669 research outputs found

    Usability of a Hybrid System Combining P300-Based Brain-Computer Interface and Commercial Assistive Technologies to Enhance Communication in People With Multiple Sclerosis

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    Brain-computer interface (BCI) can provide people with motor disabilities with an alternative channel to access assistive technology (AT) software for communication and environmental interaction. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system that mostly starts in young adulthood and often leads to a long-term disability, possibly exacerbated by the presence of fatigue. Patients with MS have been rarely considered as potential BCI end-users. In this pilot study, we evaluated the usability of a hybrid BCI (h-BCI) system that enables both a P300-based BCI and conventional input devices (i.e., muscular dependent) to access mainstream applications through the widely used AT software for communication "Grid 3." The evaluation was performed according to the principles of the user-centered design (UCD) with the aim of providing patients with MS with an alternative control channel (i.e., BCI), potentially less sensitive to fatigue. A total of 13 patients with MS were enrolled. In session I, participants were presented with a widely validated P300-based BCI (P3-speller); in session II, they had to operate Grid 3 to access three mainstream applications with (1) an AT conventional input device and (2) the h-BCI. Eight patients completed the protocol. Five out of eight patients with MS were successfully able to access the Grid 3 via the BCI, with a mean online accuracy of 83.3% (+/- 14.6). Effectiveness (online accuracy), satisfaction, and workload were comparable between the conventional AT inputs and the BCI channel in controlling the Grid 3. As expected, the efficiency (time for correct selection) resulted to be significantly lower for the BCI with respect to the AT conventional channels (Z = 0.2, p < 0.05). Although cautious due to the limited sample size, these preliminary findings indicated that the BCI control channel did not have a detrimental effect with respect to conventional AT channels on the ability to operate an AT software (Grid 3). Therefore, we inferred that the usability of the two access modalities was comparable. The integration of BCI with commercial AT input devices to access a widely used AT software represents an important step toward the introduction of BCIs into the AT centers' daily practice

    Differential activity and clinical utility of latanoprost in glaucoma and ocular hypertension

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    Background: The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the hypotensive efficacy and tolerability of latanoprost when used as monotherapy and as polytherapy associated with antiglaucomatous medication proven to be ineffective in keeping intraocular pressure under control. Methods: Three hundred and thirty-seven patients (672 eyes) affected by primary open-angle glaucoma and intraocular hypertension were recruited over a period of 10 years from the Glaucoma Centre, Department of Ophthalmological Sciences, University of Rome "Sapienza", and treated, subject to informed consent, with latanoprost 0.005% alone or in combination with other ocular hypotensive drugs. The patients were followed during this period at regular intervals, with determination of visual field, fundus oculi, visual acuity, and eventual onset of local and systemic side effects. Results: Latanoprost used as monotherapy and as polytherapy renders possible optimal and durable control of intraocular pressure in the form of one antiglaucomatous drug because it can substitute for one or more drugs and obtain the same hypotensive effect. Conclusion: Latanoprost can be described as the ideal hypotensive drug, not only because of its ideal compliance profile (only one daily dose in the evening), excellent hypotensive effect, and, above all, few systemic side effects. © 2012 Pacella et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd

    Reliability of the telephone-administered International Physical Activity Questionnaire in an Italian pilot sample

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    Background: the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) is an instrument for crossnational monitoring of physical activity and inactivity. The aim of the study was the reliability evaluation of the Italian telephone-administered IPAQ version in Rome. Methods: the IPAQ short form (IPAQ-SF), consisting of 7 items, was administered. The responses, used to compute Metabolic Equivalent Task (MET in minutes per week), were processed to analyze the internal consistency. Standardized Cronbach’s alpha was used for reliability estimation. Results: a total of 133 adults (51 males and 82 females) participated in the study, with a mean age of 51 years (SD=19). The mean MET was 4 130, corresponding to good physical activity levels. The standardized Cronbach’s alpha on 6 items, concerning time spent on vigorous and moderate activity and walking, was 0.614. Conclusions: according to the findings from other countries, the Italian IPAQ-SF has acceptable measurement properties, as good as other established self-reports. The IPAQ-SF has a questionable reliability as previously reported, but the results of the present pilot study are promising and suggest that these instruments can be used to compare population estimates of physical activity

    The Problematization of Sexuality among Women Living with HIV and a New Feminist Approach for Understanding and Enhancing Women’s Sexual Lives

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    In the context of HIV, women’s sexual rights and sexual autonomy are important but frequently overlooked and violated. Guided by community voices, feminist theories, and qualitative empirical research, we reviewed two decades of global quantitative research on sexuality among women living with HIV. In the 32 studies we found, conducted in 25 countries and composed mostly of cis-gender heterosexual women, sexuality was narrowly constructed as sexual behaviours involving risk (namely, penetration) and physiological dysfunctions relating to HIV illness, with far less attention given to the fullness of sexual lives in context, including more positive and rewarding experiences such as satisfaction and pleasure. Findings suggest that women experience declines in sexual activity, function, satisfaction, and pleasure following HIV diagnosis, at least for some period. The extent of such declines, however, is varied, with numerous contextual forces shaping women’s sexual well-being. Clinical markers of HIV (e.g., viral load, CD4 cell count) poorly predicted sexual outcomes, interrupting widely held assumptions about sexuality for women with HIV. Instead, the effects of HIV-related stigma intersecting with inequities related to trauma, violence, intimate relations, substance use, poverty, aging, and other social and cultural conditions primarily influenced the ways in which women experienced and enacted their sexuality. However, studies framed through a medical lens tended to pathologize outcomes as individual “problems,” whereas others driven by a public health agenda remained primarily preoccupied with protecting the public from HIV. In light of these findings, we present a new feminist approach for research, policy, and practice toward understanding and enhancing women’s sexual lives—one that affirms sexual diversity; engages deeply with society, politics, and history; and is grounded in women’s sexual rights

    Search for new particles in events with energetic jets and large missing transverse momentum in proton-proton collisions at root s=13 TeV

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    A search is presented for new particles produced at the LHC in proton-proton collisions at root s = 13 TeV, using events with energetic jets and large missing transverse momentum. The analysis is based on a data sample corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 101 fb(-1), collected in 2017-2018 with the CMS detector. Machine learning techniques are used to define separate categories for events with narrow jets from initial-state radiation and events with large-radius jets consistent with a hadronic decay of a W or Z boson. A statistical combination is made with an earlier search based on a data sample of 36 fb(-1), collected in 2016. No significant excess of events is observed with respect to the standard model background expectation determined from control samples in data. The results are interpreted in terms of limits on the branching fraction of an invisible decay of the Higgs boson, as well as constraints on simplified models of dark matter, on first-generation scalar leptoquarks decaying to quarks and neutrinos, and on models with large extra dimensions. Several of the new limits, specifically for spin-1 dark matter mediators, pseudoscalar mediators, colored mediators, and leptoquarks, are the most restrictive to date.Peer reviewe

    MUSiC : a model-unspecific search for new physics in proton-proton collisions at root s=13TeV