2,675 research outputs found

    Long-term subjective outcomes of barbed reposition pharyngoplasty for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome treatment

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    Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate long-term subjective outcomes of barbed reposition pharyngoplasty for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) treatment using a specific questionnaire, the Palate Postoperative Problem Score (PPOPS). Methods: 140 patients who underwent barbed reposition pharyngoplasty (BRP) surgery in the Morgagni Pierantoni Hospital of Forlì, Italy were enrolled in the study. Postoperative outcomes were evaluated in a short- and long-term follow-up using the PPOPS questionnaire. The average period of follow-up was 26 months. All patients received the PPOPS questionnaire by telephone in a period between April and August 2019. Results: 51% of patients complained of swallowing problems after surgery. In 91% of cases, the problem cleared up spontaneously. At the time of the interview, only 9% of patients had a residual swallowing difficult. At the time of PPOPS evaluation, rhinolalia was observed in 8% of patients, whereas nose regurgitation was present in 2% of patients. In 20% of patients, the foreign body sensation was present during follow-up. The value of apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) reduced from the preoperative value of 31.5 to the postoperative value of 11.4. Conclusions: BRP surgery proved to be an effective technique, appreciated by the majority of patients. Use of the PPOPS questionnaire has demonstrated that the BRP technique seems to ensure efficacy and lower morbidity, with few complications after surgery

    Pair Production of small Black Holes in Heterotic String Theories

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    We study pair production of small BPS BH's in heterotic strings compactified on tori and in the FHSV model. After recalling the identification of small BH's in the perturbative BPS spectrum, we compute the tree-level amplitudes for processes initiated by massless vector bosons or gravitons. We then analyze the resulting cross sections in terms of energy and angular distributions. Finally, we briefly comment on scenari with large extra dimensions and on generalizations of our results to non-BPS, non-extremal and rotating BH's.Comment: 33 page

    The Effects of Serotonin Receptor Antagonists on Contraction and Relaxation Responses Induced by Electrical Stimulation in the Rat Small Intestine

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    Background: The main source of 5-HT in body is in enterchromafin cells of intestine, different studies mentioned different roles for endogenous 5-HT and receptors involved and it is not clearified the mechanism of action of endogenous 5-HT. Objectives: To study the role of endogenous 5-HT on modulation of contraction and relaxation responses induced by electrical field stimulation (EFS) in different regions of the rat intestine. Materials and Methods: Segments taken from the rat duodenum, jejunum, mid and terminal ileum were vertically mounted, connected to a transducer and exposed to EFS with different frequencies in the absence and presence of various inhibitors of enteric mediators i. e. specific 5-HT receptor antagonists. Results: EFS-induced responses were sensitive to TTX and partly to atropine, indicating a major neuronal involvement and a cholinergic system. Pre-treatment with WAY100635 (a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist) and granisetron up to 10.0 µM, GR113808 (a 5-HT4 receptor antagonist), methysergide and ritanserin up to 1.0 µM, failed to modify responses to EFS inall examined tissues. In the presence of SB258585 1.0 µM (a 5-HT6 receptor antagonist) there was a trend to enhance contraction in the proximal part of the intestine and reduce contraction in the distal part. Pre-treatment with SB269970A 1.0 µM (5-HT7 receptor antagonist) induced a greater contractile response to EFS at 0.4 Hz only in the duodenum. Conclusions: The application of 5-HT1A, 5-HT2, 5-HT3, 5-HT4, 5-HT6 and 5-HT7 receptor antagonists, applied at concentrations lower than 1.0 µM did not modify the EFS-induced contraction and relaxation responses, whichsuggests the unlikely involvement of endogenous 5-HT in mediating responses to EFS in the described test conditions. Keywords: Electric Stimulation Therapy; Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Antagonists; Intestine, Smal

    Gene Function Classification Using Bayesian Models with Hierarchy-Based Priors

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    We investigate the application of hierarchical classification schemes to the annotation of gene function based on several characteristics of protein sequences including phylogenic descriptors, sequence based attributes, and predicted secondary structure. We discuss three Bayesian models and compare their performance in terms of predictive accuracy. These models are the ordinary multinomial logit (MNL) model, a hierarchical model based on a set of nested MNL models, and a MNL model with a prior that introduces correlations between the parameters for classes that are nearby in the hierarchy. We also provide a new scheme for combining different sources of information. We use these models to predict the functional class of Open Reading Frames (ORFs) from the E. coli genome. The results from all three models show substantial improvement over previous methods, which were based on the C5 algorithm. The MNL model using a prior based on the hierarchy outperforms both the non-hierarchical MNL model and the nested MNL model. In contrast to previous attempts at combining these sources of information, our approach results in a higher accuracy rate when compared to models that use each data source alone. Together, these results show that gene function can be predicted with higher accuracy than previously achieved, using Bayesian models that incorporate suitable prior information

    Blow-up solutions for linear perturbations of the Yamabe equation

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    For a smooth, compact Riemannian manifold (M,g) of dimension N \geg 3, we are interested in the critical equation Δgu+(N2/4(N1)Sg+ϵh)u=uN+2/N2inM,u>0inM,\Delta_g u+(N-2/4(N-1) S_g+\epsilon h)u=u^{N+2/N-2} in M, u>0 in M, where \Delta_g is the Laplace--Beltrami operator, S_g is the Scalar curvature of (M,g), hC0,α(M)h\in C^{0,\alpha}(M), and ϵ\epsilon is a small parameter

