7,016 research outputs found

    Physical activity practiced at a young age is associated with a less severe subsequent clinical presentation in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy

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    Background: In facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), it is not known whether physical activity (PA) practiced at young age is associated with the clinical presentation of disease. To assess this issue, we performed a retrospective cohort study concerning the previous practice of sports and, among them, those with medium-high cardiovascular commitment in clinically categorized carriers of a D4Z4 reduced allele (DRA). Methods: People aged between 18 and 60 were recruited as being DRA carriers. Subcategory (classical phenotype, A; incomplete phenotype, B; asymptomatic carriers, C; complex phenotype, D) and FSHD score, which measures muscle functional impairment, were assessed for all participants. Information on PAs was retrieved by using an online survey dealing with the practice of sports at a young age. Results: 368 participants were included in the study, average age 36.6 years (SD = 9.4), 47.6% male. The FSHD subcategory A was observed in 157 (42.7%) participants with average (¬Ī SD) FSHD score of 5.8 ¬Ī 3.0; the incomplete phenotype (category B) in 46 (12.5%) participants (average score 2.2 ¬Ī 1.7) and the D phenotype in 61 (16.6%, average score 6.5 ¬Ī 3.8). Asymptomatic carriers were 104 (subcategory C, 28.3%, score 0.0 ¬Ī 0.2). Time from symptoms onset was higher for patients with A (15.8 ¬Ī 11.1 years) and D phenotype (13.3 ¬Ī 11.9) than for patients with B phenotype (7.3 ¬Ī 9.0). The practice of sports was associated with lower FSHD score (-17%) in participants with A phenotype (MR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.73‚Äď0.95, p = 0.007) and by 33% in participants with D phenotype (MR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.51‚Äď0.89, p = 0.006). Conversely, no improvement was observed in participants with incomplete phenotype with mild severity (B). Conclusions: PAs at a young age are associated with a lower clinical score in the adult A and D FSHD subcategories. These results corroborate the need to consider PAs at the young age as a fundamental indicator for the correct clinical stratification of the disease and its possible evolution

    Laparoscopic right hemicolectomy: a SICE (Societ√† Italiana di Chirurgia Endoscopica e Nuove tecnologie) network prospective study on the approach to right colon lymphadenectomy in Italy: is there a standard?‚ÄĒCoDIG 2 (ColonDx Italian Group)

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    Background: Colon cancer is a disease with a worldwide spread. Surgery is the best option for the treatment of advanced colon cancer, but some aspects are still debated, such as the extent of lymphadenectomy. In Japanese guidelines, the gold standard was D3 dissection to remove the central lymph nodes (203, 213, and 223), but in 2009, Hoenberger et al. introduced the concept of complete mesocolic excision, in which surgical dissection follows the embryological planes to remove the mesentery entirely to prevent leakage of cancer cells and collect more lymph nodes. Our study describes how lymphadenectomy is currently performed in major Italian centers with an unclear indication on the type of lymphadenectomy that should be performed during right hemicolectomy (RH). Methods: CoDIG 2 is an observational multicenter national study that involves 76 Italian general surgery wards highly specialized in colorectal surgery. Each center was asked not to modify their usual surgical and clinical practices. The aim of the study was to assess the preference of Italian surgeons on the type of lymphadenectomy to perform during RH and the rise of any new trends or modifications in habits compared to the findings of the CoDIG 1 study conducted 4 years ago. Results: A total of 788 patients were enrolled. The most commonly used surgical technique was laparoscopic (82.1%) with intracorporeal (73.4%), side-to-side (98.7%), or isoperistaltic (96.0%) anastomosis. The lymph nodes at the origin of the vessels were harvested in an inferior number of cases (203, 213, and 223: 42.4%, 31.1%, and 20.3%, respectively). A comparison between CoDIG 1 and CoDIG 2 showed a stable trend in surgical techniques and complications, with an increase in the robotic approach (7.7% vs. 12.3%). Conclusions: This analysis shows how lymphadenectomy is performed in Italy to achieve oncological outcomes in RH, although the technique to achieve a higher lymph node count has not yet been standardized. Trial registration (ClinicalTrials.gov) ID: NCT05943951

    High tide, low price? Flooding alerts and hotel prices in Venice

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    This research explores the effects of High Tide alerts on hotel prices in Venice, a city that is vulnerable to the impacts of extreme climate events due to its fragile ecosystem and a long history of floods in the city center. By analyzing and combining price data from Booking.com with publicly available information on tides and weather, this study uses regression discontinuity design to test for changes in hotel prices when tide levels reach a critical threshold. The results offer insights into the sensitivity of hotel prices to weather alerts and provide valuable information on the potential impact of climate change on Venice‚Äôs tourism-driven economy, with implications for the cost‚Äďbenefit analysis of activating protective barriers for lagoon protection

    Integrated Close Range Remote Sensing Techniques for Detecting, Documenting, and Interpreting Lost Medieval Settlements under Canopy: The Case of Altanum (RC, Italy)

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    This paper focuses on the potential of an integrated approach using aerial LiDAR, aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry, terrestrial laser scanning, and archaeological survey to detect the presence and configuration of lost medieval settlements under canopy. This approach was applied to the site of Altanum (Calabria, Italy), on the hill of Sant'Eusebio, completely covered by vegetation. Altanum was a large fortified settlement characterised by a long occupation, especially during the Byzantine and Norman-Swabian periods. The activity began by carrying out a LiDAR survey of the whole hill. The acquired LiDAR data were processed and filtered in order to obtain a DFM (Digital Feature Model) useful for the identification of features of archaeological interest. Several enhancement techniques were performed on DFM to increase the visibility of archaeological features. The features thus identified were subsequently surveyed through the use of terrestrial and aerial photogrammetry integrated with laser scanning to document the visible buildings. The most significant result of the study was to create a single GIS platform with the integration of all data in order to delineate the whole settlement layout, as well as to produce 2D and 3D datasets useful for the for knowledge and protection of the identified remains

    Social norms and problematic gaming among adolescents: The role of Internet use coping motives.

