2,350 research outputs found

    Poor written and oral text comprehension in third grade children. A multiple case study

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    In this multiple case study we analyzed oral text comprehension, reading profiles and underlying cognitive abilities (attention, executive functions, working memory, narrative memory, rapid automatized naming and vocabulary) of 9 children identified as poor written text comprehenders after a school screening on 75 third grade children. Four out of the 9 children were named Language-Minority (L-M) children, since they had immigrant parents. The remaining 5 children were born in Italy from Italian parents. The comparisons of the two subgroups suggested that the lexical route of reading was particularly impaired in the L-M subgroup and that written text comprehension was weakened by restricted vocabulary which, in turn, was not supported by efficient phonological short-term memory. In a second type of data analysis we examined the individual profiles of the 9 children, irrespective of their belonging to the L-M or Italian subgroups, and identified different patterns of associations among reading performance, written text comprehension and oral text comprehension. The findings showed that poor text comprehension always co-occurred with word and/or text reading difficulties which, in turn, were associated to slow naming and weak verbal working memory. Moreover, when children had both written and oral text comprehension difficulties, not only verbal working memory was impaired but also narrative memory, suggesting a weakness in the episodic buffer (Baddeley 2000; 2010). The implications of poor working memory associated to slow naming and/or weak episodic buffer for text comprehension are discusse

    Surgical management of adult Brainstem Gliomas: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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    The present review aims to investigate the survival and functional outcomes in adult high-grade brainstem gliomas (BGSs) by comparing data from resective surgery and biopsy. MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library were screened to conduct a systematic review of the literature, according to the PRISMA statement. Analysis was limited to articles including patients older than 18 years of age and those published from 1990 to September 2022. Case reports, review articles, meta-analyses, abstracts, reports of aggregated data, and reports on multimodal therapy where surgery was not the primary treatment were excluded. The ROBINS-I tool was applied to evaluate the risk of bias. Six studies were ultimately considered for the meta-analysis. The resective group was composed of 213 subjects and the bioptic group comprised 125. The analysis demonstrated a survival benefit in those patients in which an extensive resection was possible (STR HR 0.59 (95% CI 0.42, 0.82)) (GTR HR 0.63 (95% CI 0.43, 0.92)). Although surgical resection is associated with increased survival, the significantly higher complication rate makes it difficult to recommend surgery instead of biopsy for BSGs. Future investigations combining volumetric data and molecular profiles could add important data to better define the proper indication between resection and biopsy

    Osteoporosis-related variations of trabecular bone properties of proximal human humeral heads at different scale lengths

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    Abstract Osteoporosis (OP) is a skeletal disorder responsible for the weakening of the bone structure and, consequently, for an increased fracture risk in the elderly population. In the past, bone mineral density (BMD) variation was considered the best OP indicator, but recently the focus has shifted toward the variation of microstructural bone parameters. This work is based on the characterisation of 8-mm cylindrical biopsies harvested from proximal humeral heads belonging to healthy and osteoporotic patients, in order to assess the OP-related variations of bone properties at different scale lengths. In particular, bone biopsies underwent micro-computed tomography analysis to study the most relevant features of bone architecture and extrapolate the tissue mineral density (TMD) value of bone trabeculae. Compression tests and nanoindentations were performed to investigate the macro- and micromechanical properties of bone biopsies, respectively. In addition, XRD analyses were performed to obtain the mean hydroxyapatite (HA) crystallite size, while Raman spectroscopy investigated the collagen secondary structure. Thermogravimetric analysis was performed to evaluate the ratio between organic and inorganic phases. From the obtained results, OP samples showed a more anisotropic and less interconnected structure responsible for reduced compression strength. From this, it can be supposed that OP caused an alteration of bone structure that led to inferior macroscopic mechanical properties. Furthermore, OP samples possessed higher TMD and bigger HA crystals that are correlated to an increase of the hardness value obtained by means of nanoindentation. This less controlled HA crystal growth is probably due to an alteration of the organic matrix structure, as revealed by the increase of the random coil contribution in the Raman spectra of the OP bone. This higher crystal content led to an increase in trabecular density and hardness. In conclusion, the obtained data showed that OP affects bone properties at different scale lengths causing an alteration of its morphological, structural and mechanical features

    Improvement of clinical response in allergic rhinitis patients treated with an oral immunostimulating bacterial lysate: in vivo immunological effects.

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    Allergic rhinitis is known to be one of the most common chronic diseases in the industrialized world. According to the concept that allergic rhinitis patients generally suffer from an immune deficit, in order to stimulate specifically or aspecifically their immune system, immunomodulating agents from various sources, such as synthetic compounds, tissue extracts or a mixture of bacterial extracts, have been used. The aim of the present trial is to evaluate the efficacy of the treatment with an immunostimulating vaccine consisting of a polyvalent mechanical bacterial lysate (PMBL) in the prophylaxis of allergic rhinitis and subsequently to analyze its in vivo effects on immune responses. 41 allergic rhinitis patients were enrolled: 26 patients were randomly assigned to the group for PMBL sublingual treatment and 15 others to the group for placebo treatment. For all 26 patients blood samples were drawn just before (T0) and after 3 months of PMBL treatment (T3) to evaluate plasma IgE levels (total and allergen-specific) and the cytokine production involved in the allergic response (IL-4, IFN-Îł). The results of our study indicate that PMBL is effective in vivo in the reduction or in the elimination of the symptoms in rhinitis subjects during the treatment period in comparison to a non-immunostimulating treatment. A significant and clinically relevant improvement was found in 61.5%, a stationary clinical response was registered in 38.4% and no negative side effects associated with the medication or worsening were recorded. At the end of a 3-month follow up period the clinical picture remained the same as that observed at T3. PMBL treatment did not affect the serum IgE levels (either total or allergen-specific) and did not induce significant changes in IFN-Îł concentration. In contrast, PMBL therapy may be accompanied, in some patients, by a potential immunomodulating activity by decreasing IL-4 cytokine expression

