Rwanda plans to introduce life sentences with no contact with other prisoners to replace the death sentence. Claudia Hammond talks to Craig Haney a psychologist who has interviewed hundreds of prisoners in solitary confinement in the United States. He discusses the psychological consequences of prolonged periods of sensory deprivation and no social contact – extreme anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, self-harm and suicide.
In Zamfara State in Northern Nigeria a third of the under fives have been killed in one village from lead poisoning. It’s a result of people mining for gold and storing the crushed rocks which contain high levels of lead in their homes. Claudia talks to Lauren Cooney the emergency coordinator for Medicins Sans Frontieres. She explains the health problems lead poisoning can cause and how it is being treated.
Savant Syndrome can but doesn’t always accompany autism. It can also follow a brain injury. People with Savant syndrome have an extraordinary talent like the ability to draw detailed architectural sketches of buildings from a brief sighting or in a matter of seconds they can tell you the day of the week of any date in history. In the U.S.A. Darold Treffert has devoted his career to studying these rare individuals.
Restless leg syndrome is a neurological disorder which affects millions of people around the world, particularly women. Research conducted in Iceland revealed that it runs in families and last year scientists pinpointed the gene involved. Consultant Adrian Williams sees many patients with RLS, including Beverley Finn, who hasn’t has a good night’s sleep for 46 years because of the condition.