961 research outputs found

    Infantile epilepsy associated with mosaic 2q24 duplication including SCN2A and SCN3A

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    AbstractEpilepsies can be caused by specific genetic anomalies or by non-genetic factors, but in many cases the underlying cause is unknown.Mutations in the SCN1A and SCN2A genes are reported in childhood epilepsies; in particular SCN1A was found mutated in patients with Dravet syndrome and with generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+).In this paper we report a patient presenting with an atypical epileptic syndrome whose phenotype partially overlaps both Dravet syndrome and benign familial neonatal-infantile seizures (BFNIS).Array-CGH analysis suggested the presence of a mosaic duplication (about 12Mb) at the level of chromosome 2q23.3q24.3 involving SCN2A and SCN3A genes. Additional analyses (radiolabeled RFLP and quantitative PCR) confirmed the mosaicism of the duplication.We suggest that the array-CGH analysis is mandatory for children presenting with epilepsy and psycho-motor retardation even without dysmorphisms or other clinical features suggesting a specific genetic/epileptic syndrome. The analysis must nevertheless be performed taking into account the possibility of a mosaicism

    Prospective evaluation of hepatic steatosis in HIV-infected patients with or without hepatitis C virus co-infection

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    SummaryBackgroundLimited data are available on hepatic steatosis (HS) in HIV patients who are not infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence of HS and its risk factors in HIV patients with and without HCV infection, and to evaluate whether HS correlates with advanced liver fibrosis and/or cardiovascular disease risk.MethodsFifty-seven HIV mono-infected and 61 HIV/HCV co-infected patients were enrolled consecutively. All patients underwent liver ultrasound and transient elastography. The main parameters of liver function, HIV and HCV viral loads, CD4+ cell counts, and data on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) were recorded. Cardiovascular disease risk was evaluated using the 10-year Framingham risk score.ResultsHS prevalence in the whole HIV population was 53% (54% in mono-infected patients and 51% in co-infected patients). HS was associated with lipodystrophy and triglyceride values (p1 year (p<0.01). By multivariate analysis, only triglyceride levels (p<0.02) and Framingham risk score (p<0.05) were independently associated with HS in both HIV groups. No correlation was observed between HS and advanced liver fibrosis, measured by transient elastography.ConclusionsHS was common in HIV patients, occurring in about half of the population. HS was found to be linked with the Framingham risk score, but was not correlated with advanced liver fibrosis. We suggest that in our HIV population with HS, the burden of cardiovascular disease risk is greater than that of liver disease progression

    A Retrospective Study on Dietary FODMAP Intake in Celiac Patients Following a Gluten-Free Diet

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    Our aim was to evaluate the intake of foods containing fermentable oligo/di/mono-saccharides and polyols (FODMAP) as a possible factor that induces gastrointestinal symptoms in treated celiac disease (CD) patients. We collected seven-day weighed food records for 104 CD patients and 91 healthy volunteers. All evaluated food items were from sources with high and low content of FODMAP, which were divided into cereals and sweets, sweeteners and soft drinks, fruits, dried fruits, and vegetables. Nutrient intake was calculated using the food database of the European Institute of Oncology. The symptoms reported were assessed by a Rome IV Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) diagnostic questionnaire and by specific questions for the evaluation of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs). The 12% of CD patients met IBS symptoms criteria as opposed to 6% of controls (p = 0.09) and 27% of patients reported FGIDs symptoms vs. 22% of healthy controls (p = 0.42). The intake by CD patients was significantly higher than healthy volunteers for: sweeteners and sugars with low content of FODMAP (p = 0.0007), fruits, dried fruits, and vegetables high in FODMAP (p = 0.003) and low in FODMAP (p = 0.04) when compared to controls. CD patients had a lower intake of cereals and sweets with a high content of FODMAP (p = 0.00001). Healthy volunteers consumed significantly higher alcoholic beverages and fats high in FODMAP (both p < 0.044). The mean daily intake of other food categories did not differ between both groups. Even though CD patients had a low intake of gluten-free cereals high in FODMAP, they still consumed a significant amount of fruits and vegetables high in FODMAP. The clinical effect of a concomitant gluten-free diet and low-FODMAP diet should be prospectively evaluated as a supportive therapy in CD patients

