38 research outputs found

    Body fat assessment in international elite soccer referees

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    Soccer referees are a specific group in the sports population that are receiving increasing attention from sports scientists. A lower fat mass percentage (FM%) is a useful parameter to monitor fitness status and aerobic performance, while being able to evaluate it with a simple and quick field-based method can allow a regular assessment. The aim of this study was to provide a specific profile for referees based on morphological and body composition features while comparing the accuracy of different skinfold-based equations in estimating FM% in a cohort of soccer referees. Forty-three elite international soccer referees (age 38.8 ¬Ī 3.6 years), who participated in the 2018 Russian World Cup, underwent body composition assessments with skinfold thickness and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Six equations used to derive FM% from skinfold thickness were compared with DXA measurements. The percentage of body fat estimated using DXA was 18.2 ¬Ī 4.1%, whereas skinfold-based FM% assessed from the six formulas ranged between 11.0% ¬Ī 1.7% to 15.6% ¬Ī 2.4%. Among the six equations considered, the Faulkner's formula showed the highest correlation with FM% estimated by DXA (r = 0.77; R2 = 0.59 p < 0.001). Additionally, a new skinfold-based equation was developed: FM% = 8.386 + (0.478 √ó iliac crest skinfold) + (0.395 √ó abdominal skinfold, r = 0.78; R2 = 0.61; standard error of the estimate (SEE) = 2.62 %; p < 0.001). Due to these findings, national and international federations will now be able to perform regular body composition assessments using skinfold measurements. (c) 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

    Ghrelin and Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptor localization in human iris and ciliar body

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    Ghrelin (Ghr) is a 28-amino acid peptide identified as endogenous, acylated ligand for the growth hormone (GH) secretagogue G-protein-coupled receptor (GHSR). Mainly synthesized from X/A like neuroendocrin cells of gastric fundus, Ghr acts directly on the pituitary gland inducing GH release; moreover Ghr regulates food intake resulting tightly associated with obesity. Several studies reported that Ghr is widely expressed in different tissues and, besides its orexigenic activity, effects on cardiovascular, pulmonary, reproductive and central nervous systems have been described. Recently, functional studies on rats and rabbits indicated Ghr as modulator of iris smooth muscles activity since induces relaxation of both sphincter and dilator muscles. Moreover Ghr mRNA has been found in the ciliary epithelium of ciliar body (CB). On the basis of these observations, we purposed to investigate Ghr and GHSR expression in human eye. The immunohistochemical analysis performed on iris and ciliar body specimens from post-traumatic explanted human eyeballs evidenced that Ghr and its receptor were co-expressed from the pigmented epithelium (PE) of both iris and CB, whereas we did not detect immunoreactivity in smooth muscle cells. Since human ciliar epithelium is a major site of production of neuroendocrine peptides found in aqueous humor (AqH), we analyzed AqH for the Ghr presence but the Enzymatic Immunoassay performed on 80 samples gave always negative results. In conclusion, our data suggest that Ghr may activate autocrine/paracrine signalling in human PE of CB and iris; the absence of GHSR- immunoreactivity on iris smooth muscle cells seem to rule out the possibility that Ghr can exert its myo-active effects directly

    Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells cardiomyogenic potential: a preliminary study

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    The characterization of Amniotic Fluid-derived multipotent Stem Cells (AFSCs) open new paths in stem cell research. hAFSCs have characteristics intermediate between pluripotent embryonic- (ESCs) and lineage-restricted adult stem cells, and are non-tumorigenic and low immunogenic. Moreover, they are obtained without destroying human embryos, so that most of the ethical and social controversy could be prevented. We previously observed that human AFSCs express some genes specific of ESCs and primordial germ cells. We also shown hAFSCs ability to form in vitro three-dimensional aggregates of cells known as embryoid bodies (EBs), that express three germ layer markers. Recent studies reported the ability of hAFSCs to differentiate in vitro into adipocytes and osteocytes. Aim of our study was to analyse the cardiomyogenic potential of hAFSCs. EBs were obtained by modified hanging drops protocol from hAFSCs coltured in presence of ascorbic acid and 5-aza-2‚Äô-deoxycytidine (differentiation medium: DM). RT-PCR and Western Blotting analysis conducted on AFSCs and EBs cells evidenced the gene and protein expression of the transcriptor factor Nkx2.5, the earliest marker of heart precursor cells. Immunofluorescence (IF) analysis performed on EBs after 10 days in DM evidenced the cytoplasmic presence of őĪ-myosin heavy chain (őĪ-MHC) organized in parallel, oriented filamets. Microscopical analysis evidenced beating cells mainly at the periphery of the EB. In conclusion, our results evidenced that hAFSCs cultured in permissive conditions give rise to EB able to terminally differentiate in cardiomyocytes

