University of Brescia

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    73413 research outputs found

    Identification of movement phenotypes from occupational gesture kinematics: Advancing individual ergonomic exposure classification and personalized training

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    The identification of personalized preventive strategies plays a major role in contrasting the occurrence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. This requires the identification of distinct movement patterns within large samples and the attribution of a proper risk level to each identified movement phenotype. We assessed the feasibility of this approach by exploiting wearable inertial measurement units to estimate the whole-body kinematics of 43 healthy participants performing 18 reach-to-manipulate movements, which differed based on the object's position in the space and the type of manipulation required. Through unsupervised clustering, we identified multiple movement phenotypes graded by ergonomic performance. Furthermore, we determined which joints mostly contributed to instantiating the ergonomic differences across clusters, emphasizing the importance of monitoring this aspect during occupational gestures. Overall, our analysis suggests that movement phenotypes can be identified within occupational motor repertoires. Assigning individual performance to specific phenotypes has the potential to inform the development of more effective and tailored interventions

    Diagnostic capabilities, clinical features, and longitudinal UBA1 clonal dynamics of a nationwide VEXAS cohort

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    VEXAS is a prototypic hemato-inflammatory disease combining rheumatologic and hematologic disorders in a molecularly defined nosological entity. In this nationwide study, we aimed at screenshotting the current diagnostic capabilities and clinical-genomic features of VEXAS, and tracked UBA1 longitudinal clonal dynamics upon different therapeutics, including allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant. We leveraged a collaboration between the Italian Society of Experimental Hematology and of Rheumatology and disseminated a national survey to collect clinical and molecular patient information. Overall, 13/29 centers performed UBA1 genomic testing locally, including Sanger sequencing (46%), next-generation sequencing (23%), droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (8%), or combination (23%). A total of 41 male patients were identified, majority (51%) with threonine substitutions at Met41 hotspot, followed by valine and leucine (27% and 8%). Median age at VEXAS diagnosis was 67 years. All patients displayed anemia (median hemoglobin 9.1 g/dL), with macrocytosis. Bone marrow vacuoles were observed in most cases (89%). The most common rheumatologic association was polychondritis (49%). A concomitant myelodysplastic neoplasm/syndrome (MDS) was diagnosed in 71% of patients (n = 28), chiefly exhibiting lower Revised International Prognostic Scoring System risk profiles. Karyotype was normal in all patients, except three MDS cases showing -Y, t(12;16)(q13;q24), and +8. The most frequently mutated gene was DNMT3A (n = 10), followed by TET2 (n = 3). At last follow-up, five patients died and two patients progressed to acute leukemia. Longitudinal UBA1 clonal dynamics demonstrated mutational clearance following transplant. We collected a nationwide interdisciplinary VEXAS patient cohort, characterized by heterogeneous rheumatologic manifestations and treatments used. MDS was diagnosed in 71% of cases. Patients exhibited various longitudinal UBA1 clonal dynamics

    Assessing the mediating role of iron status on associations between an industry-relevant metal mixture and verbal learning and memory in Italian adolescents

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    Background: Metals, including lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), chromium (Cr) and copper (Cu), have been associated with neurodevelopment; iron (Fe) plays a role in the metabolism and neurotoxicity of metals, suggesting Fe may mediate metal-neurodevelopment associations. However, no study to date has examined Fe as a mediator of the association between metal mixtures and neurodevelopment. Objective: We assessed Fe status as a mediator of a mixture of Pb, Mn, Cr and Cu in relation to verbal learning and memory in a cohort of Italian adolescents. Methods: We used cross-sectional data from 383 adolescents (10–14 years) in the Public Health Impact of Metals Exposure Study. Metals were quantified in blood (Pb) or hair (Mn, Cr, Cu) using ICP-MS, and three markers of Fe status (blood hemoglobin, serum ferritin and transferrin) were quantified using luminescence assays or immunoassays. Verbal learning and memory were assessed using the California Verbal Learning Test for Children (CVLT-C). We used Bayesian Kernel Machine Regression Causal Mediation Analysis to estimate four mediation effects: the natural direct effect (NDE), natural indirect effect (NIE), controlled direct effect (CDE) and total effect (TE). Beta (β) coefficients and 95 % credible intervals (CIs) were estimated for all effects. Results: The metal mixture was jointly associated with a greater number of words recalled on the CVLT-C, but these associations were not mediated by Fe status. For example, when ferritin was considered as the mediator, the NIE for long delay free recall was null (β = 0.00; 95 % CI = −0.22, 0.23). Conversely, the NDE (β = 0.23; 95 % CI = 0.01, 0.44) indicated a beneficial association of the mixture with recall that operated independently of Fe status. Conclusion: An industry-relevant metal mixture was associated with learning and memory, but there was no evidence of mediation by Fe status. Further studies in populations with Fe deficiency and greater variation in metal exposure are warranted

