812 research outputs found

    Commoning of territorial heritage and tools of participated sustainability for the production and enhancement of agro-environmental public goods

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    The purpose of this paper is to analyze how the commoning heritage processes find application for the production of agro-environmental public goods in contexts of high socio-economic marginality and environmental vulnerability, characterized by abandonment and from the consumption of agricultural land for food use. The purpose is to understand how these processes are able to influence, at local level, the governance processes for the implementation of environmental protection strategies. The survey made it possible to verify how the commoning processes aimed at the production of agro-environmental goods generate territorial resilience, understood as a community competence able to structure specific forms of social learning based on priorities identified and defined by the communities. The followed theoretical framework and the methodological approach have allowed on the one hand to draw up a taxonomy of the different territorial dynamics and on the other to identify a mixed indicator system, applicable and replicable also in other contexts, able to describe its dimensions analytically. The assessment of the cognitive elements related to the territorial fabric carried out through the proposed approach has allowed to demonstrate how the knowledge of the territorial capital contributes to the activation of forms of collective intelligence necessary for decision-making processes

    Asthma and menopause

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    Losing weight after menopause with minimal aerobic training and mediterranean diet

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    Objective: It is a common belief that menopausal women have greater difficulty losing weight. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a Mediterranean diet (MD) to promote weight loss in postmenopausal women. All participants were prescribed a hypocaloric traditional MD, tailored to the individual. Subjects were asked not to begin any kind of physical activity. Body composition was measured at the beginning and after 8 weeks of treatment. In total, 89 women (age 52.8 ± 4.5 years, BMI 30.0 ± 5.2 kg/m2, fat mass 31.6 ± 10.5 kg) were divided into two groups: the first group consisted of fertile women over 45 years of age, the second group consisted of those diagnosed as menopausal. All women had an improvement in body composition (fat mass −2.3 ± 2.1 kg, p < 0.001; protein −0.1 ± 0.7 kg, p = 0.190) and blood pressure values. No differences were found between the two groups except for a higher reduction of low-density lipoprotein in the menopausal group (p = 0.035). A positive significant correlation between plant to animal protein ratio and fat-free mass variation was found in the menopausal group. These data suggest that a high adherence to a traditional MD would enable menopausal women to lose fat mass and maintain muscle mass with no significant difference to younger women. Fat mass reduction provides menopausal women with improved cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors

    Procalcitonin and community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in children

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    The role of procalcitonin (PCT) as a biomarker for sepsis in adults is well documented, while its role in infections affecting neonatal children remains controversial. Among these infections, Community-Acquired pneumonia (CAP) has been studied extensively, because it's the second cause of death in children in developing countries, and one of the most frequent causes of hospitalization in industrialized countries. The PubMed database and the Cochrane Library were used to search for the following keywords: CAP, procalcitonin, children. Thirteen articles were studied to determine the role of PCT in CAP management, specifically its usefulness for distinguishing pneumococcal infections from viral and unknown infections, for predicting severity and the correct antibiotic treatment. This paper focuses on the studies performed to identify the best inflammatory biomarker for CAP management. Although there is an increase in studies confirming the usefulness of PCT in CAP management in children, further studies are needed to have better understanding of its role for pediatric CAP management

    The copper(II) and zinc(II) coordination mode of HExxH and HxxEH motif in small peptides: The role of carboxylate location and hydrogen bonding network

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    Copper(II) and zinc(II) complexes with two hexapeptides encompassing HExxH and HxxEH motif were characterized by means of a combined experimental and theoretical approach. Parallel tempering and density functional theory (DFT) investigations show the presence of different hydrogen bonding networks between the copper(II) and zinc(II) complexes with the two peptides, suggesting a significant contribution of these noncovalent interactions to the stability constant values. The glutamate carboxylate group has a direct role in metal ion binding. The location of this amino acid along the sequence of the investigated peptides is critical to determine thermodynamic and spectroscopic features of the copper(II) complex species, whereas is less relevant in the zinc(II) complexes formation. Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) characterization of the zinc(II) complex species show that in the [ZnH−2L] two deprotonated amide nitrogen atoms are involved in the metal coordination environment, an uncommon behavior in zinc(II) complexes for multi-histidine ligands

