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Cosbey S.H.,Forensic Science Northern Ireland | Peters K.L.,Forensic Science Northern Ireland | Quinn A.,Forensic Science Northern Ireland | Bentley A.,Institute of Forensic Medicine
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2013

Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) is the beta-keto analogue of 4-methylmethylamphetamine. Before its control in April 2010, it became popular as a legal high in the United Kingdom, displacing methylenedioxymethylamphetamine as the stimulant drug of choice. The drug has stimulant and psychoactive properties, and therefore has forensic significance in criminal and morbid toxicology. The purpose of this study was to survey casework involving the drug (impaired driving and sudden death). The cases were received in the laboratory for analysis between late 2009 and the end of 2010. Analysis of blood samples for mephedrone was conducted by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Routine screening for alcohol and a range of other pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse was conducted using a combination of enzymelinked immunoassay, gas chromatography (GC) headspace, GC-MS and high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection. Mephedrone was detected in a total of 12 fatal cases. Most of these cases involved death by mechanical means; in two cases, death was attributed directly to mephedrone intoxication (blood concentrations of 2.1 and 1.94 mg/L). Mephedrone was detected in a total of 32 impaired driving cases. Blood concentrations ranged up to 0.74 mg/L (mean 0.21, median 0.10). The casework evidence in this study indicated that recreational use of the drug can produce to blood levels as high as 0.74 mg/L, although the most common value encountered is likely to lie between 0.2 and 0.3 mg/L. © The Author [2013]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Davceva N.,Institute of Forensic Medicine
Soudní lékarství / casopis Sekce soudního lékarstvi Cs. lékarské spolecnosti J. Ev. Purkyne | Year: 2012

According to the contemporary classification, traumatic brain damage is divided on focal and diffuse brain injuries, and primary and secondary brain damage. The aim of this paper is to emphasize the necessity of the forensic-neuropathological examination in the determination of the diffuse brain injuries. In those injuries frequently neither the most sophisticated clinical-investigation techniques like CT and MRI, nor the routine post-mortem forensic pathological examination, give any results with discovering an intracranial mass lesion, despite the fact that patients had manifested a serious brain failure. In a series of 80 cases with closed head injuries where forensic-neuropathological examination has been undertaken (examination of a fixed brain tissue and immunohistochemistry using monoclonal antibodies against β-amyloid precursor protein), the occurrence of the diffuse brain injuries in the absence of any other massive intracranial lesion has been established in 14 (17,7%) of the cases. Hence, forensic-neuropathological examination has been the only way to establish the diagnosis of the brain injury that caused a serious brain failure and in most of them occurred as a concrete cause of death. This method has already been affirmed in the forensic medicine science and has been implemented in a Recommendation No 99 of the Council of Europe where medico-legal autopsy rules are given, thus, establishing it as an unavoidable part of the daily forensic medicine practice. Keywords: diffuse axonal injury - diffuse vascular injury - closed head injuries - traumatic brain damage - diffuse brain damage.

Amendt J.,Institute of Forensic Medicine | Richards C.S.,Natural History Museum in London | Campobasso C.P.,University of Molise | Zehner R.,Institute of Forensic Medicine | Hall M.J.R.,Natural History Museum in London
Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology | Year: 2011

Forensic entomology is the science of collecting and analysing insect evidence to aid in forensic investigations. Its main application is in the determination of the minimum time since death in cases of suspicious death, either by estimating the age of the oldest necrophagous insects that developed on the corpse, or by analysing the insect species composition on the corpse. In addition, toxicological and molecular examinations of these insects may help reveal the cause of death or even the identity of a victim, by associating a larva with its last meal, for example, in cases where insect evidence is left at a scene after human remains have been deliberately removed. Some fly species can develop not only on corpses but on living bodies too, causing myiasis. Analysis of larvae in such cases can demonstrate the period of neglect of humans or animals. Without the appropriate professional collection of insect evidence, an accurate and convincing presentation of such evidence in court will be hampered or even impossible. The present paper describes the principles and methods of forensic entomology and the optimal techniques for collecting insect evidence. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Zalan A.,Institute of Forensic Medicine | Beres J.,National Center for Healthcare Audit and Improvement | Pamjav H.,Institute of Forensic Medicine
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2011

Romanies constitute the largest minority group belonging to different subgroups in Hungary. Vlax Romanies are one of these Romani subgroups. The Gypsies came to Hungary from the Balkans in two large migrations. The Carpathian Romanies arrived in the 15th century and the Vlax Romanies came in the 19th century. The Carpathian Gypsies speak Hungarian and the Vlax Romanies speak Hungarian and Romani languages. Only a limited number of genetic studies of Y-chromosomal haplotypes/haplogroups have been done before, moreover most studies did not contain information regarding the investigated Roma populations which subgroups belong to. In the present study, we analyzed a wide set of Y-chromosomal markers to do comparable studies of the Vlax Roma in eastern Hungarian regions. The results can be compared in the context of previously published data on other Romani groups, Indian and Hungarian reference populations. Haplogroups H1a-M82 and J2a2-M67 were most common in the investigated population groups. A median-joining network of haplogroup H1a-M82 has demonstrated the sharing of identical Indian specific Y-chromosomal lineages between all Romani populations including Malaysian Indians as well as the Vlax Romanies. This common lineage of haplogroup H1a-M82 represents a common descent from a single ancestor provides a strong genetic link to the ancestral geographical origin of the proto-Gypsies. The detected haplogroups in the Vlax Romani population groups can be classified into two different Y-chromosomal lineages based on their putative origin. These lineages include ancestral Indian (H1a-M82), present-day Eurasian (J2a2-M67, J2*-M172, E1b1b1a-M78, I1-M253, R1a1-M198 and R1b1-P25) Y-chromosome lineages. Presence of these lineages in the paternal gene pool of the Roma people is illustrative of the Gypsy migration route from India through the Balkan to the Carpathian Basin. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Musshoff F.,Institute of Forensic Medicine | Madea B.,Institute of Forensic Medicine
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2012

Scientific opinions differ whether the use of stimulants causes deterioration in driving skills. In 1857 of 8709 cases of driving under the influence of drugs, amphetamine-like drugs (amphetamine, methamphetamine, and methylendioxyamphetamine) were present either alone or together with other licit or illicit drugs. In 338 cases, amphetamines were the only psychoactive substance group in plasma at mean, median, and highest concentrations of 0.18, 0.12, and 1.05 mg/L, respectively. A widespread opinion is that after the consumption of amphetamines, centrally stimulating effects with corresponding consequences on safe driving are expected. In contrast, many cases were observed that rather suggested an influence of centrally sedating substances when considering the psycho-physical conditions. Relations between concentration and effect could not be established. The apparent sedation is probably the consequence of sleep deprivation during an amphetamine binge and the after-effects of the drug. © 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

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