    A Systematic Review of the Metabolism of High-Grade Gliomas: Current Targeted Therapies and Future Perspectives

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    High-grade glial tumors (HGGs) exhibit aggressive growth patterns and high recurrence rates. The prevailing treatment approach comprises radiation therapy (RT), chemotherapy (CMT), and surgical resection. Despite the progress made in traditional treatments, the outlook for patients with HGGs remains bleak. Tumor metabolism is emerging as a potential target for glioma therapies, a promising approach that harnesses the metabolism to target tumor cells. However, the efficacy of therapies targeting the metabolism of HGGs remains unclear, compelling a comprehensive review. This study aimed to assess the outcome of present trials on HGG therapies targeting metabolism. A comprehensive search of PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, and Ovid EMBASE was conducted until November 2023. The search method used pertinent Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terminologies and keywords referring to "high-grade gliomas", "metabolism", "target therapies", "monoclonal antibodies", "overall survival", and "progression-free survival". The review analyzed studies that focused on therapies targeting the metabolism of HGGs in human subjects. These studies included both randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomized controlled trials (NRCTs). Out of 284 articles identified, 23 trials met the inclusion criteria and were thoroughly analyzed. Phase II trials were the most numerous (62%). Targeted metabolic therapies were predominantly used for recurrent HGGs (67%). The most common targeted pathways were the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, 43%), the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER, 22%), the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF, 17%), and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR, 17%). In 39% of studies, the subject treatment was combined with CMT (22%), RT (4%), or both (13%). The median OS widely ranged from 4 to 26.3 months, while the median PFS ranged from 1.5 to 13 months. This systematic literature review offers a thorough exploration of the present state of metabolic therapies for HGGs. The multitude of targeted pathways underscores the intricate nature of addressing the metabolic aspects of these tumors. Despite existing challenges, these findings provide valuable insights, guiding future research endeavors. The results serve as a foundation for refining treatment strategies and enhancing patient outcomes within the complex landscape of HGGs

    Constructing uniform 2-factorizations via row-sum matrices: Solutions to the Hamilton-Waterloo problem

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    In this paper, we formally introduce the concept of a row-sum matrix over an arbitrary group G. When G is cyclic, these types of matrices have been widely used to build uniform 2-factorizations of small Cayley graphs (or, Cayley subgraphs of blown-up cycles), which themselves factorize complete (equipartite) graphs. Here, we construct row-sum matrices over a class of non-abelian groups, the generalized dihedral groups, and we use them to construct uniform 2-factorizations that solve infinitely many open cases of the Hamilton-Waterloo problem, thus filling up large parts of the gaps in the spectrum of orders for which such factorizations are known to exist

    Antifungal and Antiproliferative Activity of Pistagremic Acid and Flavonoids Extracted from the Galls of Pistacia chinensis subsp. integerrima

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    : Pistacia chinensis subsp. integerrima (J.L. Stewart) Rech. f. is a plant known for its therapeutic applications in traditional medicine, which are related to its antimicrobial, anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antidiarrheal, and muscle relaxant properties. The galls of P. chinensis are rich in triterpenes and flavonoids, and we here report the extraction of pistagremic acid (1), apigenin (2) and sakuranetin (3) from this source. The isolated compounds were tested against Aspergillus flavus, Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Fusarium solani, Microsporum canis and Trichoderma longibrachiatum. The results highlighted the antimicrobial activity of flavonoids 2 and 3, suggesting that this class of molecules may be responsible for the effect related to the traditional use. On the other hand, when the compounds and the extract were tested for their antiproliferative activity on a panel of 4 human cancer cell lines, the triterpene pistagremic acid (1) showed a higher potential, thus demonstrating a different bioactivity profile. Structure-based docking and molecular dynamics simulations were used to help the interpretation of experimental results. Taken together, the here reported findings pave the way for the rationalization of the use of P. chinensis extracts, highlighting the contributions of the different components of galls to the observed bioactivity

