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Despite the environmental stresses that mangrove forests experience – including fluctuating salinity, low soil oxygen and buffeting by waves – they can be highly productive. Facilitation, defined here as the benefits to an organism by the minimisation by neighbouring organisms of biotic or physical stress, may help explain this. Theory suggests that facilitation is likely in stressful environments, and trees and shrubs have been found to be particularly likely to exhibit facilitation. Hence, we should find facilitation in mangrove forests, and this chapter summarises new and published evidence for its existence. Facilitation occurs at a wide range of scales and during all different points in a mangrove tree's life. Amelioration of hydrodynamic and dessicative stresses can be important during seedling establishment and early growth. Interactions with fauna, including crabs and ants, can sustain tree production and help defend against herbivores. Ecosystem-scale facilitation helps ensure resilience in the face of changes such as sea-level rise. Hence facilitation is common in mangroves, and the challenge now is to gain a theoretical understanding of when and where to expect it.
There is a high and increasing proportion of
single-parent families in Jamaica. This has raised
concerns about the potential impact of single-parent
families on the social, cognitive and behavioural
development of children, including their sexual
relationships. The aim of this study was to
investigate the association between being raised in
a single-parent family and age of sexual debut among
young people in Jamaica. The study was
cross-sectional in design, and based on a
multi-stage sampling procedure. The study was
conducted in July/September 2016. The study sample
comprised 233 respondents (110 males and 123
females) aged from 18 to 35 years (mean 26.37 years;
SD 5.46). Respondents completed a self-administered
questionnaire with questions on socio-demographic
characteristics, family structure, sexual debut and
current sexual behaviour. Ninety-seven (41.7%)
respondents grew up in single-parent families. A
total of 201 (86.3%) had had sex (102 males and 99
females). Their mean age of sexual debut was 15.51
years (SD 3.41). Sixty-five (32.3%) had early sexual
debut (<16 years). Respondents from
single-parent families were more likely to have had
early sexual debut (56.9%; n=37)
compared with those from two-parent families (43.1%,
p=0.004). Only 44.6%
(n=29) of those who experienced
early sexual debut used a condom during their first
sexual encounter compared with 73%
(n=100) of those who had a later
sexual debut (≥16 years;
p=<0.001). A single-father
family structure was a significant predictor of
early sexual debut (AOR 5.5; 95%CI: 1.1–25.8). The
study found a significant association between
single-parent family structure and age of sexual
Background: Parkinson disease (PD) presents with motor and non-motor symptoms (NMS). The NMS often precede the onset of motor symptoms, but may progress throughout the disease course. Tremor dominant, postural instability gait difficulty (PIGD), and indeterminate phenotypes can be distinguished using Unified PD Rating scales (UPDRS-III). We hypothesized that the PIGD phenotype would be more likely to develop NMS, and that the non-dopamine–responsive axial signs would correlate with NMS severity. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional chart review to assess the relationship between NMS and PD motor phenotypes. PD patients were administered the NMS Questionnaire, the UPDRS-III, and the Mini-Mental State Examination score. The relationship between NMS burden and PD subtypes was examined using linear regression models. The prevalence of each NMS among difference PD motor subtypes was analyzed using chi-square test. Results: PD patients with more advanced disease based on their UPDRS-III had higher NMS Questionnaire scores. The axial component of UPDRS-III correlated with higher NMS. There was no correlation between NMS and tremor scores. There was a significant correlation between PIGD score and higher NMS burden. PIGD group had higher prevalence in most NMS domains when compared with tremor dominant and indeterminate groups independent of disease duration and severity. Conclusions: NMS profile and severity vary according to motor phenotype. We conclude that in the PD population, patients with a PIGD phenotype who have more axial involvement, associated with advanced disease and poor motor response, have a higher risk for a higher NMS burden.
Is the nature of decision-making capacity (DMC) for treatment significantly different in medical and psychiatric patients?
To compare the abilities relevant to DMC for treatment in medical and psychiatric patients who are able to communicate a treatment choice.
A secondary analysis of two cross-sectional studies of consecutive admissions: 125 to a psychiatric hospital and 164 to a medical hospital. The MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool – Treatment and a clinical interview were used to assess decision-making abilities (understanding, appreciating and reasoning) and judgements of DMC. We limited analysis to patients able to express a choice about treatment and stratified the analysis by low and high understanding ability.
