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Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to biodiversity worldwide, and little is known about their effects on bats in Africa. We investigated effects of forest fragmentation on bat assemblages at Kakamega Forest, western Kenya, examining captures at edge and interior locations in three forest fragments (Buyangu, 3950 ha; Kisere, 400 ha; and Malava, 100 ha) varying in forest area and human-use regimes. Basal area, canopy cover, tree density and intensity of human use were used as predictors of bat abundance and species richness. A total of 3456 mist-net hours and 3168 harp-trap hours resulted in the capture of 4983 bats representing 26 species, eight families and four foraging ensembles (frugivores, forest-interior insectivores, forest-edge insectivores and open-space insectivores). Frugivores were frequently captured at the edges of the larger, better-protected forests, but also in the interior of the smaller, more open fragment. Forest-interior insectivores and narrow-space foragers predominated in the interiors of larger fragments but avoided the smallest one. Forest specialists showed positive associations with forest variables (canopy cover, basal area and tree density), whereas frugivores responded positively to the human-use indicators. On these bases, specialist species appear to be especially vulnerable to forest fragmentation.
Children of parents with mood and psychotic disorders are at elevated risk for a range of behavioral and emotional problems. However, as the usual reporter of psychopathology in children is the parent, reports of early problems in children of parents with mood and psychotic disorders may be biased by the parents' own experience of mental illness and their mental state.
Independent observers rated psychopathology using the Test Observation Form in 378 children and youth between the ages of 4 and 24 (mean = 11.01, s.d. = 4.40) who had a parent with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or no history of mood and psychotic disorders.
Observed attentional problems were elevated in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (effect sizes ranging between 0.31 and 0.56). Oppositional behavior and language/thought problems showed variable degrees of elevation (effect sizes 0.17 to 0.57) across the three high-risk groups, with the greatest difficulties observed in offspring of parents with bipolar disorder. Observed anxiety was increased in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder (effect sizes 0.19 and 0.25 respectively) but not in offspring of parents with schizophrenia.
Our results suggest that externalizing problems and cognitive and language difficulties may represent a general manifestation of familial risk for mood and psychotic disorders, while anxiety may be a specific marker of liability for mood disorders. Observer assessment may improve early identification of risk and selection of youth who may benefit from targeted prevention.
We compared antibiotic prescribing to older people in different settings to inform antibiotic stewardship interventions. We used data linkage to stratify individuals aged 65 years and over in Northern Ireland, 1st January 2012–31st December 2013, by residence: community dwelling, care home dwelling or ‘transitioned’ if admitted to a care home. The odds of being prescribed an antibiotic by residence were analysed using logistic regression, adjusting for patient demographics and selected medication use (proxy for co-morbidities). Trends in monthly antibiotic prescribing were examined in the 6 months pre- and post-admission to the care home. The odds of being prescribed at least one antibiotic were twofold higher in care homes compared with community dwellers (adjusted odds ratio 2.05, 95% CI 1.93–2.17). There was a proportionate increase of 51.5% in the percentage prescribed an antibiotic on admission, with a monthly average of 23% receiving an antibiotic in the 6 months post admission. While clinical need likely accounts for some of the observed antibiotic prescribing in care homes we cannot rule out more liberal prescribing, given the twofold difference between care home residents and their community dwelling peers having accounted for co-morbidities. The appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing in the care home setting should be examined.
Tools applied at the point of care can provide valuable prognostic information for practitioners. In this one-year, prospective observational study, we examined the association of the short performance physical battery (SPPB) and one-year emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. Overall, 191 new referrals attending an outpatient geriatric clinic in Hamilton, Ontario, were approached, and 120 were enrolled. SPPB and other assessments were completed during the routine clinical visit. ED visits and hospitalizations within one year of the baseline assessment were abstracted from electronic medical records. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine ED visits and hospitalization predictors. The mean SPPB score in the study cohort (mean age 80.6, SD 6.3 years; 53% female) was 6.3 (SD 3.2). SPPB score was associated with a one-year ED visit (OR = 0.90 [0.78–1.03]) and hospitalization (OR = 0.84 [0.72–0.97]) after adjusting for age, sex, and co-morbidities.