    Elemental analysis of particulate matter by X-ray fluorescence methods: A green approach to air quality monitoring

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    This review explores X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry for elemental analysis of particulate matter (PM) for air quality monitoring. The introduction presents PM classification based on size and composition, covering various elemental analysis methods while highlighting the increasing interest in XRF due to its non-destructive, rapid, and green features. The fundamental concepts of XRF and the experimental configurations commonly used are discussed, focusing on Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) and Total Reflection X-Ray Fluorescence (TXRF). PM sampling devices and substrate are described, with a specific emphasis on filtering membranes for EDXRF and reflecting substrates for TXRF. Sample preparation strategies and procedures are presented. Qualitative and quantitative analysis is described, with a particular focus on the calibration approaches implemented for PM. Finally, the challenges faced by XRF in becoming a recognized reliable analytical technique for PM analysis, comparable to other standardized techniques for PM filters analysis, while capitalizing on its green advantages

    Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Semen Quality in Healthy Young Men Living in a Contaminated Area

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    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent organic pollutants and endocrine disruptors that have been implicated in potential damage to human semen. However, the studies conducted so far provide contrasting results. Our study aimed to investigate the associations between PCB serum and semen levels and semen quality in high school and university students living in a highly PCB-polluted area of Italy. Subjects with a normal body mass index who did not make daily use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or medication were selected. All participants provided a fasting blood and a semen sample. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to determine the concentrations of 26 PCB congeners. The concentrations of PCB functional groups and total PCBs were also computed. A total of 143 subjects (median age 20, range 18–22 years) were enrolled. The median total PCB concentrations were 3.85 ng/mL (range 3.43–4.56 ng/mL) and 0.29 ng/mL (range 0.26–0.32 ng/mL) in serum and semen, respectively. The analysis of the associations between sperm PCB concentration and semen parameters showed (a) negative associations between some PCB congeners, functional groups and total PCBs and sperm total motility; (b) negative associations of total PCBs with sperm normal morphology; and (c) no association of PCBs with sperm concentration. Subjects at the highest quartile of semen total PCB concentration had 19% and 23% mean reductions in total motility and normal morphology, respectively, compared to those at the lowest quartile. The analysis of the associations of serum PCB levels with sperm parameters yielded null or mixed (some positive, other negative) results. In conclusion, the present study provides evidence of a negative effect of some PCB congeners and total PCBs in semen on sperm motility and normal morphology. However, the associations between the concentration of serum and semen PCB congeners and functional groups and sperm quality parameters were inconsistent

    Impact of 2021 European Academy of Neurology/Peripheral Nerve Society diagnostic criteria on diagnosis and therapy of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy variants

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    Background and purpose: There are different criteria for the diagnosis of different variants of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP). The 2021 European Academy of Neurology/Peripheral Nerve Society (EAN/PNS) guidelines provide specific clinical criteria for each CIDP variant even if their therapeutical impact has not been investigated. Methods: We applied the clinical criteria for CIDP variants of the 2021 EAN/PNS guidelines to 369 patients included in the Italian CIDP database who fulfilled the 2021 EAN/PNS electrodiagnostic criteria for CIDP. Results: According to the 2021 EAN/PNS clinical criteria, 245 patients achieved a clinical diagnosis of typical CIDP or CIDP variant (66%). We identified 106 patients with typical CIDP (29%), 62 distal CIDP (17%), 28 multifocal or focal CIDP (7%), four sensory CIDP (1%), 27 sensory-predominant CIDP (7%), 10 motor CIDP (3%), and eight motor-predominant CIDP (2%). Patients with multifocal, distal, and sensory CIDP had milder impairment and symptoms. Patients with multifocal CIDP had less frequently reduced conduction velocity and prolonged F-wave latency and had lower levels of cerebrospinal fluid protein. Patients with distal CIDP more frequently had reduced distal compound muscle action potentials. Patients with motor CIDP did not improve after steroid therapy, whereas those with motor-predominant CIDP did. None of the patients with sensory CIDP responded to steroids, whereas most of those with sensory-predominant CIDP did. Conclusions: The 2021 EAN/PNS criteria for CIDP allow a better characterization of CIDP variants, permitting their distinction from typical CIDP and more appropriate treatment for patients


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