68 research outputs found

    Seasonal Phenology of Reptiles in a Mediterranean Environment (“Castel di Guido” Natural Park, Northern Latium, Italy)

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    The present work reports the seasonal phenology of the reptiles of the "Castel di Guido" Natural Park near Rome (Northern Latium, Italy). During field observations, between September 2014 and July 2016, transects were carried out along the ecotones of the park, in order to describe the period of seasonal activity of the reptiles present. The area is characterized by Mediterranean mesothermal climate. In the Mediterranean area, reptiles have a broader annual activity range than other European regions, greatly reducing winter latency. Reptile activities start very early, in some case it is possible to observe the snake Hierophis viridiflavus and lizards, such as Podarcis muralis and Podarcis siculus, in thermoregulation activity in the middle of winter. The mild climate that is recorded on average in autumn favors the activity in the period between September and December; Zamenis longissimus is observed regularly in October. Testudo hermanni mates regularly in autumn and it is active until the first decade of December. The research shows that during the winter period reptiles can be observed in activity; for some species, Chalcides chalcides, Podarcis sp., Hierophis viridiflavus, this seems to be a remarkable datum that broad considerably the annual phenology reported in the literature

    First Record of Emys orbicularis (Boulenger, 1882), (Reptilia, Testudinati) in the “Castel di Guido” Natural Park (Northern Latium, Italy): a Case of Interest for Species Conservation

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    The finding of five specimens of Emys orbicularis (Linnaeus, 1758), (Reptilia, Testudinati) in the “Castel di Guido” Natural Park (Northern Latium, Italy), is reported. This is the first record for the species in the area, regularly monitored since 2006. It is assumed that the species has recently colonized the site through highly populated and degraded territory; the data is of conservation interest, proving the capacity of the species to cross polluted environments

    Effect of resveratrol on mitochondrial function: Implications in parkin-associated familiar Parkinson's disease

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    Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress occur in Parkinson's disease (PD), but the molecular mechanisms controlling these events are not completely understood. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) is a transcriptional coactivator known as master regulator of mitochondrial functions and oxidative metabolism. Recent studies, including one from our group, have highlighted altered PGC-1α activity and transcriptional deregulation of its target genes in PD pathogenesis suggesting it as a new potential therapeutic target. Resveratrol, a natural polyphenolic compound proved to improve mitochondrial activity through the activation of several metabolic sensors resulting in PGC-1α activation. Here we have tested in vitro the effect of resveratrol treatment on primary fibroblast cultures from two patients with early-onset PD linked to different Park2 mutations. We show that resveratrol regulates energy homeostasis through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and raise of mRNA expression of a number of PGC-1α's target genes resulting in enhanced mitochondrial oxidative function, likely related to a decrease of oxidative stress and to an increase of mitochondrial biogenesis. The functional impact of resveratrol treatment encompassed an increase of complex I and citrate synthase activities, basal oxygen consumption, and mitochondrial ATP production and a decrease in lactate content, thus supporting a switch from glycolytic to oxidative metabolism. Moreover, resveratrol treatment caused an enhanced macro-autophagic flux through activation of an LC3-independent pathway. Our results, obtained in early-onset PD fibroblasts, suggest that resveratrol may have potential clinical application in selected cases of PD-affected patients

    Effect of ketogenic mediterranean diet with phytoextracts and low carbohydrates/high-protein meals on weight, cardiovascular risk factors, body composition and diet compliance in Italian council employees

