3,671 research outputs found

    Understanding Musical Consonance and Dissonance: Epistemological Considerations from a Systemic Perspective

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    Different accounts have been given in order to face the problem of the emergence of musical consonance and dissonance. Getting a more adequate comprehension of such phenomenology may require a systemic view to integrate such multidimensionality into a unitary picture in which every partial solution enlightens a particular aspect of the very same problem. Such a systemic viewpoint shifts the focus from different explanations to analytic dimensions that seem to be embedded in music perception. Taking into consideration these dimensions means understanding consonance and dissonance in an embodied context, in which arithmetic, physics, psychology and physiology are part of a complex and dynamic process of understanding, which is not reducible to any privileged explanatory level

    Dysregulated homeostasis of acetylcholine levels in immune cells of RR-multiple sclerosis patients

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    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Acetylcholine (ACh) contributes to the modulation of central and peripheral inflammation. We studied the homeostasis of the cholinergic system in relation to cytokine levels in immune cells and sera of relapsing remitting-MS (RR-MS) patients. We demonstrated that lower ACh levels in serum of RR-MS patients were inversely correlated with the increased activity of the hydrolyzing enzymes acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE). Interestingly, the expression of the ACh biosynthetic enzyme and the protein carriers involved in non-vesicular ACh release were found overexpressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of MS patients. The inflammatory state of the MS patients was confirmed by increased levels of TNF alpha, IL-12/IL-23p40, IL-18. The lower circulating ACh levels in sera of MS patients are dependent on the higher activity of cholinergic hydrolyzing enzymes. The smaller ratio of ACh to TNF alpha, IL-12/IL-23p40 and IL-18 in MS patients, with respect to healthy donors (HD), is indicative of an inflammatory environment probably related to the alteration of cholinergic system homeostasis

    Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment of Vascular Changes in Diabetic Macular Edema after Dexamethasone Implant Using Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography

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    The aim of this study was to investigate retinal and choriocapillaris vessel changes in diabetic macular edema (DME) after the intravitreal dexamethasone implant (IDI) using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). Moreover, a comparison between morphological and functional parameters of DME and healthy patients was performed. Twenty-five eyes of 25 type 2 diabetic retinopathy patients complicated by macular edema (DME group) and 25 healthy subjects (control group) were enrolled. Superficial capillary plexus density (SCPD) and deep capillary plexus density (DCPD) in the foveal and parafoveal areas, choricapillary density (CCD) and optic disc vessel density (ODVD) were detected using OCTA at baseline and after 7, 30, 60, 90 and 120 days post injection. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), retinal sensitivity, and central retinal thickness (CMT) were also evaluated in both groups of patients. A statistically significant difference between the two groups (DME and controls) was found in terms of functional (MP, p < 0.001 and BCVA, p < 0.001) and morphological (CMT, p < 0.001; SCPD in the parafoveal area, p < 0.001; DCPD in the foveal area, p < 0.05 and parafoveal area, p < 0.001; CCD, p < 0.001) parameters. After the treatment, SCPD and DCPD in the foveal and parafoveal areas did not modify significantly during the follow up

    Correction: A novel enantioselective synthesis of 6H-dibenzopyran derivatives by combined palladium/norbornene and cinchona alkaloid catalysis

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    Correction for 'A novel enantioselective synthesis of 6H-dibenzopyran derivatives by combined palladium/norbornene and cinchona alkaloid catalysis' by Di Xu et al., Org. Biomol. Chem., 2015, DOI: 10.1039/c4ob02551b

    Brown Tumour in a Patient with Secondary Hyperparathyroidism Resistant to Medical Therapy: Case Report on Successful Treatment after Subtotal Parathyroidectomy

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    Brown tumour represents a serious complication of hyperparathyroidism. Differential diagnosis, based on histological examination, is only presumptive and clinical, radiological and laboratory data are necessary for definitive diagnosis. Here we describe a case of a brown tumour localised in the maxilla due to secondary hyperparathyroidism in a young women with chronic renal failure. Hemodialysis and pharmacological treatment were unsuccessful in controlling secondary hyperparathyroidism making it necessary to proceed with a subtotal parathyroidectomy. The proper timing of the parathyroidectomy and its favourable effect on regression of the brown tumor made it possible to avoid a potentially disfiguring surgical removal of the brown tumor

    Butyrylcholinesterase and Acetylcholinesterase polymorphisms in Multiple Sclerosis patients: Implication in peripheral inflammation

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    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease, having not fully understood aetiology, and both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease. The cholinergic system has been indicated as a mediator of neuro-immune interactions, as well as an internal regulator of immune responses. The aim of the present research was to assess the associations between BChE and AChE genetic variations and serum cholinergic and inflammatory profiles in 102 Relapsing Remitting-MS patients and 117 healthy controls. An increased frequency of the BChE K-allele in MS patients as compared to controls was found. In addition, data showed that patients had higher BChE enzymatic activity, which is increased by the presence of the polymorphic allele and reduced amounts of circulating ACh. AChE polymorphism was significantly associated to reduced activity in both patients and controls. We propose that serum BChE and AChE activity may be used as a secondary markers to assess the role of non-neuronal cholinergic system in regulating peripheral inflammation via ACh regulation. This pilot study shed light on the role of the non-neuronal cholinergic system in immune cells to better understand MS pathogenesis. The cross-talk between the periphery and the CNS could have a new undescribed crucial role for MS, regarded as a systemic disease

