Soraya Seedat

Soraya Seedat
Stellenbosch University | SUN · Department of Psychiatry

About

782
Publications
346,934
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76,603
Citations
Citations since 2016
407 Research Items
62953 Citations
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Publications

Publications (782)
Article
Full-text available
Evidence suggests that shared pathophysiological mechanisms in neuropsychiatric disorders (NPDs) may contribute to risk and resilience. We used single-gene and network-level transcriptomic approaches to investigate shared and disorder-specific processes underlying posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and schizophrenia in a...
Article
There is a lack of comparative data on the occurrence and clinical significance of incidental neuroimaging findings (IFs) in adult research participants with neuropsychiatric disorders and healthy controls. We investigated and compared the frequency, clinical significance and predictors of IFs on structural brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sc...
Article
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Background: The most used questionnaires for PTSD screening in adults were developed in English. Although many of these questionnaires were translated into other languages, the procedures used to translate them and to evaluate their reliability and validity have not been consistently documented. This comprehensive scoping review aimed to compile th...
Article
There is increasing evidence that HIV-1 viral protein R (Vpr) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of cognitive impairment. We investigated the relationship between HIV-1 sub-type C Vpr sequence variation and HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment as measured by global deficit score (GDS) in treatment naive individuals. We used different b...
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Background In developing countries, mental health literacy (MHL) still needs to be improved due to the high prevalence of mental disorders. It is widely recognized that MHL can improve health outcomes for both individuals and populations. Healthcare professionals’ development in MHL is crucial to the prevention of mental disorders. The aim of this...
Article
Background Childhood maltreatment leads to lifelong health risks, particularly in women. Although reproductive health has been linked to such maltreatment, limited literature exists on its association with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Objectives In a sample of psychiatrically healthy women, we evaluated the impact of child maltreatment (subty...
Preprint
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Background The cerebellum critically contributes to higher-order cognitive and emotional functions such fear learning and memory. Prior research on cerebellar volume in PTSD is scant and has neglected neuroanatomical subdivisions of the cerebellum that differentially map on to motor, cognitive, and affective functions. Methods We quantified cerebe...
Article
The intersecting epidemics of HIV and hazardous or harmful alcohol use (HAU) can have significant detrimental consequences. Both HIV and HAU have independent negative influences on executive function. Dysfunction in reward processing may play a role in these co-occurring epidemics. In this cross-sectional case-control study, we investigated the ass...
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Introduction: There has been a sharp increase in the use of digital health interventions in global health, particularly mobile health applications, in recent years. The extreme shortage of health care providers trained in mental health screening and intervention in low- and middle-income countries raises questions about the applicability of mobile...
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Dysregulation of stress response systems may mediate the detrimental effects of childhood trauma (CT) on mental health. FKBP5 regulates glucocorticoid receptor sensitivity and exerts pleiotropic effects on intracellular signaling, neurobiology and behavior. We investigated whether CT, alone and in combination with rs1360780 genotype, is associated...
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Backgrounds Individuals with chronic medical conditions are considered highly exposed to COVID-19 pandemic stress, but emerging evidence is demonstrating that resilience is common even among them. We aimed at identifying sustained resilient outcomes and their predictors in chronically ill people during the first year of the pandemic. Methods This...
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Background: Sexual violence is associated with poor cardiometabolic outcomes, yet the etiopathogenic pathways remain unclear. Adipokines may contribute to pathways in the development of cardiometabolic disease (CMD), including in vulnerable populations. Further investigation of adipokines among sexually traumatized individuals may inform cardiomet...
Article
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Background: The high prevalence of trauma exposure and consequent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is well documented in low- and middle-income countries, and most individuals with PTSD have limited access to treatment in these settings. Freely available internet-based interventions, such as PTSD Coach (web-based and mobile application), can h...
Article
Sleep disturbances and suicidality are common presentations of mood and anxiety disorders. If not closely monitored post-discharge, patients may be at an increased risk of symptom worsening and completed suicide. We explored the associations between telephone mood monitoring, suicidality, and sleep quality in a clinical sample. Fifty inpatients (me...
Article
We systematically reviewed studies comparing differences in the integrity of the corpus callosum in adults with HIV compared to healthy controls, using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), using search engines Science Direct, Web of Science and PubMed. The search terms used were “HIV”, “corpus callosum”, and a variation of either “DTI” or “Diffusion Ten...
Article
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Background: Rape is a common traumatic event which may result in the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), yet few studies have investigated risk biomarkers in sexually traumatised individuals. Adiponectin is a novel cytokine within inflammatory and cardiometabolic pathways with evidence of involvement in PTSD. Objective: This prospe...
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Background Accumulative evidence indicates a role for adiponectin, a polypeptide secreted by adipose tissue, in the pathophysiology of posttraumatic disorder (PTSD) via metabolic and inflammatory pathways. This study examined adiponectin as a potential predictive biomarker for PTSD among female rape survivors. Methods We evaluated the relationship...