Most people scoring low on understanding were judged to lack DMC and there was no difference by hospital (P=0.14). In both hospitals there were patients who were able to understand yet lacked DMC (39% psychiatric v. 13% medical in-patients, P<0.001). Appreciation was a better ‘test’ of DMC in the psychiatric hospital (where psychotic and severe affective disorders predominated) (P<0.001), whereas reasoning was a better test of DMC in the medical hospital (where cognitive impairment was common) (P=0.02).
Among those with good understanding, the appreciation ability had more salience to DMC for treatment in a psychiatric setting and the reasoning ability had more salience in a medical setting.
The A1 allele of the DRD2/ANKK1 Taq1A polymorphism (rs1800497) is associated with reduced striatal D2/3 receptor binding in healthy individuals (Con) as well as depression and addiction. However, the effect of rs1800497 on D2/3 receptor binding in depressed patients as well as the SNP's effect on D2/3 binding during reward-associated dopamine release is unknown. Twelve unmedicated patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 24 Con completed PET scans with [11C]raclopride, once without receiving monetary rewards (baseline) and once while winning money. In Con, the A1 allele was associated with reduced baseline binding potential (BPND) in the middle caudate and ventral striatum. However, in MDD patients the A1 allele was associated with increased baseline BPND in these regions. There were no significant associations between rs1800497 and change in BPND during reward-associated dopamine release. Conceivably, the A1 allele predisposes to depression and addiction via its effect on the post-synaptic D2 receptor.
It was recognized that it was critical to the process of national reconciliation and the maintenance of peace in Sierra Leone that the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) be a strong and credible court operating in accordance with international standards of justice, fairness, and due process of law. This article assesses the fulfilment of this mandate through an examination of the fairness of the RUF trial as illustrated through two issues: the interpretation of the accused's right to be informed of the nature and cause of the charges and the approach taken by the Trial Chamber and the Appeals Chamber in assessing the evidential links between the accused and the crimes pursuant to the joint criminal enterprise (JCE) mode of liability. First, the article discusses the decisions that led to the omission of 250 charges from the indictment and their introduction into the trial through late evidential disclosures after the commencement of the prosecution case. Second, the article examines the way in which the charges, in a majority of cases, were found to be part of a common criminal purpose without a sufficient nexus being established to the accused or any member of the alleged JCE. The article concludes that the judicial approach to these issues abandoned the safeguards contained in the jurisprudence developed at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, giving rise to a trial that failed to adhere to international standards of justice, fairness, and due process, leading to manifestly unjust convictions.
Neurodegenerative diseases include a broad group of disorders affecting the central nervous system (CNS) that are characterized by gradually progressive death or dysfunction of neurons. The etiology of many of these disorders is unknown, although various genetic factors as well as largely unidentified environmental factors may play a role in some. The basic cellular mechanisms responsible for the neuronal loss in neurodegenerative disease are also largely unknown. There is evidence that some disorders may be related to inappropriate activation of the apoptotic pathways that are involved in programmed cell death. There is a wide range of clinical manifestations of neurodegenerative disease, since the salient features of a particular disease are closely related to the functions of the specific group of neurons that has been affected.
For the most part, the diagnosis of a neurodegenerative disease is based on the presence of a characteristic neurological syndrome and the major role of routine neuroimaging techniques, including conventional MRI sequences, has been to exclude other disorders that may be a source of diagnostic confusion. The continuing evolution of new techniques for imaging the CNS, however, has produced significant advances in our understanding of the changes in brain structure and function associated with neurodegenerative disease. A non-invasive tool with the potential to monitor disease progression from a very early stage could have a profound impact on the management of these debilitating disorders. Such techniques may provide an improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying the inexorable neuronal loss that characterizes neurodegenerative disorders. In addition, by providing an objective method to monitor disease progression, they may provide an important tool in evaluating the efficacy of new therapeutic approaches.
We investigated the effects of human disturbance and attitudes on the density of the tree agama Acanthocercus atricollis atricollis in a densely populated rural settlement in South Africa. In this environment agamas live on trees that are harvested for firewood or maintained for fruit production. We conducted visual encounter surveys of A. a. atricollis and interviewed local households to establish whether human attitudes and actions could affect tree agama populations. Although local residents viewed tree agamas negatively (50% of interviewees claimed to have killed an agama) and acted to exclude them from their environment, tree agama density in villages was higher than that of adjacent communal rangelands and than a previously reported density estimate in a nearby protected area. We suggest three major factors that could explain why tree agamas are favoured in this peri-urban landscape in the face of human persecution: firstly, predators such as snakes and raptors are likely to occur at a much lower density in peri-urban areas; secondly, their primary prey (insects) may be more abundant or accessible in this landscape; thirdly, they may experience less competition for resources.