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>There has been increased interest in recent years in very low carbohydrate ketogenic diets (VLCKD) that, even though they are much discussed and often opposed, have undoubtedly been shown to be effective, at least in the short to medium term, as a tool to tackle obesity, hyperlipidemia and some cardiovascular risk factors. For this reason the ketogenic diet represents an interesting option but unfortunately suffers from a low compliance. The aim of this pilot study is to ascertain the safety and effects of a modified ketogenic diet that utilizes ingredients which are low in carbohydrates but are formulated to simulate its aspect and taste and also contain phytoextracts to add beneficial effects of important vegetable components.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>The study group consisted of 106 Rome council employees with a body mass index of ≄ 25, age between 18 and 65 years (19 male and 87 female; mean age 48.49 ± 10.3). We investigated the effects of a modified ketogenic diet based on green vegetables, olive oil, fish and meat plus dishes composed of high quality protein and virtually zero carbohydrate but which mimic their taste, with the addition of some herbal extracts (KEMEPHY ketogenic Mediterranean with phytoextracts). Calories in the diet were unlimited. Measurements were taken before and after 6 weeks of diet.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>There were no significant changes in BUN, ALT, AST, GGT and blood creatinine. We detected a significant (p < 0.0001) reduction in BMI (31.45 Kg/m<sup>2 </sup>to 29.01 Kg/m<sup>2</sup>), body weight (86.15 kg to 79.43 Kg), percentage of fat mass (41.24% to 34.99%), waist circumference (106.56 cm to 97.10 cm), total cholesterol (204 mg/dl to 181 mg/dl), LDLc (150 mg/dl to 136 mg/dl), triglycerides (119 mg/dl to 93 mg/dl) and blood glucose (96 mg/dl to 91 mg/dl). There was a significant (p < 0.0001) increase in HDLc (46 mg/dl to 52 mg/dl).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>The KEMEPHY diet lead to weight reduction, improvements in cardiovascular risk markers, reduction in waist circumference and showed good compliance.</p

    Fucans, but Not Fucomannoglucuronans, Determine the Biological Activities of Sulfated Polysaccharides from Laminaria saccharina Brown Seaweed

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    Sulfated polysaccharides from Laminaria saccharina (new name: Saccharina latissima) brown seaweed show promising activity for the treatment of inflammation, thrombosis, and cancer; yet the molecular mechanisms underlying these properties remain poorly understood. The aim of this work was to characterize, using in vitro and in vivo strategies, the anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulant, anti-angiogenic, and anti-tumor activities of two main sulfated polysaccharide fractions obtained from L. saccharina: a) L.s.-1.0 fraction mainly consisting of O-sulfated mannoglucuronofucans and b) L.s.-1.25 fraction mainly composed of sulfated fucans. Both fractions inhibited leukocyte recruitment in a model of inflammation in rats, although L.s.-1.25 appeared to be more active than L.s.-1.0. Also, these fractions inhibited neutrophil adhesion to platelets under flow. Only fraction L.s.-1.25, but not L.s.-1.0, displayed anticoagulant activity as measured by the activated partial thromboplastin time. Investigation of these fractions in angiogenesis settings revealed that only L.s.-1.25 strongly inhibited fetal bovine serum (FBS) induced in vitro tubulogenesis. This effect correlated with a reduction in plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) levels in L.s.-1.25-treated endothelial cells. Furthermore, only parent sulfated polysaccharides from L. saccharina (L.s.-P) and its fraction L.s.-1.25 were powerful inhibitors of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) induced pathways. Consistently, the L.s.-1.25 fraction as well as L.s.-P successfully interfered with fibroblast binding to human bFGF. The incorporation of L.s.-P or L.s.-1.25, but not L.s.-1.0 into Matrigel plugs containing melanoma cells induced a significant reduction in hemoglobin content as well in the frequency of tumor-associated blood vessels. Moreover, i.p. administrations of L.s.-1.25, as well as L.s.-P, but not L.s.-1.0, resulted in a significant reduction of tumor growth when inoculated into syngeneic mice. Finally, L.s.-1.25 markedly inhibited breast cancer cell adhesion to human platelet-coated surfaces. Thus, sulfated fucans are mainly responsible for the anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, antiangiogenic, and antitumor activities of sulfated polysaccharides from L. saccharina brown seaweed

    Understanding Factors Associated With Psychomotor Subtypes of Delirium in Older Inpatients With Dementia

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    Outcomes of pregnancies after kidney transplantation: lessons learned from CKD. A comparison of transplanted, nontransplanted chronic kidney disease patients and low-risk pregnancies: a multicenter nationwide analysis.