    Capsule enteroscopy versus small-bowel ultrasonography for the detection and differential diagnosis of intestinal diseases

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    Background/Aims Capsule enteroscopy (CE) and intestinal ultrasonography (IUS) are techniques that are currently used for investigating small-bowel (SB) diseases. The aim of this study was to compare the main imaging findings and the lesion detection rate (LDR) of CE and IUS in different clinical scenarios involving the SB. Methods We retrospectively enrolled patients who underwent CE and IUS for obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB), complicated celiac disease (CeD), and suspected or known inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We evaluated the LDR of both techniques. The accuracy of IUS was determined using CE as the reference standard. Results A total of 159 patients (113 female; mean age, 49±19 years) were enrolled. The LDR was 55% and 33% for CE and IUS (p<0.05), respectively. Subgroup analysis showed that the LDR of CE was significantly higher than that of IUS in patients with OGIB (62% vs. 14%, p<0.05) and CeD (55% vs. 35%, p<0.05). IUS showed a similar LDR to CE in patients with suspected or known IBD (51% vs. 46%, p=0.83). Conclusions CE should be preferred in cases of OGIB and CeD, whereas IUS should be considered an early step in the diagnosis and follow-up of IBD even in patients with a proximal SB localization of the disease

    The decay constant of the holographic techni-dilaton and the 125 GeV boson

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    We critically discuss the possibility that the 125 GeV boson recently discovered at the LHC is the holographic techni-dilaton, a composite state emerging from a strongly-coupled model of electroweak symmetry breaking. This composite state differs from the SM for three main reasons. Its decay constant is in general larger than the electroweak scale, hence suppressing all the couplings to standard model particles with respect to an elementary Higgs boson, with the exception of the coupling to photons and gluons, which is expected to be larger than the standard-model equivalent. We discuss three classes of questions. Is it possible to lower the decay constant, by changing the geometry of the holographic model? Is it possible to lower the overall scale of the strong dynamics, by modifying the way in which electroweak symmetry breaking is implemented in the holographic model? Is there a clear indication in the data that production mechanisms other than gluon-gluon fusion have been observed, disfavoring models in which the holographic techni-dilaton has a large decay constant? We show that all of these questions are still open, given the present status of theoretical as well as phenomenological studies, and that at present the techni-dilaton hypothesis yields a fit to the data which is either as good as the elementary Higgs hypothesis, or marginally better, depending on what sets of data are used in the fit. We identify clear strategies for future work aimed at addressing these three classes of open questions. In the process, we also compute the complete scalar spectrum of the two-scalar truncation describing the GPPZ model, as well as the decay constant of the holographic techni-dilaton in this model.Comment: 23 pages, 7 figures. Two paragraphs of general comments added. Several references added. Version accepted for publicatio

    Vitamin D and Osteoporosis in HIV/HCV Coinfected Patients: A Literature Review

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    Vitamin D deficiency further increases the risk of osteoporosis in HIV-positive patients coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV); however, it is still unclear whether HCV-related increased fracture risk is a function of the severity of liver disease. The aim of this review was to identify studies on associative vitamin D deficiency patterns in high-risk populations such as HIV/HCV coinfected patients. We did this by searching MEDLINE and EMBASE databases, from inception to August 2014, and included bibliographies. The final 12 articles selected are homogeneous in terms of age but heterogeneous in terms of sample size, participant recruitment, and data source. Most of the HIV/HCV coinfected patients have less than adequate levels of vitamin D. After reviewing the selected articles, we concluded that vitamin D deficiency should be regarded as a continuum and that the lower limit of the ideal range is debatable. We found that vitamin D deficiency might influence liver disease progression in HIV/HCV coinfected patients. Methodological issues in evaluating vitamin D supplementation as a relatively inexpensive therapeutic option are discussed, as well as the need for future research, above all on its role in reducing the risk of HCV-related fracture by modifying liver fibrosis progression

    Quality performance measures for small capsule endoscopy: Are the ESGE quality standards met?