    Correlation between Choriocapillaris Density and Retinal Sensitivity in Stargardt Disease

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    The aim of this work was to characterize the choriocapillaris (CC) in patients with Stargardt disease (STGD) using the swept source widefield optical coherence tomography angiography (SS WF OCTA) and to compare CC perfusion density to retinal sensitivity, analyzed using microperimetry (MP). This cross-sectional study included 9 patients (18 eyes) with STGD and central CC atrophy (stage 3 STGD). The CC was analyzed using SS WF OCTA and areas of different CC impairment were quantified and correlated with retinal sensitivity analyzed using MP. The main outcome measures were the percent perfused choriocapillaris area (PPCA), retinal sensitivity, and correlation between PPCA and retinal sensitivity. Seventeen eyes of 9 patients suffering from stage 3 STGD were analyzed. SS WF OCTA revealed a vascular rarefaction in central atrophic zones and a near atrophy halo of choriocapillaris impairment. In all eyes were noticed a central atrophy (CA) area with absolute absence of CC that corresponded to 0 dB points at MP, a near atrophy (NA) zone of PPCA impairment that included points with decreased sensitivity at MP and a distant from atrophy (DA) zone with higher PPCA and retinal sensitivity values. The mean difference of PPCA and retinal sensitivity between NA and CA and DA and CA was statistical significantly different (p &lt; 0.01), the latter showing higher values. A direct relationship between PPCA and retinal sensitivity was found (p &lt; 0.001). Choriocapillaris damage evaluated using SS WF OCTA correlates with MP, these data suggest that CC impairment may be a predictor of retinal function in patients with STGD

    LIMPIC: a computational method for the separation of protein MALDI-TOF-MS signals from noise

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    BACKGROUND: Mass spectrometry protein profiling is a promising tool for biomarker discovery in clinical proteomics. However, the development of a reliable approach for the separation of protein signals from noise is required. In this paper, LIMPIC, a computational method for the detection of protein peaks from linear-mode MALDI-TOF data is proposed. LIMPIC is based on novel techniques for background noise reduction and baseline removal. Peak detection is performed considering the presence of a non-homogeneous noise level in the mass spectrum. A comparison of the peaks collected from multiple spectra is used to classify them on the basis of a detection rate parameter, and hence to separate the protein signals from other disturbances. RESULTS: LIMPIC preprocessing proves to be superior than other classical preprocessing techniques, allowing for a reliable decomposition of the background noise and the baseline drift from the MALDI-TOF mass spectra. It provides lower coefficient of variation associated with the peak intensity, improving the reliability of the information that can be extracted from single spectra. Our results show that LIMPIC peak-picking is effective even in low protein concentration regimes. The analytical comparison with commercial and freeware peak-picking algorithms demonstrates its superior performances in terms of sensitivity and specificity, both on in-vitro purified protein samples and human plasma samples. CONCLUSION: The quantitative information on the peak intensity extracted with LIMPIC could be used for the recognition of significant protein profiles by means of advanced statistic tools: LIMPIC might be valuable in the perspective of biomarker discovery

    Early retinal flow changes after vitreoretinal surgery in idiopathic epiretinal membrane using swept source optical coherence tomography angiography

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    (1) Background: The aim of this observational cross-sectional work was to investigate early retinal vascular changes in patients undergoing idiopathic epiretinal membrane (iERM) surgery using swept source optical coherence tomography angiography (SS-OCTA); (2) Methods: 24 eyes of 24 patients who underwent vitrectomy with internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling were evaluated pre- and postoperatively using SS-OCTA system (PLEX Elite 9000, Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc., Dublin, CA, USA). For each eye, five 6x6-mm OCTA volume scans were acquired by two observers independently. The en face images of superficial capillary plexus (SCP) were then exported to imageJ and a semi-automated algorithm was used for subsequent quantitative analysis. Perfusion density (PD), vessel length density (VLD), vessel diameter index (VDI) and vessel tortuosity (VT) of SCP were evaluated in both the parafoveal (2.5 mm diameter) and perifoveal areas (5.5 mm diameter); (3) Results: At OCTA analysis statistically significant differences were found between controls and diseased eyes for all parameters in parafoveal and perifoveal regions (p &lt; 0.001; p &lt; 0.05) except for perifoveal VLD. During 6-month follow up, both anatomical/perfusion and functional parameters showed a statistically significant improvement if compared to preoperative values. In detail, at one-month post vitrectomy, VLD and VT significantly changed in parafoveal region (p = 0.043; p = 0.045), while PD and VDI showed a trend of increase in both parafoveal and perifoveal region. At 6 months after surgery, PD, VLD and VT of parafoveal region significantly improved (p = 0.021, p = 0.018, p = 0.047 respectively). (4) Conclusions: SS-OCTA provides a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the superficial capillary plexus allowing for early vascular changes assessment after vitrectomy with iERM and ILM peeling

    Touch Imprinting Cytology may be useful in the intraoperative evaluation of the sentinel lymph node in melanoma

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    The aim of the study was to assess whether the reliability of Touch Imprinting Cytology (TIC) of Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) in skin melanoma patients allows intraoperative decisions regarding simultaneous radical lymphadenectomy to be made. Previous experiences have shown that the limit of TIC in extemporaneous diagnosis was represented by the minimal deposits of the tumor. Many current data seem to show that in this situation radical lymphadenectomy is no longer necessary, so we wondered if TIC could regain importance in the intraoperative management of these patients
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