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    BACKGROUND: Kidney transplantation (KT) may restore fertility in CKD. The reasons why materno-foetal outcomes are still inferior to the overall population are only partially known. Comparison with the CKD population may offer some useful insights for management and counselling.Aim of this study was to analyse the outcomes of pregnancy after KT, compared with a large population of non-transplanted CKD patients and with low-risk control pregnancies, observed in Italy the new millennium. METHODS: We selected 121 live-born singletons after KT (Italian study group of kidney in pregnancy, national coverage about 75%), 610 live-born singletons in CKD and 1418 low-risk controls recruited in 2 large Italian Units, in the same period (2000-2014). The following outcomes were considered: maternal and foetal death; malformations; preterm delivery; small for gestational age baby (SGA); need for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU); doubling of serum creatinine or increase in CKD stage. Data were analysed according to kidney diseases, renal function (staging according to CKD-EPI), hypertension, maternal age, partity, ethnicity. RESULTS: Materno-foetal outcomes are less favourable in CKD and KT as compared with the low-risk population. CKD stage and hypertension are important determinants of results. KT patients with e-GFR >90 have worse outcomes compared with CKD stage 1 patients; the differences level off when only CKD patients affected by glomerulonephritis or systemic diseases ('progressive CKD') are compared with KT. In the multivariate analysis, risk for preterm and early-preterm delivery was linked to CKD stage (2-5 versus 1: RR 3.42 and 3.78) and hypertension (RR 3.68 and 3.16) while no difference was associated with being a KT or a CKD patient. CONCLUSIONS: The materno-foetal outcomes in patients with kidney transplantation are comparable with those of nontransplanted CKD patients with similar levels of kidney function impairment and progressive and/or immunologic kidney diseas

    Diversity and ethics in trauma and acute care surgery teams: results from an international survey

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    Background Investigating the context of trauma and acute care surgery, the article aims at understanding the factors that can enhance some ethical aspects, namely the importance of patient consent, the perceptiveness of the ethical role of the trauma leader, and the perceived importance of ethics as an educational subject. Methods The article employs an international questionnaire promoted by the World Society of Emergency Surgery. Results Through the analysis of 402 fully filled questionnaires by surgeons from 72 different countries, the three main ethical topics are investigated through the lens of gender, membership of an academic or non-academic institution, an official trauma team, and a diverse group. In general terms, results highlight greater attention paid by surgeons belonging to academic institutions, official trauma teams, and diverse groups. Conclusions Our results underline that some organizational factors (e.g., the fact that the team belongs to a university context or is more diverse) might lead to the development of a higher sensibility on ethical matters. Embracing cultural diversity forces trauma teams to deal with different mindsets. Organizations should, therefore, consider those elements in defining their organizational procedures. Level of evidence Trauma and acute care teams work under tremendous pressure and complex circumstances, with their members needing to make ethical decisions quickly. The international survey allowed to shed light on how team assembly decisions might represent an opportunity to coordinate team member actions and increase performance

    Correction to: Two years later: Is the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic still having an impact on emergency surgery? An international cross-sectional survey among WSES members

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    Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is still ongoing and a major challenge for health care services worldwide. In the first WSES COVID-19 emergency surgery survey, a strong negative impact on emergency surgery (ES) had been described already early in the pandemic situation. However, the knowledge is limited about current effects of the pandemic on patient flow through emergency rooms, daily routine and decision making in ES as well as their changes over time during the last two pandemic years. This second WSES COVID-19 emergency surgery survey investigates the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on ES during the course of the pandemic. Methods: A web survey had been distributed to medical specialists in ES during a four-week period from January 2022, investigating the impact of the pandemic on patients and septic diseases both requiring ES, structural problems due to the pandemic and time-to-intervention in ES routine. Results: 367 collaborators from 59 countries responded to the survey. The majority indicated that the pandemic still significantly impacts on treatment and outcome of surgical emergency patients (83.1% and 78.5%, respectively). As reasons, the collaborators reported decreased case load in ES (44.7%), but patients presenting with more prolonged and severe diseases, especially concerning perforated appendicitis (62.1%) and diverticulitis (57.5%). Otherwise, approximately 50% of the participants still observe a delay in time-to-intervention in ES compared with the situation before the pandemic. Relevant causes leading to enlarged time-to-intervention in ES during the pandemic are persistent problems with in-hospital logistics, lacks in medical staff as well as operating room and intensive care capacities during the pandemic. This leads not only to the need for triage or transferring of ES patients to other hospitals, reported by 64.0% and 48.8% of the collaborators, respectively, but also to paradigm shifts in treatment modalities to non-operative approaches reported by 67.3% of the participants, especially in uncomplicated appendicitis, cholecystitis and multiple-recurrent diverticulitis. Conclusions: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic still significantly impacts on care and outcome of patients in ES. Well-known problems with in-hospital logistics are not sufficiently resolved by now; however, medical staff shortages and reduced capacities have been dramatically aggravated over last two pandemic years
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