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    Problematic gaming (PG) is a public health issue among adolescents worldwide. Although several studies have documented that peer influences constitute a relevant risk factor for adolescent problematic behaviors, little research is currently available on PG. The aim of this study was to examine the contribution of social norms and perceived friends' gaming frequency on participants' own gaming frequency and PG, by testing potential differences among groups with low vs. high motive to use the Internet (e.g., online gaming) as a coping strategy. A survey was administered to 470 adolescent gamers (mean age = 15.49 years; SD = 1.05 years; 77.9 % males). A theoretical model was tested through path analysis and multi-group comparisons were performed. Path analysis revealed that social norms and perceived friends' gaming frequency were positively associated to participants' gaming behaviors and PG. Additionally, different patterns between groups emerged. Our findings confirmed the relative importance of peer influences on adolescents' gaming behaviors and PG and showed that adolescents who rely more on online gaming to cope with negative affect may be more vulnerable to social influence processes than other peers. These findings may provide useful indications for prevention programs targeting adolescent PG. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    An observational study to assess validity and reliability of smartphone sensor-based gait and balance assessments in multiple sclerosis: Floodlight GaitLab protocol

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    Background Gait and balance impairments are often present in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) and have a significant impact on quality of life and independence. Gold-standard quantitative tools for assessing gait and balance such as motion capture systems and force plates usually require complex technical setups. Wearable sensors, including those integrated into smartphones, offer a more frequent, convenient, and minimally burdensome assessment of functional disability in a home environment. We developed a novel smartphone sensor-based application (Floodlight) that is being used in multiple research and clinical contexts, but a complete validation of this technology is still lacking. Methods This protocol describes an observational study designed to evaluate the analytical and clinical validity of Floodlight gait and balance tests. Approximately 100 PwMS and 35 healthy controls will perform multiple gait and balance tasks in both laboratory-based and real-world environments in order to explore the following properties: (a) concurrent validity of the Floodlight gait and balance tests against gold-standard assessments; (b) reliability of Floodlight digital measures derived under different controlled gait and balance conditions, and different on-body sensor locations; (c) ecological validity of the tests; and (d) construct validity compared with clinician- and patient-reported assessments. Conclusions The Floodlight GaitLab study (ISRCTN15993728) represents a critical step in the technical validation of Floodlight technology to measure gait and balance in PwMS, and will also allow the development of new test designs and algorithms

    Peripheral temperature gradient screening of high-Z impurities in optimised 'hybrid' scenario H-mode plasmas in JET-ILW

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    Screening of high-Z (W) impurities from the confined plasma by the temperature gradient at the plasma periphery of fusion-grade H-mode plasmas has been demonstrated in the JET-ILW (ITER-like wall) tokamak. Through careful optimisation of the hybrid-scenario, deuterium plasmas with sufficient heating power (greater than or similar to 32 MW), high enough ion temperature gradients at the H-mode pedestal top can be achieved for the collisional, neo-classical convection of the W impurities to be directed outwards, expelling them from the confined plasma. Measurements of the W impurity fluxes between and during edge-localised modes (ELMs) based on fast bolometry measurements show that in such plasmas there is a net efflux (loss) between ELMs but that ELMs often allow some W back into the confined plasma. Provided steady, high-power heating is maintained, this mechanism allows such plasmas to sustain high performance, with an average D-D neutron rate of similar to 3.2 x 10(16) s(-1) over a period of similar to 3 s, after an initial overshoot (equivalent to a D-T fusion power of similar to 9.4 MW), without an uncontrolled rise in W impurity radiation, giving added confidence that impurity screening by the pedestal may also occur in ITER, as has previously been predicted (Dux et al 2017 Nucl. Mater. Energy 12 28-35)

    Comparison of ion cyclotron wall conditioning discharges in hydrogen and helium in JET

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    Robotic Monitoring of Habitats: the Natural Intelligence Approach

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    In this paper, we first discuss the challenges related to habitat monitoring and review possible robotic solutions. Then, we propose a framework to perform terrestrial habitat monitoring exploiting the mobility of legged robotic systems. The idea is to provide the robot with the Natural Intelligence introduced as the combination of the environment in which it moves, the intelligence embedded in the design of its body, and the algorithms composing its mind. This approach aims to solve the challenges of deploying robots in real natural environments, such as irregular and rough terrains, long-lasting operations, and unexpected collisions, with the final objective of assisting humans in assessing the habitat conservation status. Finally, we present examples of robotic monitoring of habitats in four different environments: forests, grasslands, dunes, and screes

    A Deep Learning Approach to Remotely Monitor People's Frailty Status

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    With the progressive aging of the population, monitoring the state of frailty of a person becomes increasingly important to prevent risk factors, which can lead to loss of autonomy and to hospitalization. Hygiene care, in particular, represents a wake-up call to detect a decline in physical and mental well-being. With the assistance of both environmental and localized sensors, measurements of hygiene-related activities can be made quickly and consistently over time. We here propose to remotely monitor these activities using a fixed camera and deep learning algorithms. In particular, three activities are considered, i.e., washing face, brushing teeth and arranging hair, together with the non-Action class. Considering a dataset consisting of 11 healthy subjects of different age and sex, we show that using a Long-Short Term Memory (LSTM) neural network the selected activities can be distinguished with an accuracy of more than 92%, thus proving the validity of the proposed approach
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