Neglected tropical diseases and mental health: a perspective on comorbidity

Trends Parasitol. 2012 May;28(5):195-201. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Apr 3.


Mental health conditions will be the largest contributor to the global health burden by 2030. Our review suggests that neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) predispose individuals to poor mental health. Factors predisposing to poor mental health include stigma and discrimination, exclusion from participating fully in society, reduced access to health and social services, lack of educational opportunities, exclusion from income-generation and employment opportunities, and restrictions in exercising civil and political rights. These characteristics are all features of NTDs, but the mental health of these sufferers has been ignored. This review raises an issue of concern and highlights the opportunities for research by psychiatrists and psychologists on NTDs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Causality
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Neglected Diseases / complications*
  • Quality of Life
  • Social Stigma
  • Tropical Climate*