1,147 research outputs found

    Animal-based vs plant-based protein quality. A survey of millennial students nutritional knowledge and food preferences

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    The food system around the mass production of meat and by-products constitutes a major driver of global warming, diminution of Earth’s resources, land degradation and deforestation, as well as contamination of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems (IPCC, 2019; UN Environment Programme, 2018). At its current levels, worldwide food consumption practices are high, and particularly so in meat products. Proof lies in the environmental data, which is swiftly accumulating on the unsustainability of meat (Sabaté et al., 2014). At the present day, meat production is accountable for occupying over half of the Earth’s cultivable land resources and for driving greenhouse gas emissions. Supporting those findings is Eshel’s research (2014), which found that meat eaters employ over 160 percent of land resources when compared to those people who are reliant on a plant-based diet. In fact, although varying across several crop categories and regions, the global average water footprint related to crop production is remarkably lower when compared to the effect of meat production over freshwater sources (Mekonnen et al., 2012). Meat production necessitates around 2422 Gm3 of water per year, the provision of just 1 kg of animal protein demands almost 100 times more water than producing 1 kg of grain protein (Lonnie and Johnstone, 2020). As a result, only a mitigated, global shift in dietary changes that are mainly reliant on nutritionally balanced, plant-based sourced of protein could sustainably feed 10 billion people by 2050. This would guarantee nutritional adequacy, food security and food sufficiency (LEAP, 2020; Willet et al., 2019). According to the European Environment Agency (2019) there are increasing concerns related to the linkage between an excessive consumption of animal-derived proteins and issues related to health and environment. Within this context, 1 in 5 people living in the UK have already stopped or reduced their meat consumption (The Vegan Society, 2020). Currently, there is increased awareness, particularly popular within millennials, regarding the adoption of a healthy, balanced diet which includes plant-based sources of protein. A conscious consumerism is in fact driving the trend towards the consumption of novelty food, more particularly plant-based, protein-rich products. In fact, according to data collected by Proveg Int. (2019) the UK's purchase and consumption rates of vegan products, more specifically milk, meat, margarine, cheese, readymade meals, and seafood, are amongst the highest in Europe. Within this frame of perpetual development, consumers are looking beyond the label. Eager to experiment with the inclusion of a wider variety of food options into their diet, their interest in converting and expanding their palate is increasing and subject to a continuous evolution (Mintel, 2018). What used to appeal to a niche sector, is guaranteed to have a prosperous future within the food and beverage industry. In fact, vegans and vegetarians is projected to be a quarter of the British population by 2025, and flexitarians just under half of all UK consumers (Sainsbury’s, 2019). Despite the increase in the number of people switching to a plant-based diet, meat consumption remains highly ingrained in Western culture and the disposition to stop or reduce consumption of animal products therefore remains relatively low. Consumers often describe plant-based products to have unappealing taste, texture, and appearance. Meat substitutes are difficult to find, often highly priced and more challenging to cook than their meat counterparts (Forbes, 2019; Mintel, 2020). The lack of a wide array of studies conducted on the subject might be due to the concept of protein quality that remains a “grey area”. The consumption of proteins-enriched products is nothing but a relatively recent trend. The significance of this research ties back to the fact that there is a limited amount of evidence and literature related to familiarity with the concept of protein content and perceptions related to healthfulness and wellbeing. More importantly, no past research has taken into consideration millennial university students. This study aims to assess millennial university students’ nutritional knowledge and preferences related to food regimes, with a particular insight on the protein quality content of food, which focuses and distinguishes mainly between plant-based and animal-based protein sources

    The impact of visiting the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on children's and adolescents' psychological well-being: A systematic review

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    Abstract Objectives The visits of children/adolescents in adult intensive care units are increasingly more common. However, few studies examine the psychological impact of visiting. This systematic review aims to summarise the psychological effects that visiting family members has on children/adolescents. Research methodology A systematic review of research articles published from 1990 to January 2021 was conducted using PsycInfo, PubMed, and CINAHL. Inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied. Those studies included were evaluated using the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal tools. A narrative synthesis of the results was conducted. Setting Adult intensive care unit. Results The review identified five studies (three of which qualitative), involving 141 children/adolescents. Although the experience of visiting was potentially traumatic, it enabled children/adolescents to better understand the reality and to preserve their relationships with family members. The impact of visiting was influenced by individual characteristics (e.g., age, past traumatic experiences) and by organisational characteristics (e.g., facilitated visit or not). Regardless of visitation, most children/adolescents presented anxiety and depression symptoms that need to be addressed. Conclusions Child/adolescent visitation seems to have positive effects, provided there is preparation and facilitation. Clinicians should pay attention to individual characteristics and optimise organisational factors (e.g., environment) in order to minimise potentially trauma-inducing aspects

    Noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation as acute therapy for migraine. The randomized PRESTO study

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    Objective: To evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS; gammaCore; electroCore, LLC, Basking Ridge, NJ) for the acute treatment of migraine in a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled trial. Methods: A total of 248 participants with episodic migraine with/without aura were randomized to receive nVNS or sham within 20 minutes from pain onset. Participants were to repeat treatment if pain had not improved in 15 minutes. Results: nVNS (n = 120) was superior to sham (n = 123) for pain freedom at 30 minutes (12.7% vs 4.2%; p = 0.012) and 60 minutes (21.0% vs 10.0%; p = 0.023) but not at 120 minutes (30.4% vs 19.7%; p = 0.067; primary endpoint; logistic regression) after the first treated attack. A post hoc repeatedmeasures test provided further insight into the therapeutic benefit of nVNS through 30, 60, and 120 minutes (odds ratio 2.3; 95% confidence interval 1.2, 4.4; p = 0.012). nVNS demonstrated benefits across other endpoints including pain relief at 120minutes and was safe and well-tolerated. Conclusion: This randomized sham-controlled trial supports the abortive efficacy of nVNS as early as 30 minutes and up to 60 minutes after an attack. Findings also suggest effective pain relief, tolerability, and practicality of nVNS for the acute treatment of episodic migraine

    Investigation on the Loss of Taste and Smell and Consequent Psychological Effects: A Cross-Sectional Study on Healthcare Workers Who Contracted the COVID-19 Infection

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    The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between psychological distress and taste and sense of smell dysfunctions on healthcare workers (HCW) who contracted the COVID-19 infection in the midst of the disease outbreak. Reports of sudden loss of taste and smell which persist even after recovery from COVID-19 infection are increasingly recognized as critical symptoms for COVID-19 infections. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional study on COVID-19 HCW (N = 104) who adhered to respond to a phone semistructured interview addressing the virus symptoms and associated psychological distress. Data were collected from June to September 2020. Findings confirm the association between experienced taste/olfactory loss and emotional distress and suggest that dysfunctions of taste and smell correlate positively with anxiety and depression. Furthermore, their psychological impact tends to persist even after the recovery from the disease, suggesting the need for appropriate psychological interventions to prevent people from developing more serious or long-lasting psychological disorders and, as far as HCW, to reduce the risk of work-related distress

    An Agonist of the CXCR4 Receptor Strongly Promotes Regeneration of Degenerated Motor Axon Terminals

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    The activation of the G-protein coupled receptor CXCR4 by its ligand CXCL12\u3b1 is involved in a large variety of physiological and pathological processes, including the growth of B cells precursors and of motor axons, autoimmune diseases, stem cell migration, inflammation, and several neurodegenerative conditions. Recently, we demonstrated that CXCL12\u3b1 potently stimulates the functional recovery of damaged neuromuscular junctions via interaction with CXCR4. This result prompted us to test the neuroregeneration activity of small molecules acting as CXCR4 agonists, endowed with better pharmacokinetics with respect to the natural ligand. We focused on NUCC-390, recently shown to activate CXCR4 in a cellular system. We designed a novel and convenient chemical synthesis of NUCC-390, which is reported here. NUCC-390 was tested for its capability to induce the regeneration of motor axon terminals completely degenerated by the presynaptic neurotoxin \u3b1-Latrotoxin. NUCC-390 was found to strongly promote the functional recovery of the neuromuscular junction, as assayed by electrophysiology and imaging. This action is CXCR4 dependent, as it is completely prevented by AMD3100, a well-characterized CXCR4 antagonist. These data make NUCC-390 a strong candidate to be tested in human therapy to promote nerve recovery of function after different forms of neurodegeneratio

    Development and validation of the ID-EC - The ITALIAN version of the identify chronic migraine

