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River distance, stand basal area, and climatic conditions are the main drivers influencing lying deadwood in riparian forests
Janine Oettel, Martin Braun, Marcus Sallmannshofer, Maarten De Groot, Silvio Schueler, Charlotte Virgillito, Marjana Westergren, Gregor Božič, Laszlo Nagy, Srdjan Stojnić, Katharina Lapin, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Riparian forests are among the most diverse terrestrial ecosystems, yet their biodiversity is increasingly threatened by habitat degradation, climate change, river regulation and invasive species. We investigated deadwood, widely recognized as an indicator for forest biodiversity, in riparian forests of the Mura-Drava-Danube Transboundary Biosphere Reserve. The Biosphere Reserve is a conservation area that spans five countries and three rivers located in south-eastern Europe. In detail, we analyzed the drivers of lying deadwood volume, occurrence and decay related to floodplain type, silvicultural management, and climatic conditions using regression models. Lying deadwood occurrence and volume significantly decreased as distance from the river edge increased, indicating that river dynamics likely play a role in deadwood accumulation in riparian forests. Deadwood volume was also positively influenced by stand basal area, a parameter that can be directly addressed by silvicultural management. Deadwood decay was affected positively by temperature and negatively by precipitation, highlighting the importance of climatic conditions on decay progression. However, in order to draw more accurate conclusions about the drivers and dynamics of deadwood in riparian forests, further monitoring efforts that consider river flooding and flow regime, deadwood transport and saproxylic organism activity in addition to forest management and site conditions, are needed.
Keywords: alluvial forest, hardwood floodplain, deadwood decay, Mura-Drava-Danube transboundary biosphere, reserve, riparian area, softwood floodplain, UNESCO biosphere reserve, wetlands
Published in DiRROS: 18.07.2022; Views: 39; Downloads: 33
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Attic dust: an archive of historical air contamination of the urban environment and potential hazard to health?
Martin Gaberšek, Michael J. Watts, Mateja Gosar, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: A comprehensive study of attic dust in an urban area is presented. Its entire life cycle, from determining historical emission sources to recognising the processes that take place in attic dust and its potential to impact human health is discussed. Its chemical composition and morphological characteristics of individual solid particles reflect past anthropogenic activities. High levels of Be-Cd-Cu-Sb-Sn-Pb-Te-Zn and occurrence of Cu-Zn shavings are typical for an industrial zone characterised by a foundry and a battery factory. High levels of Co-Fe-Mo-Ni-W-Ba-Cr-Mg-Mn-Nb-Ti and occurrence of various solid Fe-oxides, particularly spherical particles, were identified in another industrial zone, which was dominated by the automotive and metal-processing industries. Emissions from coal combustion affected the distribution of S-Se-Hg-Tl-As-Ag-U. The predominant mineral in attic dust is gypsum, which was presumably formed in situ by the reaction of carbonate dust particles and atmospheric SO2 gas. The high oral bioaccessibility of As-Cd-Cu-Pb-Zn in the gastric phase and high bioaccessibility of As-Cu-Cd-Ni in the gastrointestinal phase were identified. Determined characteristics of attic dust and identified possibilities of prolonged human exposure to it indicate that attic dust should be treated as an excellent proxy for historical air contamination as well as a potentially hazardous material for human health.
Keywords: multi-element composition, scanning electron microscopy, oral bioaccessibility, unified BARGE method, urban geochemistry
Published in DiRROS: 23.06.2022; Views: 91; Downloads: 47
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Brain dynamics underlying preserved cycling ability in patients with Parkinson’s disease and freezing of gait
Teja Ličen, Martin Rakuša, Nicolaas I. Bohnen, Paolo Manganotti, Uroš Marušič, 2022, review article

Abstract: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is generally associated with abnormally increased beta band oscillations in the cortico-basal ganglia loop during walking. PD patients with freezing of gait (FOG) exhibit a more distinct, prolonged narrow band of beta oscillations that are locked to the initiation of movement at ∼18 Hz. Upon initiation of cycling movements, this oscillation has been reported to be weaker and rather brief in duration. Due to the suppression of the overall beta band power during cycling and its continuous nature of the movement, cycling is considered to be less demanding for cortical networks compared to walking, including reduced need for sensorimotor processing, and thus unimpaired continuous cycling motion. Furthermore, cycling has been considered one of the most efficient non-pharmacological therapies with an influence on the subthalamic nucleus (STN) beta rhythms implicative of the deep brain stimulation effects. In the current review, we provide an overview of the currently available studies and discuss the underlying mechanism of preserved cycling ability in relation to the FOG in PD patients. The mechanisms are presented in detail using a graphical scheme comparing cortical oscillations during walking and cycling in PD.
