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The first twin study in Serbia began in 2011 as a part of the research project, ‘Psychological Foundations of Mental Health: Hereditary and Environmental Factors’. At the same time, the research team from the Faculty of Philosophy and Faculty of Medicine in Novi Sad established the first Serbian twin registry. The registry is intended primarily for the purpose of the research in behavioral genetics, as well as potential future studies in human genetics. It includes information on 1658 volunteers, including twin-pairs, their parent and siblings. The behavioral genetic study of adult twins has been focused on the hereditary and environmental sources of variance of different psychological characteristics, such as personality traits, cognitive abilities, executive functions and aggression, as well as some anthropometric measures and aspects of mental and physical health. Certain molecular genetic analyses have also been performed. The research team is currently starting the longitudinal twin study of children, which will be focused on different indicators of emotional, cognitive and physical development.
Fear of falling in Parkinson's disease (PD) has been suggested as predictor of future falling. The purpose of this study was to compare fear of falling score after two years of follow-up with those observed at baseline and to assess factors associated with change in fear of falling over time.
A total of 120 consecutive persons with PD were recruited and followed for two years. Fear of falling was assessed by using the 10-item Falls Efficacy Scale (FES). Occurrence of falling was registered during the first year of follow-up.
After two years, the average FES score statistically significantly changed (p = 0.003) from 30.5 to 37.5 out of 100 (increase of 22.9%). We observed that median scores of all FES items, except for “Preparing a meal, not requiring carrying of heavy or hot objects” and “Personal grooming,” significantly increased after two-year follow-up. After accounting for age, gender, PD duration, levodopa dosage, Hoehn and Yayhr stage, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale score three, depression, anxiety, and falling, we observed that sustaining greater number of falls in the first year of follow-up was associated with higher increase in FES score after two years (odds ratio 3.08, 95% confidence interval 1.30–4.87).
After two years of follow-up, we observed a decrease in confidence at performing nearly all basic daily activities. Fall prevention programs should be prioritized in management of PD.
Fructose-rich diets (FRD) cause cardiac insulin resistance manifested by impairment of Akt/endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) signalling. In contrast, oestradiol (E2) activates this signalling pathway in the heart. To study the ability of E2 to revert the detrimental effect of fructose on cardiac Akt/eNOS, female rats were subjected to a FRD and ovariectomy followed with or without E2 replacement. We also analysed the effects of the FRD and E2 on cardiac extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk 1/2) signalling related to their role in cardiac hypertrophy development. Expression of Akt, eNOS and Erk 1/2, as well as regulatory phosphorylations of these molecules were determined. The protein expression of cardiac Akt and eNOS was not affected by the diet or E2 treatment. However, the FRD was accompanied by a decrease in Akt phosphorylation at Ser473 and Thr308, and eNOS at Ser1177, while the phosphorylation of eNOS at Thr495 was increased. E2 replacement in ovariectomised fructose-fed rats caused a reversion of the diet effect on Akt and eNOS serine phosphorylation, but mostly had no effect on threonine phosphorylation of the molecules. The FRD and E2 treatment did not influence Erk 1/2 expression and phosphorylation and heart mass as well. The data show that E2 selectively suppress the negative effects of a FRD on Akt/eNOS signalling and probably point to the different effects of E2 on kinase/phosphatase pathways responsible for phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of Akt and eNOS. Furthermore, the results suggest that the heart of females in the reproductive period is partially protected against the damaging effects of increased fructose intake.
This chapter focuses on narrative in the written forensic psychiatry report, its central role in the work of forensic psychiatry, and techniques and pitfalls in telling the story for the legal audience. Forensic psychiatric reports answer questions posed by the law through the explication of individuals' thinking and their behavior and how individuals came to carry out their actions. Language and writing style are critical elements in the forensic report. The challenges in creating persuasive, truthful narratives can be met through the combination of psychiatric diligence and expertise and literary techniques that facilitate the audience's comprehension of the psychiatrist's formulation and conclusion. The most effective means of persuading the audience in a legal matter is through a thoughtful narrative that creates an integrated account of the myriad facts and a comprehensible formulation. The forensic narrator must create a product that meets the ethical requirements of truth-telling and respect for person.