    Clinical and biological heterogeneity in children with moderate asthma

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    To evaluate the relationship between inflammatory markers and severity of asthma in children, the amount of interleukin-8 (IL-8) and granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) released by peripheral blood mononuclear cells, exhaled nitric oxide (FE NO) levels, p65 nuclear factor-kappaB subunit, and phosphorylated IkBalpha expression by peripheral blood mononuclear cells were assessed in six control subjects, 12 steroid-naives subjects with intermittent asthma, and 17 children with moderate asthma. To investigate their predictive value, biomarker levels were correlated with the number of exacerbations during a 18-month follow-up period. We found that GM-CSF release was higher in moderate and intermittent asthmatics than in control subjects, whereas IL-8 release was higher in moderate than in intermittent asthmatics and control subjects. FE NO levels were similar among study groups. In moderate asthmatics, IL-8, GM-CSF, and FE NO significantly correlated with the exacerbation numbers. Moreover, p65 and phosphorylated IkBalpha levels were greater in moderate than in intermittent asthmatics and control subjects. According to GM-CSF, IL-8, and FE NO levels, two distinct subgroups of moderate asthmatics (low and high producers) were identified. High producers experienced more exacerbations than low producers. This study shows ongoing inflammation associated with biological and clinical heterogeneity in moderate asthmatics despite regular treatment and proposes that large prospective studies confirm the importance of biomarkers to assess inflammation and asthma control in children with asthma

    Validation of lung densitometry threshold at CT for the distinction between senile lung and emphysema in elderly subjects

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    Background and Aims. An ageing lung is characterised by distal airspace enlargement without alveolar wall destruction: therefore the anatomical distinction between senile lung and emphysema is clear-cut. In clinical settings the definition of precise boundaries between normalcy and pathology is more difficult with the risk of overdiagnosis. CT is an important diagnostic advancement in the field of COPD. Most methods for the evaluation of emphysema are based on the detection and measurement of areas characterised by a density level below a threshold assumed to characterize parenchymal destruction. Methods. Our retrospective study included 47 healthy subjects (65-91 years), 36 never smokers and 11 former smokers. As a reference sample we recruited 9 patients with emphysema (69-81 years). Thoracic scan was performed by single slice spiral CT and acquired without contrast enhancement. For each scan and on both lungs we sampled eighteen regions of interest in the upper, middle and lower field. Mean lung density (MLD) and lower limit of normal (LLN) of density distribution were calculated. Results. MLD for the whole study sample was -846±41 HU. -901 HU was the LLN of density distribution in the study sample. No significant correlation was noted between age and MLD. In the emphysematous sample the average lung density was -946±18 HU. The mean coefficient of variation was 3% in the healthy sample and 2% in the emphysematous one. The difference between groups was significant (p<0.0001). In one healthy subject only we measured a value slightly below the threshold reported in literature for conventional CT; no emphysematous value fell above the LLN. Conclusions. This study highlights the fact that in the elderly the threshold level of lung density commonly adopted in diagnostic algorithms of emphysema is fully applicable. When applying this method to older subjects the risk of misinterpreting areas of physiologic non-destructive reduction of density as emphysema is low

    Effect of age and asthma duration upon elastase and alpha1-antitrypsin levels in adult asthmatics

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    In asthmatic subjects an imbalance between elastase and alpha1-antitrypsin (alpha1-PI) exists. This study aims to evaluate whether ageing per se affects the levels of elastase. Both young and elderly asthmatics with comparable severity and duration of disease, as well as young and elderly healthy subjects, underwent an induced sputum procedure to measure levels of elastase and alpha1-PI. The percentage of sputum neutrophils and eosinophils was higher in young and elderly asthmatics than in young and elderly controls. The levels of both total and active elastase were significantly higher in young and elderly asthmatics than in young and elderly controls, and directly correlated with the percentage of neutrophils. In addition, in both young and elderly asthmatics the levels of total and active elastase were negatively correlated with forced expiratory volume in one second values, but positively correlated with the duration of the disease. This study indicates that ageing per se does not necessarily lead to a progressive elastase/alpha1-antitrypsin imbalance in asthma, and suggests that an important variable in the development of airway remodelling in both young and elderly asthmatics is represented by the duration of the disease
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