Nodding syndrome in northern Uganda: Overview and community perspectives

Katrina B. Mitchell, Julie Kornfeld, Joseph Adiama, Andrew Mugenyi, Erich Schmutzhard, Emilio Ovuga, Jesse Kamstra, Andrea Sylvia Winkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The increasing prevalence of nodding syndrome in northern Uganda has generated a wide range of speculations with respect to etiology and natural history of and best possible medical treatment for this mysterious seizure disorder. Despite in-depth investigations by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ministry of Health in Uganda, no clear causal factors have emerged. At the same time, northern Uganda communities are voicing concern for their lack of knowledge about nodding syndrome. The purpose of this commentary is to summarize northern Uganda community perceptions of this syndrome. These reflections demonstrate the need for larger investigations into the impact of nodding syndrome and other seizure disorders on local communities both in northern Uganda and throughout the world, in particular rural areas of resource poor countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-24
Number of pages3
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Nodding syndrome
  • Psychosocial
  • Socioeconomic
  • Uganda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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