    Thermal quenches in N=2* plasmas

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    We exploit gauge/gravity duality to study `thermal quenches' in a plasma of the strongly coupled N=2* gauge theory. Specifically, we consider the response of an initial thermal equilibrium state of the theory under variations of the bosonic or fermionic mass, to leading order in m/T<<1. When the masses are made to vary in time, novel new counterterms must be introduced to renormalize the boundary theory. We consider transitions the conformal super-Yang-Mills theory to the mass deformed gauge theory and also the reverse transitions. By construction, these transitions are controlled by a characteristic time scale \calt and we show how the response of the system depends on the ratio of this time scale to the thermal time scale 1/T. The response shows interesting scaling behaviour both in the limit of fast quenches with T\calt<<1 and slow quenches with T\calt>>1. In the limit that T\calt\to\infty, we observe the expected adiabatic response. For fast quenches, the relaxation to the final equilibrium is controlled by the lowest quasinormal mode of the bulk scalar dual to the quenched operator. For slow quenches, the system relaxes with a (nearly) adiabatic response that is governed entirely by the late time profile of the mass. We describe new renormalization scheme ambiguities in defining gauge invariant observables for the theory with time dependant couplings.Comment: 78 pages, 17 figure

    Environmental drivers of distribution and reef development of the Mediterranean coral Cladocora caespitosa

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    Cladocora caespitosa is the only Mediterranean scleractinian similar to tropical reef-building corals. While this species is part of the recent fossil history of the Mediterranean Sea, it is currently considered endangered due to its decline during the last decades. Environmental factors affecting the distribution and persistence of extensive bank reefs of this endemic species across its whole geographic range are poorly understood. In this study, we examined the environmental response of C. caespitosa and its main types of assemblages using ecological niche modeling and ordination analysis. We also predicted other suitable areas for the occurrence of the species and assessed the conservation effectiveness of Mediterranean marine protected areas (MPAs) for this coral. We found that phosphate concentration and wave height were factors affecting both the occurrence of this versatile species and the distribution of its extensive bioconstructions in the Mediterranean Sea. A set of factors (diffuse attenuation coefficient, calcite and nitrate concentrations, mean wave height, sea surface temperature, and shape of the coast) likely act as environmental barriers preventing the species from expansion to the Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sea. Uncertainties in our large-scale statistical results and departures from previous physiological and ecological studies are also discussed under an integrative perspective. This study reveals that Mediterranean MPAs encompass eight of the ten banks and 16 of the 21 beds of C. caespitosa. Preservation of water clarity by avoiding phosphate discharges may improve the protection of this emblematic species.Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness [CTM2014-57949-R]info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Heterogeneous Host Susceptibility Enhances Prevalence of Mixed-Genotype Micro-Parasite Infections

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    Dose response in micro-parasite infections is usually shallower than predicted by the independent action model, which assumes that each infectious unit has a probability of infection that is independent of the presence of other infectious units. Moreover, the prevalence of mixed-genotype infections was greater than predicted by this model. No probabilistic infection model has been proposed to account for the higher prevalence of mixed-genotype infections. We use model selection within a set of four alternative models to explain high prevalence of mixed-genotype infections in combination with a shallow dose response. These models contrast dependent versus independent action of micro-parasite infectious units, and homogeneous versus heterogeneous host susceptibility. We specifically consider a situation in which genome differences between genotypes are minimal, and highly unlikely to result in genotype-genotype interactions. Data on dose response and mixed-genotype infection prevalence were collected by challenging fifth instar Spodoptera exigua larvae with two genotypes of Autographa californica multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV), differing only in a 100 bp PCR marker sequence. We show that an independent action model that includes heterogeneity in host susceptibility can explain both the shallow dose response and the high prevalence of mixed-genotype infections. Theoretical results indicate that variation in host susceptibility is inextricably linked to increased prevalence of mixed-genotype infections. We have shown, to our knowledge for the first time, how heterogeneity in host susceptibility affects mixed-genotype infection prevalence. No evidence was found that virions operate dependently. While it has been recognized that heterogeneity in host susceptibility must be included in models of micro-parasite transmission and epidemiology to account for dose response, here we show that heterogeneity in susceptibility is also a fundamental principle explaining patterns of pathogen genetic diversity among hosts in a population. This principle has potentially wide implications for the monitoring, modeling and management of infectious diseases

    Bone and body composition analyzed by Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) in clinical and nutritional evaluation of young patients with Cystic Fibrosis: a cross-sectional study

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>the improved general therapy has led to reduced morbidity and mortality from Cystic Fibrosis (CF), and bone status may have a potentially greater clinical impact.</p> <p>We investigated the correlation between the severity of the clinical condition, bone status and body composition parameters, in a group of children and young adults with CF.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>we measured lumbar spine bone density and total body composition by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 82 consecutive CF patients (42 males; median age: 13 years - range: 5-30). Eighty-two healthy subjects, matched for age, gender, height and pubertal stage were recruited as a control group.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>37 patients (45.1%) had a normal bone mineral density (BMD). A BMD reduction were observed in 45 (54.8%) patients. Lumbar spine Z score was positively related to Body Mass Index (BMI) and a higher Shwachman-Kulczycki score, and negatively related to Crispin-Norman score. A positive and significant correlation was also observed between lumbar spine Z score and total body composition.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>a significant BMD reduction can be present early in CF children and adolescents. A careful follow up of bone status is required starting in childhood.</p
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