patt...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Eighty per cent of perinatally HIV infected (PHI) adolescents live in sub-Saharan Africa (sSA), a setting also characterized by huge economic disparities. Caregiving is crucial to the management of chronic illness such as HIV/AIDS, but the economic costs and mental disorders borne by caregivers of PHI adolescents often go unnoticed. In...
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Background: Neonatal jaundice (NNJ) is common in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and it is associated with sepsis. Despite the high incidence, little has been documented about developmental impairments associated with NNJ in SSA. In particular, it is not clear if sepsis is associated with greater impairment following NNJ. Methods: We followed-up 169 p...
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Background Most children with epilepsy reside in resource-limited regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of studies have been conducted in rural areas with limited investigations. Medical records from children with epilepsy seen at an urban hospital in Kenya were examined to provide a comprehensive description of epilepsy in childre...
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Background: Zika virus (ZIKV) was first discovered in East Africa in 1947. ZIKV has caused microcephaly in the Americas, but it is not known whether ZIKV is a cause of microcephaly in East Africa. Methods: We used surveillance data from 11,061 live births at Kilifi County Hospital in coastal Kenya between January 2012 and October 2016 to identify m...
Preprint
Background: Eighty per cent of perinatally HIV infected (PHI) adolescents live in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), a setting also characterized by huge economic disparities. Caregiving is crucial to the management of chronic illness such as HIV/AIDS, but the economic costs and mental disorders borne by caregivers of PHI adolescents often go unnoticed. In...
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Full-text available
Background: Published research on depression among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) from Africa is increasing, but data from Kenya remains scarce. This cross-sectional study measured the prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms among PLWHA in rural Kilifi, on the Kenyan coast. Methods: Between February and April 2018, we consecutively...
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Background : People living with HIV are at risk of developing HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) which adversely affects their quality of life. Routine screening of HAND in HIV care is recommended to identify clinically important changes in cognitive functioning and allow for early interventions. However, HAND detection in routine clini...
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Objective: The association of perinatal psychological adversity (ie, stressors and distress) with infant lung function (ILF) and development is not well studied in Africa and elsewhere. We determined the association between maternal perinatal psychological adversity and ILF in African infants. Design: Prospective longitudinal follow up of the Dr...
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Climate change is the biggest challenge facing humanity today. The associated global warming and humidification, increases in the severity and frequency of extreme climate events, extension of the ranges of vector‐borne diseases and the consequent social and economic stresses and disruption will have major negative consequences on many aspects of h...
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Objective: The study evaluated the efficacy of phototherapy and 20% albumin infusion to reduce total serum bilirubin (TSB) in neonates with severe hyperbilirubinemia. The primary outcome was a reduction of TSB at the end of treatment. The secondary outcomes were the need for exchange transfusion, inpatient mortality, neurological outcomes at disch...
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Background: Over 75% of people with mental neurological and substance use disorders (MNSD) live in low and middle-income countries with limited access to specialized care. The World Health Organization's Mental Health Gap Action Program (mhGAP) aims to address the human resource gap but it requires contextualization. Aims: We conducted a qualita...
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Background: Many parts of Africa have witnessed reductions in Plasmodium falciparum transmission over the last 15 years. Since immunity to malaria is acquired more rapidly at higher transmission, the slower acquisition of immunity at lower transmission may partially offset the benefits of reductions in transmission. We examined the clinical spectr...