7,743 research outputs found

    An Ambient Assisted Living Approach in Designing Domiciliary Services Combined With Innovative Technologies for Patients With Alzheimer’s Disease: A Case Study

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    Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the most disabling diseases to affect large numbers of elderly people worldwide. Because of the characteristics of this disease, patients with AD require daily assistance from service providers both in nursing homes and at home. Domiciliary assistance has been demonstrated to be cost effective and efficient in the first phase of the disease, helping to slow down the course of the illness, improve the quality of life and care, and extend independence for patients and caregivers. In this context, the aim of this work is to demonstrate the technical effectiveness and acceptability of an innovative domiciliary smart sensor system for providing domiciliary assistance to patients with AD which has been developed with an Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) approach. Methods: The design, development, testing, and evaluation of the innovative technological solution were performed by a multidisciplinary team. In all, 15 sociomedical operators and 14 patients with AD were directly involved in defining the endusers’ needs and requirements, identifying design principles with acceptability and usability features and evaluating the technological solutions before and after the real experimentation. Results: A modular technological system was produced to help caregivers continuously monitor the health status, safety, and daily activities of patients with AD. During the experimentation, the acceptability, utility, usability, and efficacy of this system were evaluated as quite positive. Conclusion: The experience described in this article demonstrated that AAL technologies are feasible and effective nowadays and can be actively used in assisting patients with AD in their homes. The extensive involvement of caregivers in the experimentation allowed to assess that there is, through the use of the technological system, a proven improvement in care performance and efficiency of care provision by both formal and informal caregivers and consequently an increase in the quality of life of patients, their relatives, and their caregivers

    Modulation of corticospinal output during goal-directed actions: Evidence for a contingent coding hypothesis.

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    Abstract Seeing a person perform an action activates the observer's motor system. The present study aimed at investigating the temporal relationship between execution and observation of goal-directed actions. One possibility is that the corticospinal excitability (CSE) follows the dynamic evolution of the pattern of muscle activity in the executed action. Alternatively, CSE may anticipate the future course of the observed action, prospectively extrapolating future states. Our study was designed to test these alternative hypotheses by directly comparing the time course of muscle recruitment during the execution and observation of reach-to-grasp movements. We found that the time course of CSE during action observation followed the time course of the EMG signal during action execution. This contingent coding was observed despite the outcome of the observed motor act being predictable from the earliest phases of the movement. These findings challenge the view that CSE serves to predict the target of an observed action

    Color stability of CAD/CAM Zirconia ceramics following exposure to acidic and staining drinks

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    The aim of this in vitro study was to evaluate the color stability of CAD/CAM Zirconia ceramics following exposure to acidic drink (Coca Cola) and after exposure to staining solution (coffee). All the samples were immersed in different staining solutions over a 28-day test period. A colorimetric evaluation according to the CIE L*a*b* system was performed by a blind trained operator at 7, 14, 21, 28 days of the staining process. Shapiro Wilk test and Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA were applied to assess significant differences among restorative materials. Paired t-test was applied to test which CIE L*a*b* parameters significantly changed after immersion in staining solutions. One week immersion in acidic drink did not cause a perceivable discoloration for all restorative materials (?E < 3.3). Subsequent immersion in coffee affected color stability of all Zirconia samples, even if Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA found significant differences among the various restorative materials. The ?Es of CAD/CAM Zirconia ceramics after immersion in coffee varied among the products, but color integrity is not affected by contact with acidic drinks

    Innesto osseo omologo vascolarizzato e trapianto di cellule nucleate midollari per migliorare l’angiogenesi nella riparazione di lesioni ossee critiche: studio su animale

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    Autologous bone grafting is a standard procedure for the clinical repair of skeletal defects, and good results have been obtained. Autologous vascularized bone grafting and allografts are often used, presenting several drawbacks. On the other side, several studies in literature reported the ability of bone marrow derived cells to promote neo-vascularization thanks to specific GF, hematopoietic and nesenchymal stem cells. In this scenario a new procedure was developed, consisting in an allogenic bone graft transplantation in a critical size defect in rabbit radius, plus a deviation at its inside of the median artery and vein with a supplement of autologous bone marrow concentrate on a collagen scaffold. Twenty-four rabbits were were operated with different experimental and control procedures. For each group, 3 experimental times: 8, 4 and 2 weeks. An in vitro evaluation of bone marrow concentrate was performed and at the time of sacrifice histological and histomorphometrical assessment were performed with immunohistochemical assays for VEGF, CD31 e CD146 to highlight the presence of vessels and endothelial cells. Micro-CT Analysis with quantitative bone evaluation was performed. The bone marrow concentrate showed a marked capability to differentiate into osteogenic, chondrogenic and agipogenic lineages. No complications were reported. The bone grafts showed only a partial integration, mainly at the extremities in the group with vascular and bone marrow concentrate supplement. Immunohistochemistry showed an interesting higher VEGF expression in the same group. Micro CT analysis showed a higher remodeling activities in the groups treated with vascular supplement, with an area of integration at the extremities increasing with the extension of the sacrifice time. The present study suggests that the vascular and marrow cells supplement may positively influence the neoangiogenesis and the neovascularization of the homologous bone graft

    Relationship between adipose tissue dysfunction, Vitamin D deficiency and the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

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    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease ( NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide. Its pathogenesis is complex and not yet fully understood. Over the years many studies have proposed various pathophysiological hypotheses, among which the currently most widely accepted is the "multiple parallel hits" theory. According to this model, lipid accumulation in the hepatocytes and insulin resistance increase the vulnerability of the liver to many factors that act in a coordinated and cooperative manner to promote hepatic injury, inflammation and fibrosis. Among these factors, adipose tissue dysfunction and subsequent chronic low grade inflammation play a crucial role. Recent studies have shown that vitamin D exerts an immune-regulating action on adipose tissue, and the growing wealth of epidemiological data is demonstrating that hypovitaminosis D is associated with both obesity and NAFLD. Furthermore, given the strong association between these conditions, current findings suggest that vitamin D may be involved in the relationship between adipose tissue dysfunction and NAFLD. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of recent advances in the pathogenesis of NAFLD in relation to adipose tissue dysfunction, and in the pathophysiology linking vitamin D deficiency with NAFLD and adiposity, together with an overview of the evidence available on the clinical utility of vitamin D supplementation in cases of NAFLD
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