    DE-PASS Best Evidence Statement (BESt): Modifiable determinants of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children and adolescents aged 5-19 years-a protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis

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    Introduction Physical activity among children and adolescents remains insufficient, despite the substantial efforts made by researchers and policymakers. Identifying and furthering our understanding of potential modifiable determinants of physical activity behaviour (PAB) and sedentary behaviour (SB) is crucial for the development of interventions that promote a shift from SB to PAB. The current protocol details the process through which a series of systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses (MAs) will be conducted to produce a best-evidence statement (BESt) and inform policymakers. The overall aim is to identify modifiable determinants that are associated with changes in PAB and SB in children and adolescents (aged 5-19 years) and to quantify their effect on, or association with, PAB/SB. Methods and analysis A search will be performed in MEDLINE, SportDiscus, Web of Science, PsychINFO and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled trials (CTs) that investigate the effect of interventions on PAB/SB and longitudinal studies that investigate the associations between modifiable determinants and PAB/SB at multiple time points will be sought. Risk of bias assessments will be performed using adapted versions of Cochrane's RoB V.2.0 and ROBINS-I tools for RCTs and CTs, respectively, and an adapted version of the National Institute of Health's tool for longitudinal studies. Data will be synthesised narratively and, where possible, MAs will be performed using frequentist and Bayesian statistics. Modifiable determinants will be discussed considering the settings in which they were investigated and the PAB/SB measurement methods used. Ethics and dissemination No ethical approval is needed as no primary data will be collected. The findings will be disseminated in peer-reviewed publications and academic conferences where possible. The BESt will also be shared with policy makers within the DE-PASS consortium in the first instance. Systematic review registration CRD42021282874

    The Italian fund for Alzheimer's and other dementias: strategies and objectives to face the dementia challenge

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    The Italian Fund for Alzheimer's and other dementias was approved and signed in December 2021. The Fund is financed with 15 million euros in three years. The main goal is to provide new strategies in the field of dementia with a Public Health perspective. The Fund includes eight main activities that will be monitored and supervised by the Italian National Institute of Health: 1) development of a guideline for the assessment, management and support for people with dementia and their families/carers; 2) updating of the Dementia National Plan (DNP); 3) implementation of the documents of the DNP; 4) conducting surveys dedicated to the Italian Dementia Services; 5) promotion of dementia prevention strategies; 6) training strategies for healthcare professionals, families and caregivers; 7) creation of a National Electronic Record for Dementia; 8) evaluation and monitoring of activities promoted by Regions and Autonomous Provinces in the field of dementia, together with the dementia National Permanent Table. These activities are outlined in detail in the present paper

    DE-PASS Best Evidence Statement (BESt): modifiable determinants of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children and adolescents aged 5‚Äď19 years‚Äďa protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis

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    Introduction Physical activity among children and adolescents remains insufficient, despite the substantial efforts made by researchers and policymakers. Identifying and furthering our understanding of potential modifiable determinants of physical activity behaviour (PAB) and sedentary behaviour (SB) is crucial for the development of interventions that promote a shift from SB to PAB. The current protocol details the process through which a series of systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses (MAs) will be conducted to produce a best-evidence statement (BESt) and inform policymakers. The overall aim is to identify modifiable determinants that are associated with changes in PAB and SB in children and adolescents (aged 5‚Äď19 years) and to quantify their effect on, or association with, PAB/SB. Methods and analysis A search will be performed in MEDLINE, SportDiscus, Web of Science, PsychINFO and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled trials (CTs) that investigate the effect of interventions on PAB/SB and longitudinal studies that investigate the associations between modifiable determinants and PAB/SB at multiple time points will be sought. Risk of bias assessments will be performed using adapted versions of Cochrane‚Äôs RoB V.2.0 and ROBINS-I tools for RCTs and CTs, respectively, and an adapted version of the National Institute of Health‚Äôs tool for longitudinal studies. Data will be synthesised narratively and, where possible, MAs will be performed using frequentist and Bayesian statistics. Modifiable determinants will be discussed considering the settings in which they were investigated and the PAB/SB measurement methods used. Ethics and dissemination No ethical approval is needed as no primary data will be collected. The findings will be disseminated in peer-reviewed publications and academic conferences where possible. The BESt will also be shared with policy makers within the DE-PASS consortium in the first instance