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    Background: Case-finding tools, such as the Identify Chronic Migraine (ID-CM) questionnaire, can improve detection of CM and alleviate its significant societal burden. We aimed to develop and validate the Italian version of the ID-CM (ID-EC) in paper and as a smart app version in a headache clinic-based setting. Methods: The study investigators translated and adapted to the Italian language the original ID-CM questionnaire (ID-EC) and further implemented it as a smart app. The ID-EC was tested in its paper and electronic version in consecutive patients referring to 9 Italian tertiary headache centers for their first in-person visit. The scoring algorithm of the ID-EC paper version was applied by the study investigators (case-finding) and by patients (self-diagnosis), while the smart app provided to patients automatically the diagnosis. Diagnostic accuracy of the ID-EC was assessed by matching the questionnaire results with the interview-based diagnoses performed by the headache specialists during the visit according to the criteria of International Classification of Headache Disorders, III edition, beta version. Results: We enrolled 531 patients in the test of the paper version of ID-EC and 427 in the validation study of the smart app. According to the clinical diagnosis 209 patients had CM in the paper version study and 202 had CM in the smart app study. 79.5% of patients returned valid paper questionnaires, while 100% of patients returned valid and complete smart app questionnaires. The paper questionnaire had a 81.5% sensitivity and a 81.1% specificity for case-finding and a 30.7% sensitivity and 90.7% specificity for self-diagnosis, while the smart app had a 64.9% sensitivity and 90.2% specificity. Conclusions: Our data suggest that the ID-EC, developed and validated in tertiary headache centers, is a valid case-finding tool for CM, with sensitivity and specificity values above 80% in paper form, while the ID-EC smart app is more useful to exclude CM diagnosis in case of a negative result. Further studies are warranted to assess the diagnostic accuracy of the ID-EC in general practice and population-based settings

    How to communicate with families living in complete isolation

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    The global emergency caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has suddenly changed how we communicate with families in all the CoViD19 care settings, on account of the need to maintain complete social isolation. Far-reaching mental suffering manifests itself in widespread anxiety. Health workers are isolated from their families, and must manage the consequences of this isolation just like the patients under their care. Patients and their families perceive not only the clinical results but also the personal attitudes, closeness and psychological support from the care teams. This perception of genuine participation by the health worker in the course of the treatment is especially important when a patient dies, and may influence the whole process of grief

    Practical and clinical utility of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) for the acute treatment of migraine. A post hoc analysis of the randomized, sham-controlled, double-blind PRESTO trial

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    Background: The PRESTO study of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS; gammaCore®) featured key primary and secondary end points recommended by the International Headache Society to provide Class I evidence that for patients with an episodic migraine, nVNS significantly increases the probability of having mild pain or being pain-free 2 h post stimulation. Here, we examined additional data from PRESTO to provide further insights into the practical utility of nVNS by evaluating its ability to consistently deliver clinically meaningful improvements in pain intensity while reducing the need for rescue medication. Methods: Patients recorded pain intensity for treated migraine attacks on a 4-point scale. Data were examined to compare nVNS and sham with regard to the percentage of patients who benefited by at least 1 point in pain intensity. We also assessed the percentage of attacks that required rescue medication and pain-free rates stratified by pain intensity at treatment initiation. Results: A significantly higher percentage of patients who used acute nVNS treatment (n = 120) vs sham (n = 123) reported a ≥ 1-point decrease in pain intensity at 30 min (nVNS, 32.2%; sham, 18.5%; P = 0.020), 60 min (nVNS, 38.8%; sham, 24.0%; P = 0.017), and 120 min (nVNS, 46.8%; sham, 26.2%; P = 0.002) after the first attack. Similar significant results were seen when assessing the benefit in all attacks. The proportion of patients who did not require rescue medication was significantly higher with nVNS than with sham for the first attack (nVNS, 59.3%; sham, 41.9%; P = 0.013) and all attacks (nVNS, 52.3%; sham, 37.3%; P = 0.008). When initial pain intensity was mild, the percentage of patients with no pain after treatment was significantly higher with nVNS than with sham at 60 min (all attacks: nVNS, 37.0%; sham, 21.2%; P = 0.025) and 120 min (first attack: nVNS, 50.0%; sham, 25.0%; P = 0.018; all attacks: nVNS, 46.7%; sham, 30.1%; P = 0.037). Conclusions: This post hoc analysis demonstrated that acute nVNS treatment quickly and consistently reduced pain intensity while decreasing rescue medication use. These clinical benefits provide guidance in the optimal use of nVNS in everyday practice, which can potentially reduce use of acute pharmacologic medications and their associated adverse events. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02686034

    A Western single-center experience with endoscopic submucosal dissection for early gastrointestinal cancers

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    Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) has gained worldwide acceptance as a treatment for early gastrointestinal cancers (EGICs). However, the management of these tumors in the Western world is still mainly surgical. Our aim was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of ESD at a European center. Based on the knowledge transferred by one of the most experienced Japanese institutions, we conducted a pilot study on 25 consecutive patients with EGICs located in the esophagus (n = 3), stomach (n = 7), duodenum (n = 1), and colon (n = 14) at our tertiary center over a 2-year-period. The main outcome measurements were complete (R0) resection, as well as en-bloc resection and the management of complications. The R0 and en-bloc resection rates were 100% and 84%, respectively. There were three cases of bleeding and five cases of perforation. With a median follow up of 18 months, two recurrences were observed. We conclude that ESD for early esophageal and gastric cancers is feasible and effective, while colonic ESD requires more expertise
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