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    Background and study aims The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) recently issued a quality performance measures document for small bowel capsule endoscopy (SBCE). The aim of this nationwide survey was to explore SBCE practice with ESGE quality measures as a benchmark. Patients and methods A dedicated per-center semiquantitative questionnaire based on ESGE performance measures for SBCE was created by a group of SBCE experts. One-hundred-eighty-one centers were invited to participate and were asked to calculate performance measures for SBCE performed in 2018. Data were compared with 10 ESGE quality standards for both key and minor performance measures. Results Ninety-one centers (50.3 %) participated in the data collection. Overall in the last 5 years (2014–2018), 26,615 SBCEs were performed, 5917 of which were done in 2018. Eighty percent or more of the participating centers reached the minimum standard established by the ESGE Small Bowel Working Group (ESBWG) for four performance measures (indications for SBCE, complete small bowel evaluation, diagnostic yield and retention rate). Conversely, compliance with six minimum standards established by ESBWG concerning adequate bowel preparation, patient selection, timing of SBCE in overt bleeding, appropriate reporting, reading protocols and referral to device-assisted enteroscopy was met by only 15.5%, 10.9%, 31.1%, 67.7%, 53.4%, and 32.2% of centers, respectively. Conclusions The present survey shows significant variability across SBCE centers; only four (4/10: 40 %) SBCE procedural minimum standards were met by a relevant proportion of the centers ( ≥ 80 %). Our data should help in identifying target areas for quality improvement programs in SBCE

    Garlic consumption in relation to colorectal cancer risk and to alterations of blood bacterial DNA

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    PURPOSE: Garlic consumption has been inversely associated to intestinal adenoma (IA) and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk, although evidence is not consistent. Gut microbiota has been implied in CRC pathogenesis and is also influenced by garlic consumption. We analyzed whether dietary garlic influence CRC risk and bacterial DNA in blood. METHODS: We conducted a case-control study in Italy involving 100 incident CRC cases, 100 IA and 100 healthy controls matched by center, sex and age. We used a validated food frequency questionnaire to assess dietary habits and garlic consumption. Blood bacterial DNA profile was estimated using qPCR and16S rRNA gene profiling. We derived odds ratios (ORs) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of IA and CRC according to garlic consumption from multiple conditional logistic regression. We used Mann-Whitney and chi-square tests to evaluate taxa differences in abundance and prevalence. RESULTS: The OR of CRC for medium/high versus low/null garlic consumption was 0.27 (95% CI = 0.11-0.66). Differences in garlic consumption were found for selected blood bacterial taxa. Medium/high garlic consumption was associated to an increase of Corynebacteriales order, Nocardiaceae family and Rhodococcus genus, and to a decrease of Family XI and Finegoldia genus. CONCLUSIONS: The study adds data on the protective effect of dietary garlic on CRC risk. Moreover, it supports evidence of a translocation of bacterial material to bloodstream and corroborates the hypothesis of a diet-microbiota axis as a mechanism behind the role of garlic in CRC prevention

    Higgs compositeness in Sp(2N) gauge theories – Determining the low-energy constants with lattice calculations

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    As a first step towards a quantitative understanding of the SU(4)/Sp(4) compositeHiggs model through lattice calculations, we discuss the low energy eective fieldtheory resulting from the SU(4) ! Sp(4) global symmetry breaking pattern. We thenconsider an Sp(4) gauge theory with two Dirac fermion flavours in the fundamental representationon a lattice, which provides a concrete example of the microscopic realisationof the SU(4)/Sp(4) composite Higgs model. For this system, we outline a programmeof numerical simulations aiming at the determination of the low-energy constants of theeective field theory and we test the method on the quenched theory. We also report earlyresults from dynamical simulations, focussing on the phase structure of the lattice theoryand a calculation of the lowest-lying meson spectrum at coarse lattice spacing
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