A good deal has been said, and much of it negative, about the influence of Neoplatonism on the work of Torquato Tasso. Tasso's early biographer Serassi believed that it was at best a juvenile interest which gave place to a mature Aristotelianism, and this view survived into the early-twentieth-century study by Donadoni, along with the accusation that Tasso managed to platonize ‘senza sentire la forza del pensiero platonico’. More recently, B. T. Sozzi reexamined Tasso's Dialogues and works of literary criticism, and came to the conclusion that Tasso's interest in Neoplatonism was neither superficial nor transient, and became if anything more explicit in the later works; for Sozzi, however, Tasso's Neoplatonism is primarily a matter of temperament, a ‘segreta predilezione’ for the magical and the mystical, which has to fight for survival with the more rigorous structures of Aristotelian critical principles.
The Coneybury ‘Anomaly’ is an Early Neolithic pit located just south-east of Stonehenge, Wiltshire. Excavations recovered a faunal assemblage unique in its composition, consisting of both wild and domestic species, as well as large quantities of ceramics and stone tools, including a substantial proportion of blades/bladelets. We present a suite of new isotope analyses of the faunal material, together with ancient DNA sex determination, and reconsider the published faunal data to ask: What took place at Coneybury, and who was involved? We argue on the basis of multiple lines of evidence that Coneybury represents the material remains of a gathering organised by a regional community, with participants coming from different areas. One group of attendees provided deer instead of, or in addition to, cattle. We conclude that the most likely scenario is that this group comprised local hunter-gatherers who survived alongside local farmers.
The transcriptional coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator (PGC-1α), termed the ‘master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis’, has been implicated in stress and resilience to stress-induced depressive-like behaviours in animal models. However, there has been no study conducted to date to examine PGC-1α levels in patients with depression or in response to antidepressant treatment. Our aim was to assess PGC-1α mRNA levels in blood from healthy controls and patients with depression pre-/post-electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and to examine the relationship between blood PGC-1α mRNA levels and clinical symptoms and outcomes with ECT.
Whole blood PGC-1α mRNA levels were analysed in samples from 67 patients with a major depressive episode and 70 healthy controls, and in patient samples following a course of ECT using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Exploratory subgroup correlational analyses were carried out to determine the relationship between PGC-1α and mood scores.
PGC-1α levels were lower in patients with depression compared with healthy controls (p = 0.03). This lower level was predominantly accounted for by patients with psychotic unipolar depression (p = 0.004). ECT did not alter PGC-1α levels in the depressed group as a whole, though exploratory analyses revealed a significant increase in PGC-1α in patients with psychotic unipolar depression post-ECT (p = 0.045). We found no relationship between PGC-1α mRNA levels and depression severity or the clinical response to ECT.
PGC-1α may represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of depression, and be a common link between various pathophysiological processes implicated in depression.
The island of Bonaire is a long-established Marine Protected Area (MPA), the reefs of which were extensively mapped in the early 1980s. Satellite remote sensing techniques were used to construct reef maps for 2008–2009. Metrics describing the spatial structure of coral habitat at the landscape scale – including coral cover, fragmentation, patch size and connectivity between patches – were calculated and compared between these two time periods. Changes were evaluated in and out of the MPAs and in areas exposed and sheltered from storm damage. Overall, coral cover has declined during the past three decades, being replaced by sand, but the decline has not been as drastic as elsewhere in the Caribbean. Fragmentation of the reef habitat has occurred, resulting in smaller and more disparate patches, but these changes were not associated with exposure along the coastline. However, total coral cover was maintained in sheltered areas, whereas it declined along exposed shorelines. Human protection of reefs by marine reserves had variable effects on coral cover and fragmentation. One of two no-diving marine reserves showed increases in coral cover accompanied by decreases in the number of patches of coral and an increase in the size of individual patches over the time period, while the second reserve exhibited the opposite trend. Advances in satellite remote sensing techniques allow for a more rapid assessment of changes in reefs at the landscape level, which can be used to identify spatial changes in the reef environment, including areas of coral decline.