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San Raffaele Cimena, Italy

Bovolenta F.,Medicine Rehabilitation NOCSAE Hospital AUSL of Modena | Sale P.,IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana | Dall'Armi V.,Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology | Clerici P.,Medicine Rehabilitation NOCSAE Hospital AUSL of Modena | Franceschini M.,IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation | Year: 2011

This study was aimed at verifying the improvement on the motor impairment and functionality in 19 patients with chronic hemiparesis after stroke treated with a robot-aided rehabilitation protocol using the ReoGo system (Motorika Medical Ltd, Israel), and at evaluating the persistence of the effects after 1 month. The study also focused on the actual possibility of administering the robot-aided therapy with the ReoGo for the upper limbs and on the patients' degree of acceptance and compliance with the treatment. Subjects underwent an assessment prior to the start of the rehabilitation project (T-1), one at the start (T0), one at the end of the treatment (T1) and one after one month from the end of the treatment (T2). The following tests were administered: (i) Fugl-Meyer (FM) upper limb; Ashworth scale (AS); Functional Independence Measure (FIM) (T-1 - T2); (ii) strength evaluation; Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain; Frenchay Arm test (FAT); Box and Block test (BBT); Timed Up and Go (TUG) test (T0 - T2). Additionally, the Euro-QoL questionnaire and a VAS for the treatment satisfaction were administered to the subjects. Non-statistical difference of scores at T-1 and T0 on almost the entire battery of tasks suggested a stable patients' performance prior to the start of the rehabilitation. With the exception of the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the AS sub-scales measuring -as appropriate- strength and spasticity of the shoulder, triceps and wrist, all scores showed a significant increase between T0 and T1. The improvement on the pain could not be proved significant (p = 0.10). A significant increase between T0 and T2 was found for all assessment scores, with the exception of the MRC for external shoulder rotators (p = 0.05) and of the AS for shoulder (p = 0.32) and wrist (p = 0.08). Substantial stability was observed between T1 and T2. Patients were capable of completing the treatment and showed good participant satisfaction. This pilot study led to the finding of a clinical improvement and excellent patients compliance. It is possible that the learning process experienced by the patients was robot-dependent, especially in consideration of the general maintenance of the achievements observed on all activities. © 2011 Bovolenta et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Scaruffi P.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Stigliani S.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Coco S.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Valdora F.,University of Genoa | And 3 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2010

Background: Ultra Conserved Regions (UCRs) are a class of 481 noncoding sequences located in both intra- and inter-genic regions of the genome. The recent findings that they are significantly altered in adult chronic lymphocytic leukemias, carcinomas, and pediatric neuroblastomas lead to the hypothesis that UCRs may play a role in tumorigenesis.Results: We present a novel application of Ribo-SPIA™ isothermal linear amplification of minute RNA quantities for quantifying Transcribed-UCR (T-UCR) expression by quantitative PCR. Direct comparison of non-amplified with amplified cDNA in two neuroblastoma cell lines showed that the amplification approach increases sensitivity and repeatability in T-UCR quantification. It is noteworthy that the Ribo-SPIA™ step allowed us to analyze all 481 T-UCRs by using 150 ng of RNA, while introducing a minimal bias and preserving the magnitude of relative expression. Only the less abundant T-UCRs have high intra-assay variability, consistently with the Poisson distribution statistics and stochastic effects on PCR repeatability.Conclusions: We demonstrated that the quantification procedure shown here is an accurate and reliable technique for genome-wide non coding gene (i.e., UCRs) profiling using small amounts of RNA. This issue is particularly important because studies of transcription regulation are increasingly conducted in small homogeneous samples, such as laser capture microdissected or sorted cell populations. © 2010 Scaruffi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Zampolini M.,ASL no | Zaccaria B.,University of Parma | Tolli V.,Institute San Raffaele Velletri | Frustaci A.,Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology | Franceschini M.,IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana
Brain Injury | Year: 2012

