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Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Olivieri F.,Marche Polytechnic University | Spazzafumo L.,Biostatistical Center | Santini G.,Marche Polytechnic University | Lazzarini R.,Marche Polytechnic University | And 10 more authors.
Mechanisms of Ageing and Development | Year: 2012

Circulating microRNAs (miRs) have been investigated as diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers in human diseases. However, little is known about their expression throughout the aging process.Eleven healthy individuals aged 20, 80 and 100. years underwent miR plasma profiling. The validation cohort consisted of 111 healthy adults (CTR) aged 20-105. years and included 30 centenarians. In addition, 34 patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 15 healthy centenarian offspring (CO) were enrolled.An exploratory factorial analysis grouped the miRs into three main factors: factor 1 primarily higher in 20-year-old subjects, but these differences did not reach statistical significance, factor 2 primarily higher in octogenarians and factor 3 primarily higher in centenarians. MiR-21, the most highly expressed miR of factors 2 and 3, was further validated, confirming the differences in the age groups. MiR-21 expression was higher in the CVD patients and lower in the CO compared to the age-matched CTR. MiR-21 was correlated with C-reactive protein and fibrinogen levels. TGF-β signaling was the predicted common pathway targeted by miRs of factors 2 and 3. TGF-βR2 mRNA, a validated miR-21 target, showed the highest expression in the leukocytes from a subset of the octogenarians.Our findings suggest that miR-21 may be a new biomarker of inflammation. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Mercante O.,INRCA | Gagliardi C.,INRCA | Spazzafumo L.,Biostatistical Center | Gaspari A.,INRCA | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine | Year: 2014

Aim. The study of the determinants of loss of autonomy during hospitalization may be valuable in the identification of the most effective interventions and to achieve better outcomes. The aim of this study was to describe changes in the level of autonomy of the elderly admitted to the hospital at the entrance and at discharge in relation to a rehabilitation program. Methods. Prospective observational study conducted at the INRCA Geriatric Hospital of Ancona. The study included patients aged 65 years and over, daily admitted to INRCA Hospital of Ancona between September and December 2010. Criteria for inclusion were age ≤ 65 years, length of stay > 24 hours and signed informed consent. Patients admitted for less than 24 hours or in day hospital or day surgery were excluded from the beginning. A total of 1266 elderly patients were recruited in the period. From this sample, 74 people who died during hospitalization were excluded. At the time of hospitalization (within 24 hours) and at discharge, patients were evaluated with the Barthel Index (BI), the Rankin scale, and a short assessment of cognitive status derived from the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). Results. Referring to 1192 subjects who participated to the study, the mean age was 82.13 years ±7.39, age range between 65 and 100 years. The average BI was 56.6±36.16 (SD) (median value =60) at admission and 63.84±34.7 (SD) (median value=70) at discharge. The average Rankin score at admission was 2.63±1.5 (SD) (median value=3). Conclusion. Patients presented better score of the BI at discharge and this figure was associated to the implementation of a rehabilitation treatment. Hospitalization of the elderly patient in a suitable environment, such as a geriatric hospital, contrary to some theories highlighting only the negative aspects of removal from the living environment, can be a measure of benefit for the reduction of disability and the recovery of compromised activities along and after the acute event. The collection of data on the level of autonomy of the subjects before and after hospitalization can be a useful element for clinical evaluation in a geriatric hospital. © 2014, Edizioni Minerva Medica. All rights reserved.

Lucertini F.,Urbino University | Spazzafumo L.,Biostatistical Center | de Lillo F.,Urbino University | Centonze D.,Urbino University | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Sport Science | Year: 2013

Physical education (PE) at school is an important starting point for long-term interventions improving quality of life in elderly. To evaluate the effectiveness of professionally led PE on motor and health-related abilities of Italian primary schoolchildren (3rd-5th graders), three schools were assigned to the experimental groups "A" (38 pupils, 17 M, 21 F) and "B" (37 pupils, 16 M, 21 F), and to control group "C" (26 pupils, 18 M, 8 F). All groups underwent a six-month, twice-a-week (60 min each session) PE intervention. The PE program of the EGs was age-tailored, included strength training and was administered by specialised teachers. Group A and B programs differed in the strength training devices used, while they were identical in terms of training load. The control group program was not structured and administered by generalist teachers. At baseline and follow-up, children underwent a motor and health-related abilities test battery. At follow-up, children in group C gained significantly more weight than children in the EGs and scored significantly less than the children in the EGs in the following assessments: counter movement jump (C:+0.15% vs. A:+4.1% and B:+6.99%), plate tapping (C:+13.56% vs. A:+19.37% and B:+36.12%), sit-and-reach (C:-311.15% vs. B:+409.57%), pinch strength (C:+2.39% vs. B:+10.83, on average) and sit-up (C:+29.69% vs. A:+72.61%). In conclusion, specialist-led pupils demonstrated greater increases in some motor and health-related abilities tests compared to generalist-led peers, while different strength training devices produced comparable increases of strength in both EGs. © 2013 Copyright European College of Sport Science.

Van de Perre V.,Catholic University of Leuven | Permentier L.,Catholic University of Leuven | De Bie S.,VLAM vzw | Verbeke G.,Biostatistical Center | Geers R.,Catholic University of Leuven
Meat Science | Year: 2010

A total of 12,725 pigs originating from 90 transports were followed up at 17 Belgian commercial slaughterhouses. The effects of several pre-slaughter parameters concerning transport, unloading, lairage, pig handling, stunning and season on fresh meat quality based on pH measurements 30. minutes (min) after slaughter were investigated. Meat quality was measured on 4285 pigs. Ten pre-slaughter parameters had a significant effect on meat pH after separate introduction of the variable as a fixed effect in the model. Simultaneous analysis of these variables in the global model revealed that the pH was influenced by four main risk factors, namely the mean noise level produced during unloading, the percentage of panting pigs, the use of an electric prod and season. Meat quality in terms of the percentage of potentially PSE carcasses was better in summer than spring or autumn and could be explained by a lower observed pre-stunning stress in summer. © 2010 The American Meat Science Association.

Raccichini A.,Neurology Unit | Spazzafumo L.,Biostatistical Center | Castellani S.,Neurology Unit | Civerchia P.,Neurology Unit | Pelliccioni G.,Neurology Unit
American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias | Year: 2015

The objective of our study was to demonstrate that living with a person affected by mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease can lead to an increased perception of the caregiver's burden using the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI). The sample consisted of 153 dyads, caregiver-patient. At baseline, a greater perception of the caregiver's burden was observed in the live-in caregivers. A further increase in the total burden of the live-in caregivers was noticed at the 6-month follow-up. More specifically, with the inclusion of correction factors such as the caregiver's age and the CBI subscales at baseline, the social and emotional burden becomes statistically significant (P <.001). The present paper confirms our hypothesis that live-in caregivers perceive a greater burden than nonlive-in, and this difference increases further after 6 months. The difference in involvement between live-in and nonlive-in caregivers could be the foundation to tailor more specific interventions. © The Author(s) 2015.

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