    DE-PASS Best Evidence Statement (BESt): modifiable determinants of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children and adolescents aged 5-19 years-a protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis

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    Introduction Physical activity among children and adolescents remains insufficient, despite the substantial efforts made by researchers and policymakers. Identifying and furthering our understanding of potential modifiable determinants of physical activity behaviour (PAB) and sedentary behaviour (SB) is crucial for the development of interventions that promote a shift from SB to PAB. The current protocol details the process through which a series of systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses (MAs) will be conducted to produce a best-evidence statement (BESt) and inform policymakers. The overall aim is to identify modifiable determinants that are associated with changes in PAB and SB in children and adolescents (aged 5-19 years) and to quantify their effect on, or association with, PAB/SB. Methods and analysis A search will be performed in MEDLINE, SportDiscus, Web of Science, PsychINFO and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled trials (CTs) that investigate the effect of interventions on PAB/SB and longitudinal studies that investigate the associations between modifiable determinants and PAB/SB at multiple time points will be sought. Risk of bias assessments will be performed using adapted versions of Cochrane's RoB V.2.0 and ROBINS-I tools for RCTs and CTs, respectively, and an adapted version of the National Institute of Health's tool for longitudinal studies. Data will be synthesised narratively and, where possible, MAs will be performed using frequentist and Bayesian statistics. Modifiable determinants will be discussed considering the settings in which they were investigated and the PAB/SB measurement methods used. Ethics and dissemination No ethical approval is needed as no primary data will be collected. The findings will be disseminated in peer-reviewed publications and academic conferences where possible. The BESt will also be shared with policy makers within the DE-PASS consortium in the first instance. Systematic review registration CRD42021282874

    A life course examination of the physical environmental determinants of physical activity behaviour: A ‚ÄúDeterminants of Diet and Physical Activity‚ÄĚ (DEDIPAC) umbrella systematic literature review.

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    Background: Participation in regular physical activity is associated with a multitude of health benefits across the life course. However, many people fail to meet PA recommendations. Despite a plethora of studies, the evidence regarding the environmental (physical) determinants of physical activity remains inconclusive. Objective: To identify the physical environmental determinants that influence PA across the life course. Methods: An online systematic literature search was conducted using MEDLINE, ISI Web of Science, Scopus and SPORTDiscus. The search was limited to studies published in English (January 2004 to April 2016). Only systematic literature reviews (SLRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) of observational studies, that investigated the association between physical determinants and physical activity outcomes, were eligible for inclusion. The extracted data were assessed on the importance of determinants, strength of evidence and methodological quality. Results: The literature search identified 28 SLRs and 3 MAs on 67 physical environmental characteristics potentially related to physical activity that were eligible for inclusion. Among preschool children, a positive association was reported between availability of backyard space and outdoor toys/equipment in the home and overall physical activity. The availability of physical activity programs and equipment within schools, and neighbourhood features such as pedestrian and cyclist safety structure were positively associated with physical activity in children and adolescents. Negative street characteristics, for example, lack of sidewalks and streetlights, were negatively associated with physical activity in adults. Inconsistent associations were reported for the majority of reviewed determinants in adults. Conclusion: This umbrella SLR provided a comprehensive overview of the physical environment determinants of physical activity across the life course and has highlighted, particularly amongst youth, a number of key determinants that may be associated with overall physical activity. Given the limited evidence drawn mostly from cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies are needed to further explore these associations
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