114 research outputs found


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    The aim of this study was to enhance waste from the livestock production chain using insects to produce biomaterials that can fall within the agricultural production cycle (e.g. plastic mulch), in order to achieve sustainability throughout the technological process. After stabilization by drying, mature larvae of Hermetia illucens reared on substrate composed of poultry manure, zeolite and water were chemically separated in the laboratory to extract the proteic, lipidic and chitinic fractions. Proteins were then isolated and added to other components in order to obtain bioplastics. The environmental impacts of the bioplastic production process developed at a laboratory scale was evaluated through the LCA methodology

    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

    Timed rise from floor as a predictor of disease progression in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: An observational study

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    The role of timed items, and more specifically, of the time to rise from the floor, has been reported as an early prognostic factor for disease progression and loss of ambulation. The aim of our study was to investigate the possible effect of the time to rise from the floor test on the changes observed on the 6MWT over 12 months in a cohort of ambulant Duchenne boys.A total of 487 12-month data points were collected from 215 ambulant Duchenne boys. The age ranged between 5.0 and 20.0 years (mean 8.48 ±2.48 DS).The results of the time to rise from the floor at baseline ranged from 1.2 to 29.4 seconds in the boys who could perform the test. 49 patients were unable to perform the test at baseline and 87 at 12 month The 6MWT values ranged from 82 to 567 meters at baseline. 3 patients lost the ability to perform the 6mwt at 12 months. The correlation between time to rise from the floor and 6MWT at baseline was high (r = 0.6, p<0.01).Both time to rise from the floor and baseline 6MWT were relevant for predicting 6MWT changes in the group above the age of 7 years, with no interaction between the two measures, as the impact of time to rise from the floor on 6MWT change was similar in the patients below and above 350 m. Our results suggest that, time to rise from the floor can be considered an additional important prognostic factor of 12 month changes on the 6MWT and, more generally, of disease progression

    Benefits of glucocorticoids in non-ambulant boys/men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy: A multicentric longitudinal study using the Performance of Upper Limb test

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    The aim of this study was to establish the possible effect of glucocorticoid treatment on upper limb function in a cohort of 91 non-ambulant DMD boys and adults of age between 11 and 26 years. All 91 were assessed using the Performance of Upper Limb test. Forty-eight were still on glucocorticoid after loss of ambulation, 25 stopped steroids at the time they lost ambulation and 18 were GC naive or had steroids while ambulant for less than a year. At baseline the total scores ranged between 0 and 74 (mean 41.20). The mean total scores were 47.92 in the glucocorticoid group, 36 in those who stopped at loss of ambulation and 30.5 in the naive group (p <0.001). The 12-month changes ranged between -20 and 4 (mean -4.4). The mean changes were -3.79 in the glucocorticoid group, -5.52 in those who stopped at loss of ambulation and -4.44 in the naive group. This was more obvious in the patients between 12 and 18 years and at shoulder and elbow levels. Our findings suggest that continuing glucocorticoids throughout teenage years and adulthood after loss of ambulation appears to have a beneficial effect on upper limb function. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V

    Upper Limb Changes in DMD Patients Amenable to Skipping Exons 44, 45, 51 and 53: A 24-Month Study

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    Introduction: The Performance of Upper Limb version 2.0 (PUL 2.0) is increasingly used in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) to study longitudinal functional changes of motor upper limb function in ambulant and non-ambulant patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in upper limb functions in patients carrying mutations amenable to skipping exons 44, 45, 51 and 53. Methods: All DMD patients were assessed using the PUL 2.0 for at least 2 years, focusing on 24-month paired visits in those with mutations eligible for skipping exons 44, 45, 51 and 53. Results: 285 paired assessments were available. The mean total PUL 2.0 12-month change was -0.67 (2.80), -1.15 (3.98), -1.46 (3.37) and -1.95 (4.04) in patients carrying mutations amenable to skipping exon 44, 45, 51 and 53, respectively. The mean total PUL 2.0 24-month change was -1.47 (3.73), -2.78 (5.86), -2.95 (4.56) and -4.53 (6.13) in patients amenable to skipping exon 44, 45, 51 and 53, respectively. The difference in PUL 2.0 mean changes among the type of exon skip class for the total score was not significant at 12 months but was significant at 24 months for the total score (p 0.05). Conclusions: Our results expand the information on upper limb function changes detected by the PUL 2.0 in a relatively large group of DMD patients with distinct exon-skipping classes. This information can be of help when designing clinical trials or in the interpretation of the real world data including non-ambulant patients

    Systematic versus on-demand early palliative care: results from a multicentre, randomised clinical trial

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    Background Early palliative care (EPC) in oncology has been shown to have a positive impact on clinical outcome, quality-of-care outcomes, and costs. However, the optimal way for activating EPC has yet to be defined. Methods This prospective, multicentre, randomised study was conducted on 207 outpatients with metastatic or locally advanced inoperable pancreatic cancer. Patients were randomised to receive ‘standard cancer care plus on-demand EPC’ (n&nbsp;=&nbsp;100) or ‘standard cancer care plus systematic EPC’ (n&nbsp;=&nbsp;107). Primary outcome was change in quality of life (QoL) evaluated through the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – Hepatobiliary questionnaire between baseline (T0) and after 12 weeks (T1), in particular the integration of physical, functional, and Hepatic Cancer Subscale (HCS) combined in the Trial Outcome Index (TOI). Patient mood, survival, relatives' satisfaction with care, and indicators of aggressiveness of care were also evaluated. Findings The mean changes in TOI score and HCS score between T0 and T1 were −4.47 and −0.63, with a difference between groups of 3.83 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.10–7.57) (p&nbsp;=&nbsp;0.041), and −2.23 and 0.28 (difference between groups of 2.51, 95% CI 0.40–4.61, p&nbsp;=&nbsp;0.013), in favour of interventional group. QoL scores at T1 of TOI scale and HCS were 84.4 versus 78.1 (p&nbsp;=&nbsp;0.022) and 52.0 versus 48.2 (p&nbsp;=&nbsp;0.008), respectively, for interventional and standard arm. Until February 2016, 143 (76.9%) of the 186 evaluable patients had died. There was no difference in overall survival between treatment arms. Interpretations Systematic EPC in advanced pancreatic cancer patients significantly improved QoL with respect to on-demand EPC
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