Archivio istituzionale della Ricerca - Università degli Studi di Parma

    La Rete incantata. Linguaggi dell’Inconscio digitale

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    Vitamin B12 and Homocysteine Levels and 6-Year Change in Peripheral Nerve Function and Neurological Signs

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    Low vitamin B12 and high homocysteine (Hcy) levels are common in older adults and may be associated with worse neurological function. The aim of this study is to determine whether changes in B12 or Hcy levels are associated with longitudinal changes in peripheral nerve function and clinical neurological signs and symptoms. Participants aged 60 years and older at baseline (n = 678; 72.2 +/- 6.2 years; 43.5% male) were from the InCHIANTI Study. Low B12 (= 13 mu mol/L) were measured at baseline and 3-year follow-up. Neurological function was assessed by peroneal nerve conduction amplitude (compound motor action potential) and velocity, neurological examination, and peripheral neuropathy symptoms at baseline, 3-year, and 6-year follow-up. At baseline, 43.8% had low B12 levels and 58.6% had high Hcy levels. Over 6 years, 12.4% declined to poor compound motor action potential (< 1 mV) and 42.1% declined to poor nerve conduction velocity (< 40 m/s). In mixed models analyses, sustained high Hcy was associated with worse compound motor action potential compared with sustained normal Hcy (p = .04), adjusting for demographics, diabetes, and folate level. Participants whose Hcy level became high at follow-up were more likely to become unable to detect monofilament at 6-year follow-up compared with those with sustained normal Hcy (odds ratio: 5.4; 95% CI: 1.5-19.0), adjusting for demographics, diabetes, body mass index, and peripheral arterial disease. There was no association with vitamin B12 level or with symptoms. High Hcy may be associated with worse sensory and motor peripheral nerve function. Because poor nerve function has been associated with lower strength and physical performance, these results have important implications for disability in older adults

    Anche i muscoli vanno in pensione?

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    Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Immune-Mediated Diseases: Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis

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    Inflammation is part of the normal host response to infection and injury. However, inappropriate inflammation contributes to several diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Both conditions are characterized by the excessive production of inflammatory cytokines, arachidonic acid (AA)-derived eicosanoids, and other inflammatory agents (e. g., reactive oxygen species, adhesion molecules). By virtue of their anti-inflammatory action, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) may be beneficial in inflammatory diseases. A large body of evidence supports a protective effect of omega-3 PUFA in experimental animal and ex-vivo models of Crohn's disease (CD), Ulcerative colitis (UC) and RA. Although fish oil supplementation in patients with IBD results in omega-3 PUFA incorporation into gut mucosal tissue and modification of inflammatory mediator profiles, the evidence of clinical benefits of omega-3 PUFA is weak. On the other hand, more convincing data support the efficacy of omega-3 PUFA in reducing pain, number of tender joints, duration of morning stiffness, use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and improving physical performance in RA patients. In both IBD and RA further clinical trials with large sample size are needed to clarify the efficacy of omega-3 PUFA as a treatment

    Real-time simulation of the effects of catalyst on automotive engines performance

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    Restrictions on pollutant emissions nowadays force the use of catalyst-based after-treatment systems both in SI and in Diesel engines. The use of a honeycomb support is an established practice: however, to overcome drawbacks such as poor flow homogenization, the use of ceramic foams has been recently investigated [1,…] as an alternative showing better conversion efficiencies (but with higher pressure losses). The proposed paper is aimed at evaluating the effects of these supports on engine performance through a 0D “crank-angle” mathematical model developed by the Authors in Simulink® for real-time calculations [2,3]. This tool has been enhanced improving the heat exchange model of the exhaust manifold to take account of thermal dynamics during transients. Besides a 0D model of the catalyst has been developed to simulate mass flow and thermal processes. Gas temperature at the catalyst outlet is calculated from energy conservation equation taking account of thermal inertia of the system and considering convective heat exchange between gas and monolith and thermal energy from the partial oxidation of unburnt compounds. The model has been used to simulate an actual 1.6l turbocharged Diesel with EGR during an EUDC driving cycle comparing honeycomb and foam catalysts. Results reported in the paper show the effects of these supports on pressure changes in intake and exhaust manifolds, on fuel consumption and on variations of catalyst temperatures during the considered transients
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