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Background: A third comprehensive study of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in a rural, agricultural region of South Africa is described. Methods: Population-based, active case ascertainment methods were employed among a school-based cohort to assess child physical and neurobehavioral traits, and maternal risk factor interviews conducted...
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Objective: The variety of instruments used to assess posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) allows for flexibility, but also creates challenges for data synthesis. The objective of this work was to use a multisite mega analysis to derive quantitative recommendations for equating scores across measures of PTSD severity. Method: Empirical Bayes harm...
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Results of neuroimaging datasets aggregated from multiple sites may be biased by site-specific profiles in participants’ demographic and clinical characteristics, as well as MRI acquisition protocols and scanning platforms. We compared the impact of four different harmonization methods on results obtained from analyses of cortical thickness data: (...
Article
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Aims. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and ensuing restrictions have negatively affected the mental health and well-being of the general population, and there is increasing evidence suggesting that lockdowns have led to a disruption of health services. In March 2020, South Africa introduced a lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pan...
Article
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a chronic and disabling condition. Post-traumatic nightmares (PTNs) form a core component of PTSD and are highly prevalent in this patient population. Nightmares in PTSD have been associated with significant distress, functional impairment, poor health outcomes, and decreased quality of life. Nightmares i...
Article
Objective: South African women suffer from a dual burden of gender-based violence and hypertension. Studies suggest abuse exposures may increase the risk of hypertension by contributing to psychological stress, but this association has not been clearly described. This study described the associations of intimate partner violence (IPV), non-partner...
Article
Objective Several studies suggest a relationship between atopy and psychiatric disorders, but few have investigated the association between atopic conditions and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We sought to compare the rates of atopy and allergies in a South African case-control study of 220 patients with PTSD (mean age 41.7 years. SD = 11.7)...
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Background Mothers of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders tend to have lower weight compared to other mothers. Yet how alcohol and maternal weight may predispose infants to poorer physical growth and neurodevelopmental trajectories is relatively unexplained. Methods South African mothers (n=406) were recruited prenatally and their offsp...
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Background Little is known about changes of mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in potentially disadvantaged groups. We investigated changes in anxiety and depression symptoms during the first year of the pandemic in six European countries and Australia by prior mental disorders and migration status. Methods Overall, 4674 adults answered a...
Preprint
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Aims: In March 2020, South Africa introduced a lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, entailing the suspension of all non-essential activities and a complete ban of tobacco and alcohol sales. We studied the effect of the lockdown on mental health care utilisation rates in private-sector care in South Africa. Methods: We did an interrupted...
Article
Variation and differential selection pressures on Tat genes have been shown to alter the biological function of the protein, resulting in pathological consequences in a number of organs including the brain. We evaluated the impact of genetic variation and selection pressure on 147 HIV-1 subtype C Tat exon 1 sequences from monocyte-depleted peripher...
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Childhood maltreatment (CM) is linked to impairments in various domains of social functioning. Here, we argue that it is critical to identify factors that underlie impaired social functioning as well as processes that mediate the beneficial health effects of positive relationships in individuals exposed to CM. Key research recommendations are prese...
Article
Background Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is heritable and a potential consequence of exposure to traumatic stress. Evidence suggests that a quantitative approach to PTSD phenotype measurement and incorporation of lifetime trauma exposure (LTE) information could enhance the discovery power of PTSD genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Meth...
Article
Introduction The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in rape survivors is considerably higher than the prevalence in non-sexual trauma survivors. Few studies have investigated risk and protective factors in survivors early-after-rape in a prospective longitudinal design. Methods In a sample of 639 rape-exposed women who were assesse...
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The association between childhood trauma exposure and risk of developing psychopathology may in part be mediated by the effects of chronic stress on dopaminergic neurotransmission. However, little is known about the differential effects of distinct trauma types on reward processing, particularly in adults without concurrent medical or psychiatric d...
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This study describes associations of intimate partner violence (IPV), non-partner sexual violence (NPSV) and sexual harassment (SH) exposures with hypertension in South African women aged 18–40 years. Baseline data (n = 1742) from the Rape Impact Cohort Evaluation study, including a history of sexual, physical, emotional and economic IPV, NPSV and...
Article
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Objectives: The therapeutic use of nutrient-based 'nutraceuticals' and plant-based 'phytoceuticals' for the treatment of mental disorders is common; however, despite recent research progress, there have not been any updated global clinical guidelines since 2015. To address this, the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) an...
Article
Background: In low- and middle-income countries, there is a high prevalence of post-partum depression and it is often associated with HIV status. Maternal depression negatively affects mothering and can lead to social withdrawal in infants. Maternal depression and infant social withdrawal can have deleterious long-term effects on children's behavi...