Objectives: The aims of this study were to analyse TBI rehabilitation in Italy, identifying the main factors conditioning motor and functional recovery and destination upon discharge of traumatic severe acquired brain injury (sABI) patients who had undergone intensive rehabilitative treatment. Design: An observational prospective study of 863 consecutive patients admitted to 52 Rehabilitation Centres from January 2001 to December 2003. Results: The main cause of trauma was road accidents (79.8%), the mean length of stay was 87.31±77.26 days and 40.4% access to rehabilitation facilities after a month. Pressure sore rates fell from 26.1% to 6.6% during the rehabilitation programme. After discharge 615 patients returned home, whilst 212 were admitted to other health facilities. Discussion: This study highlights some major criticisms of rehabilitation of TBI. The delay of admission and evitable complications such as pressure sores are correlated to a worse outcome. While LOS causes a problem of cost-effectiveness, the rate of home discharge is prevalent and very high compared with other studies. © 2012 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved. Source

Giaquinto S.,Scientific Direction | Bruti L.,Outpatients Rehabilitation Center | Dall'Armi V.,Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology | Palma E.,Outpatients Rehabilitation Center | Spiridigliozzi C.,Outpatients Rehabilitation Center
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry | Year: 2011

Objective Personality changes are known to occur in idiopathic Parkinson's Disease (PD). The aim of the study was to evaluate whether religious and spiritual beliefs in PD patients are different from age-matched controls. Design Eighty-three PD participants, 79 hypertensive individuals not affected by PD and 88 healthy subjects participated to a cross-sectional study. The Royal Free Interview (RFI) was used to evaluate participants' beliefs. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was applied to monitor emotional distress. Results There was no statistical evidence of a difference between PD participants and the two control groups, the only exception being observed between the left PD onset group and the controls, where the total RFI score was about 5 points higher (t-test: p = 0.0273). RFI total score was uncorrelated with age, severity of illness and depression, but was strongly dependent on the type of beliefs. The percentage of PD participants suffering from anxiety and depression was high (right onset: 54.8%; left onset: 68.6%), while only 15.2% of the hypertensive participants, and none of the healthy controls, had a HADS score above 10 points. Total RFI score was higher in women. Conclusion PD participants maintain their Faith in spite of the disease severity. Differences are found between right and left onset of PD. The possible beneficial effect of religious coping is discussed. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Ceppi M.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Gallo F.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Bonassi S.,Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology
Mutagenesis | Year: 2011

The most common study design performed in population studies based on the micronucleus (MN) assay, is the cross-sectional study, which is largely performed to evaluate the DNA damaging effects of exposure to genotoxic agents in the workplace, in the environment, as well as from diet or lifestyle factors. Sample size is still a critical issue in the design of MN studies since most recent studies considering gene-environment interaction, often require a sample size of several hundred subjects, which is in many cases difficult to achieve. The control of confounding is another major threat to the validity of causal inference. The most popular confounders considered in population studies using MN are age, gender and smoking habit. Extensive attention is given to the assessment of effect modification, given the increasing inclusion of biomarkers of genetic susceptibility in the study design. Selected issues concerning the statistical treatment of data have been addressed in this mini-review, starting from data description, which is a critical step of statistical analysis, since it allows to detect possible errors in the dataset to be analysed and to check the validity of assumptions required for more complex analyses. Basic issues dealing with statistical analysis of biomarkers are extensively evaluated, including methods to explore the dose-response relationship among two continuous variables and inferential analysis. A critical approach to the use of parametric and non-parametric methods is presented, before addressing the issue of most suitable multivariate models to fit MN data. In the last decade, the quality of statistical analysis of MN data has certainly evolved, although even nowadays only a small number of studies apply the Poisson model, which is the most suitable method for the analysis of MN data. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the UK Environmental Mutagen Society. All rights reserved. Source

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