310 research outputs found

    Lessons learned after three years of SPIDER operation and the first MITICA integrated tests

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    ITER envisages the use of two heating neutral beam injectors plus an optional one as part of the auxiliary heating and current drive system, to reach the desired performances during its various phases of operation. The 16.5 MW expected neutral beam power per injector is several notches higher than worldwide existing facilities. In order to enable such development, a Neutral Beam Test Facility (NBTF) was established at Consorzio RFX, exploiting the synergy of two test beds, called SPIDER and MITICA. SPIDER is dedicated developing and char- acterizing large efficient negative ion sources at relevant parameters in ITER-like conditions: source and accel- erator located in the same vacuum where the beam propagates, immunity to electromagnetic interferences of multiple radio-frequency (RF) antennas, avoidance of RF-induced discharges on the outside of the source. Three years of experiments on SPIDER have addressed to the necessary design modifications to enable full perfor- mances. The source is presently under a long shut-down phase to incorporate learnings from the experimental campaign, in particular events/issues occurred during operation, which led to the identification of improvement opportunities/necessities (e.g. RF discharges, local burns, water leaks, other damages, configuration/design upgrades to maximize chances/margin to quest target parameters). Parallelly, developments on MITICA, the full-scale prototype of the ITER Neutral Beam Injector (NBI) featuring a 1 MV accelerator and ion neutralization, are underway including manufacturing of the beam source, accel- erator and the beam line components, while power supplies and auxiliary plants, already installed, are under final testing and commissioning. Integration, commissioning and tests of the 1 MV power supplies are essential for this first-of-kind system, unparalleled both in research and industry field. 1.2 MV dc insulating tests of high voltage components were successfully completed. The integrated test to confirm 1 MV output by combining invertor systems, DC gener- ators and transmission lines extracted errors/accidents in some components. To realize a concrete system for ITER, said events have been addressed and solutions for the repair and the improvement of the system were developed. Hence, NBTF is emerging as a necessary facility, due to the large gap with existing injectors, effectively dedicated to identify issues and find solutions to enable successful ITER NBI operations in a time bound fashion. The lessons learned during the implementation on NBTF and future perspectives are here discussed

    Oral Health Status in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer before Radiotherapy: Baseline Description of an Observational Prospective Study

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    (1) Background: The general hypothesis that HNC patients show compromised oral health (OH) is generally accepted, but it is not evidence-based. The objective of this baseline report of a prospective observational study was to describe the oral health of a cohort of patients with HNC at the time of dental evaluation prior to radiotherapy (RT). (2) Materials and Methods: Two hundred and thirteen patients affected by HNC who had received an indication for RT were examined with the support of orthopantomography (OPT). The DMFt of all included subjects, their periodontal status and the grade of mouth opening were recorded. (3) Results: A total of 195 patients were ultimately included: 146/195 patients (74.9%) showed poor OH (defined as having a DMFt score ‚Č• 13 and severe periodontitis). The following clinical characteristics were correlated with poor oral health in the univariate analysis: tumor site, smoking habit and age of the patients (in decades); Ōá2 test, p < 0.05. (4) Conclusions: This study confirms that the OH of HNC patients is often compromised even before the beginning of cancer treatment and, consequently, highlights how important it is to promptly schedule a dental evaluation at the moment of diagnosis of the cancer

    Major Depression in Postpartum Women during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Can Social Support Buffer Psychosocial Risks and Substance Use?

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    Rates of mood disorders and substance use increased during the COVID-19 pandemic for postpartum women. The present study’s aims were to: (1) examine the prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) in postpartum women during the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) evaluate whether social support can buffer the associations between MDD, psychosocial factors (perceived stress, generalized anxiety, and intimate partner violence) and substance use (alcohol and drug use). A nationwide survey included 593 postpartum mothers (within 12 months from birth). Participants were assessed for a provisional diagnosis of MDD, and provided responses on validated instruments measuring stress, intimate partner violence, suicidal ideation, generalized anxiety, social support, and substance use. A hierarchical logistic regression model assessed the association of psychosocial factors and substance use with MDD. The final model shows that social support attenuates the association of MDD with perceived stress, alcohol use, and drug use, but does not buffer the relationship of MDD with anxiety or intimate partner violence. Social support was shown to significantly attenuate the effects of stress, alcohol use, and drug use on MDD, suggesting that the presence of a strong, supportive social network should be an area of increased focus for public health and healthcare professionals when caring for postpartum women

    Illicit Performance and Image Enhancing Drug Markets in the Netherlands and Belgium

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    This chapter explores the illicit production and supply of performance and image enhancing drug (PIED) markets in Belgium and the Netherlands. Aside from the potential health risks related to the use of these substances, a concern is that the majority of PIEDs are not legally obtained through a physician, by means of a prescription, but instead are illegally purchased on the black market. The illicit supply of PIEDs will be the focus of this chapter. This chapter provides a historical account of the development of illicit PIED markets in Belgium and the Netherlands. Next, a categorization of supplier types will be provided based on the profession of PIED suppliers. This will be followed with an examination of the methods and motives of PIED dealers, using bodybuilding as a case study. It is highlighted that many types of suppliers are involved in the trade of PIEDs and that they are driven by multiple and often overlapping reasons (financial and non-financial motives). In the final section, the link between the illicit PIED market, organized crime and professional sport is critically explored. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the overall findings

    Real-Life Experience in the Management of Sinonasal Complications of Dental Disease or Treatments

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    Diagnosis and management of sinonasal complications of dental diseases or treatment (SCDDT) may be challenging. We aimed to report our real-life experience in patients treated with endoscopic endonasal approach describing data about symptoms, etiology, extension of the disease and success rate. We evaluated retrospectively data about 262 patients diagnosed as SCDDT and managed from August 2015 to May 2022. In 44.65% cases, maxillary sinus complications were determined by a dental disorder; the remaining 55.34% of cases were iatrogenic. Patients were managed according to our multidisciplinary protocol including ENT, dental, and radiological evaluation. Treatments were planned with a personalized approach, based on the patient’s clinical characteristics; all patients were treated with an endonasal endoscopic mini-invasive conservative approach. Combined dental treatment was performed simultaneously in 152/262 (58%) of patients; in the remaining cases, it was postponed after surgery. The overall treatment success rate (symptom resolution and endoscopically observed maxillary sinus healing) was 96.5%. At 15 days after surgery, we observed a significant improvement in the quality of life. The mean post-operative Sinonasal outcome test-22 (SNOT-22) score was significantly lower compared to baseline (6 versus 43.4; p < 0.05). Our study showed that endoscopic sinus surgery can be a successful procedure for treatment of SCDDT, leading to fast resolution of sinonasal symptoms and improving the quality of life. Furthermore, the technique allows removal of migrated dental material or dental implants even in challenging cases
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