Article
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) imposes a significant burden on patients and communities. Although the microbiome-gut-brain axis has been proposed as a mediator or moderator of PTSD risk and persistence of symptoms, clinical data directly delineating the gut microbiome's relationship to PTSD are sparse. This study investigated associations bet...
Article
Background Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is accompanied by disrupted cortical neuroanatomy. We investigated alteration in covariance of structural networks associated with PTSD in regions that demonstrate the case-control differences in cortical thickness (CT) and surface area (SA). Methods Neuroimaging and clinical data were aggregated fro...
Article
Background: . High-quality comprehensive data on short-/long-term physical/mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are needed. Methods: . The Collaborative Outcomes study on Health and Functioning during Infection Times (COH-FIT) is an international, multi-language (n=30) project involving >230 investigators from 49 countries/territories/re...
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Introduction Several evidence-based treatments are effective for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), yet a substantial proportion of patients do not respond or dropout of treatment. We describe the protocol for a systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis (IPD-MA) aimed at assessing the effectiveness and adverse effects of p...
Article
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has altered daily routines and family functioning, led to closing schools, and dramatically limited social interactions worldwide. Measuring its impact on mental health of vulnerable children and adolescents is crucial. Methods: The Collaborative Outcomes study on Health and Functioning during Infection Times (COH-...
Article
Aim Individuals with schizophrenia demonstrate higher rates of metabolic syndrome (MetS) than the general population. Hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) reflect longer-term cortisol secretion and can provide additional insights into the role of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis in schizophrenia and co-occurring MetS. Methods In a case–...
Article
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Background: Decisional conflict (DC) is a psychological construct that an individual experiences in making a decision that involves risk, loss, regret, or challenges to one's values. This study assessed DC in a cohort of South African men undergoing curative treatment for localised prostate cancer (LPC). The objectives were to (1) to examine the a...
Article
As part of formative studies to design a program of collaborative care for persons with psychosis, we explored personal experience and lay attributions of illness as well as treatment among persons who had recently received care at traditional and faith healers’ (TFHs) facilities in three cultural groups in Sub-Saharan Africa. A purposive sample of...
Article
Individual impacts of alcohol misuse and HIV on brain structure and function have been well demonstrated; however, the potential compounded effect of these conditions is seldom considered, despite the high prevalence of alcohol use in HIV infection. We aimed to determine the effects of unhealthy alcohol use on brain morphometry and cognitive functi...
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The WHO Global Health Observatory Data Repository reports South Africa with 1.52 psychiatrists/100 000 of the population among other countries in Africa with 0.01 psychiatrists/100 000 (Chad, Burundi and Niger) to more than 30/100 000 for some countries in Europe. The overall situation, while being cognizant that mental health care is not only prov...
Article
Glucocorticoids and inflammatory markers can influence cognitive function. Hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) reflect longer-term hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function and combined with immune markers can provide insight into how HPA-axis and immune pathways interact to influence cognition. We examined the association between HCC and h...
Article
Exposure to community violence is common in South Africa and negatively impacts on biopsychosocial health. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterised by symptoms of intrusion, avoidance, hypervigilance and negative alterations in cognition and mood, and can develop consequent to trauma exposure. Individuals who repeatedly experience and...
Article
HIV/AIDS is a major public health burden in South Africa, currently affecting an estimated 13.5% of the population. Despite improved access to antiretroviral therapies, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), characterised by a spectrum of neurocognitive impairment, emotional disturbances and motor abnormalities, continue to persist. Gene-e...
Article
Full-text available
Diagnosing HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment in most high-burden, but resource-constrained, settings is difficult due to the unavailability of specialist neurologists and neuropsychologists in primary health care centers. New tests that are easy to perform, based on virological and host immune response biomarkers, may be valuable in the diag...
Article
Full-text available
Rape is associated with a high risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). DNA methylation changes may confer risk or protection for PTSD following rape by regulating the expression of genes implicated in pathways affected by PTSD. We aimed to: (1) identify epigenome-wide differences in methylation profiles between rape-exposed women with and wi...
Article
Large nest building behaviour (LNB), as expressed by a subpopulation of laboratory housed deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii), is persistent and repetitive. However, the response of LNB to an anxiogenic environment has not yet been investigated. Here, we employed LNB and normal nesting (NNB) expressing mice, subdivided into three drug-expose...
Preprint
Full-text available
In individuals with a history of child maltreatment (CM), impairments in many domains of social functioning are well-documented but poorly understood. We summarize evidence for the detrimental effects of CM on social functioning and present key research recommendations focused on: 1. Identifying alterations in specific inter- and intra- personal pr...
Article
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has altered daily routines and family functioning, led to closing schools, and dramatically limited social interactions worldwide. Measuring its impact on mental health of vulnerable children and adolescents is crucial. Methods: The Collaborative Outcomes study on Health and Functioning during Infection Times (C...