    Clinical significance of prophylactic central compartment neck dissection in the treatment of clinically node-negative papillary thyroid cancer patients

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    BACKGROUND: Lymph nodal involvement is very common in differentiated thyroid cancer, and in addition, cervical lymph node micrometastases are observed in up to 80 % of papillary thyroid cancers. During the last decades, the role of routine central lymph node dissection (RCLD) in the treatment of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) has been an object of research, and it is now still controversial. Nevertheless, many scientific societies and referral authors have definitely stated that even if in expert hands, RCLD is not associated to higher morbidity; it should be indicated only in selected cases. MAIN BODY: In order to better analyze the current role of prophylactic neck dissection in the surgical treatment of papillary thyroid cancers, an analysis of the most recent literature data was performed. Prophylactic or therapeutic lymph node dissection, selective, lateral or central lymph node dissection, modified radical neck dissection, and papillary thyroid cancer were used by the authors as keywords performing a PubMed database research. Literature reviews, PTCs large clinical series and the most recent guidelines of different referral endocrine societies, inhering neck dissection for papillary thyroid cancers, were also specifically evaluated. A higher PTC incidence was nowadays reported in differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) clinical series. In addition, ultrasound guided fine-needle aspiration citology allowed a more precocious diagnosis in the early phases of disease. The role of prophylactic neck dissection in papillary thyroid cancer management remains controversial especially regarding indications, approach, and surgical extension. Even if morbidity rates seem to be similar to those reported after total thyroidectomy alone, RCLD impact on local recurrence and long-term survival is still a matter of research. Nevertheless, only a selective use in high-risk cases is supported by more and more scientific data. CONCLUSIONS: In the last years, higher papillary thyroid cancer incidence and more precocious diagnoses were worldwide reported. Among endocrine and neck surgeons, there is agreement about indications to prophylactic treatment of node-negative “high-risk” patients. A recent trend toward RCLD avoiding radioactive treatment is still debated, but nevertheless, prophylactic dissections in low-risk cases should be avoided. Prospective randomized trials are needed to evaluate the benefits of different approaches and allow to drawn definitive conclusions

    Variability in genes regulating vitamin D metabolism is associated with vitamin D levels in type 2 diabetes

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    Mortality rate is increased in type 2 diabetes (T2D). Low vitamin D levels are associated with increased mortality risk in T2D. In the general population, genetic variants affecting vitamin D metabolism (DHCR7 rs12785878, CYP2R1 rs10741657, GC rs4588) have been associated with serum vitamin D. We studied the association of these variants with serum vitamin D in 2163 patients with T2D from the "Sapienza University Mortality and Morbidity Event Rate (SUMMER) study in diabetes". Measurements of serum vitamin D were centralised. Genotypes were obtained by Eco™ Real-Time PCR. Data were adjusted for gender, age, BMI, HbA1c, T2D therapy and sampling season. DHCR7 rs12785878 (p = 1 x 10-4) and GC rs4588 (p = 1 x 10-6) but not CYP2R1 rs10741657 (p = 0.31) were significantly associated with vitamin D levels. One unit of a weighted genotype risk score (GRS) was strongly associated with vitamin D levels (p = 1.1 x 10-11) and insufficiency (<30 ng/ml) (OR, 95%CI = 1.28, 1.16-1.41, p = 1.1 x 10-7). In conclusion, DHCR7 rs12785878 and GC rs4588, but not CYP2R1 rs10741657, are significantly associated with vitamin D levels. When the 3 variants were considered together as GRS, a strong association with vitamin D levels and vitamin D insufficiency was observed, thus providing robust evidence that genes involved in vitamin D metabolism modulate serum vitamin D in T2D

    Association of osteocalcin, osteoprotegerin, and osteopontin with cardiovascular disease and retinopathy in type 2 diabetes

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    Background: Novel biomarkers of vascular disease in diabetes could help identify new mechanistic pathways. Osteocalcin, osteoprotegerin, and osteopontin are key molecules involved in bone and vascular calcification processes, both of which are compromised in diabetes. We aimed to evaluate possible associations of osteocalcin, osteoprotegerin, and osteopontin with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) among people with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Materials and methods: Osteocalcin, osteoprotegerin, and osteopontin concentrations were measured at enrolment in 848 participants with T2D from the Sapienza University Mortality and Morbidity Event Rate (SUMMER) Study (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02311244). Logistic regression models and propensity score matching were used to assess possible associations of osteocalcin, osteoprotegerin, and osteopontin with a history of CVD and with evidence of any grade of DR adjusting for confounders. Results: Previous CVD was reported in 139 (16.4%) participants, while 144 (17.0%) had DR. After adjusting for possible confounders, osteocalcin but not osteoprotegerin or osteopontin concentrations were associated with a history of CVD (Odds Ratio [OR] and 95% CI for one standard deviation (SD) increase in osteocalcin concentrations (natural log): 1.35 (1.06-1.72), p = 0.014). Associations with prevalent DR were seen for osteoprotegerin (OR for one SD increase in osteoprotegerin concentrations (natural log): 1.25 (1.01-1.55), p = 0.047) and osteopontin (OR for one SD increase in osteopontin concentrations (natural log): 1.25 (1.02-1.53), p = 0.022), but not osteocalcin. Conclusions: In T2D, higher serum osteocalcin concentrations are associated with macrovascular complications and higher osteoprotegerin and osteopontin concentrations with microvascular complications, suggesting that these osteokines might be involved in pathways directly related to vascular disease
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