Keywords: gait, freezing of gait, Parkinson's disease, cycling, cortical oscillations, beta band
Published in DiRROS: 21.06.2022; Views: 80; Downloads: 84
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Effect of hydroxychloroquine in hospitalized patients with Covid-19
Peter Horby, Marion Mafham, Martin J. Landray, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Background: Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have been proposed as treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on the basis of in vitro activity and data from uncontrolled studies and small, randomized trials. Methods: In this randomized, controlled, open-label platform trial comparing a range of possible treatments with usual care in patients hospitalized with Covid-19, we randomly assigned 1561 patients to receive hydroxychloroquine and 3155 to receive usual care. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality. Results: The enrollment of patients in the hydroxychloroquine group was closed on June 5, 2020, after an interim analysis determined that there was a lack of efficacy. Death within 28 days occurred in 421 patients (27.0%) in the hydroxychloroquine group and in 790 (25.0%) in the usual-care group (rate ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.97 to 1.23; P = 0.15). Consistent results were seen in all prespecified subgroups of patients. The results suggest that patients in the hydroxychloroquine group were less likely to be discharged from the hospital alive within 28 days than those in the usual-care group (59.6% vs. 62.9%; rate ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.98). Among the patients who were not undergoing mechanical ventilation at baseline, those in the hydroxychloroquine group had a higher frequency of invasive mechanical ventilation or death (30.7% vs. 26.9%; risk ratio, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.27). There was a small numerical excess of cardiac deaths (0.4 percentage points) but no difference in the incidence of new major cardiac arrhythmia among the patients who received hydroxychloroquine. Conclusions: Among patients hospitalized with Covid-19, those who received hydroxychloroquine did not have a lower incidence of death at 28 days than those who received usual care. (Funded by UK Research and Innovation and National Institute for Health Research and others; RECOVERY ISRCTN number, ISRCTN50189673; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04381936.).
Keywords: Covid-19 -- drug therapy, hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine
Published in DiRROS: 30.05.2022; Views: 82; Downloads: 35
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Dexamethasone in hospitalized patients with Covid-19
Peter Horby, Wei Shen Lim, Martin J. Landray, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is associated with diffuse lung damage. Glucocorticoids may modulate inflammation-mediated lung injury and thereby reduce progression to respiratory failure and death. Methods: In this controlled, open-label trial comparing a range of possible treatments in patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19, we randomly assigned patients to receive oral or intravenous dexamethasone (at a dose of 6 mg once daily) for up to 10 days or to receive usual care alone. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality. Here, we report the final results of this assessment. Results: A total of 2104 patients were assigned to receive dexamethasone and 4321 to receive usual care. Overall, 482 patients (22.9%) in the dexamethasone group and 1110 patients (25.7%) in the usual care group died within 28 days after randomization (age-adjusted rate ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75 to 0.93; P<0.001). The proportional and absolute between-group differences in mortality varied considerably according to the level of respiratory support that the patients were receiving at the time of randomization. In the dexamethasone group, the incidence of death was lower than that in the usual care group among patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation (29.3% vs. 41.4%; rate ratio, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.81) and among those receiving oxygen without invasive mechanical ventilation (23.3% vs. 26.2%; rate ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72 to 0.94) but not among those who were receiving no respiratory support at randomization (17.8% vs. 14.0%; rate ratio, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.55). Conclusions: In patients hospitalized with Covid-19, the use of dexamethasone resulted in lower 28-day mortality among those who were receiving either invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygen alone at randomization but not among those receiving no respiratory support. (Funded by the Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research and others; RECOVERY ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04381936; ISRCTN number, 50189673.).
Keywords: Covid-19 -- drug therapy, dexamethasone
Published in DiRROS: 30.05.2022; Views: 91; Downloads: 34
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