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Pomponi M.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Pomponi M.,Centro Studi Achille e Linda Lorenzon | Loria G.,Institute of Neurology | Salvati S.,Istituto Superiore di Sanita | And 10 more authors.
Basal Ganglia | Year: 2014

A growing importance has been placed on the recognition and supervision of non-motor features of Parkinson's disease (PD). Depression has been estimated to affect one in three individuals with PD and can lead to worse health outcomes and decreased quality of life. Anxiety, apathy and anhedonia further complicate PD outcomes. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, participants (individuals with mild to moderate PD; n=24) were randomly assigned to treatment (800. mg/d docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and 290. mg/d eicosapentaenoic acid, a precursor to DHA) or placebo (an equicaloric amount of corn oil). Treatment duration was 6 months. Treatment had no statistically significant effect on rate of change on either Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale or Hoehn-Yahr Scale score. However, 75% of DHA-treated patients, reduced Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression total score by at least 50%, compared with only 25% into the placebo group. At the end of the six-month study, DHA integration reduced the depressive symptoms. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. Source

Schiattarella A.,Institute of Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry | Spanu T.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Zuppi C.,Institute of Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry | Quraishi S.A.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Quraishi S.A.,Harvard University
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2016

A relationship between vitamin D status and mortality in patients in intensive care units (ICU) has been documented. The present study aims to describe the clinical profile and sepsis-related outcome of critically ill septic patients with extremely low (<7 ng/mL) vitamin D levels at ICU admission. We conducted an observational study in the ICU of a teaching hospital including all patients admitted with severe sepsis/septic shock and undergoing 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) testing within the first 24 hours from admission. We studied 107 patients over 12 months. At ICU admission vitamin D deficiency (≤20 ng/mL) was observed in 93.5% of the patients: 57 (53.3%) showed levels <7 ng/mL. As primary outcome, sepsis-related mortality rate was higher in patients with vitamin D levels <7 ng/mL (50.9% versus 26%). Multivariate regression analysis showed that vitamin D concentration <7 ng/mL on ICU admission (p 0.01) and higher mean SAPS II (p <0.01) score were independent predictors of sepsis-related mortality. Patients with very low vitamin D levels suffered higher rate of microbiologically confirmed infections but a lower percentage of microbiological eradication with respect to patients whose values were >7 ng/mL (80.7% versus 58%, p 0.02; 35.3% versus 68%; p 0.03, respectively). Post hoc analysis showed that, in the extremely low vitamin D group, the 52 patients with pneumonia showed a longer duration of mechanical ventilation (9 days (3.75-12.5 days) versus 4 days (2-9 days), p 0.04) and the 66 with septic shock needed vasopressor support for a longer period of time (7 days (4-10 days) versus 4 days (2-7.25 days), p 0.02). Our results suggest that in critical septic patients extremely low vitamin D levels on admission may be a major determinant of clinical outcome. Benefits of vitamin D replacement therapy in this population should be elucidated. © 2015 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Source

Amorini A.M.,Institute of Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry | Nociti V.,Catholic University of Rome | Petzold A.,Medical Center | Gasperini C.,S Camillo Forlanini Hospital | And 9 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease | Year: 2014

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a primary inflammatory demyelinating disease associated with a probably secondary progressive neurodegenerative component. Impaired mitochondrial functioning has been hypothesized to drive neurodegeneration and to cause increased anaerobic metabolism in MS. The aim of our multicentre study was to determine whether MS patients had values of circulating lactate different from those of controls. Patients (n=613) were recruited, assessed for disability and clinically classified (relapsing-remitting, secondary progressive, primary progressive) at the Catholic University of Rome, Italy (n=281), at the MS Centre Amsterdam, The Netherlands (n=158) and at the S. Camillo Forlanini Hospital, Rome, Italy (n=174). Serum lactate levels were quantified spectrophotometrically with the analyst being blinded to all clinical information. In patients with MS serum lactate was three times higher (3.04±1.26mmol/l) than that of healthy controls (1.09±0.25mmol/l, p<0.0001) and increased across clinical groups, with higher levels in cases with a progressive than with a relapsing-remitting disease course. In addition, there was a linear correlation between serum lactate levels and the expanded disability scale (EDSS) (R2=0.419; p<0.001). These data support the hypothesis that mitochondrial dysfunction is an important feature in MS and of particular relevance to the neurodegenerative phase of the disease. Measurement of serum lactate in MS might be a relative inexpensive test for longitudinal monitoring of "virtual hypoxia" in MS and also a secondary outcome for treatment trials aimed to improve mitochondrial function in patients with MS. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Pomponi M.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Janiri L.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | La Torre G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Di Stasio E.,Institute of Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Psychiatric Research | Year: 2013

Epidemiological studies suggest that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 FA) deficiency is a risk factor for bipolar disorders (BDs). The aim of this study was to determine whether such a deficit does exist in patients with BD and to characterize the overall plasma fatty acid (FA) profile in these patients. Using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, we measured fasting plasma levels of 15 FAs in 42 patients diagnosed with BD according to DSM-IV criteria and in 57 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Plasma docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels were significantly decreased in bipolar patients (p < 0.001 versus healthy controls). Compared with controls, patients had higher plasma levels of all other FAs, including arachidonic acid (AA, p < 0.001), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, p < 0.001), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (p < 0.001). Although in the present study we observed significant DHA deficits in the plasma of bipolar patients our findings do not support the therapeutic use of ALA and/or EPA supplementation. DHA may provide a basis for possible pharmacological intervention in psychiatric disorders at the level of second messengers linked to the phosphatidylinositol cycle. Finally, measurement of FA levels in plasma seems to be more reliable and reproducible than assays of erythrocyte FA content. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Ruggiero A.,Catholic University of Rome | De Rosa G.,Catholic University | Rizzo D.,Catholic University of Rome | Leo A.,Catholic University | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2013

Background: Despite significant improvements in the prognosis of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the risk of anthracycline-induced cardiovascular disease remains a major concern. This study was designed to investigate the role of the myocardial performance index (MPI) and serum concentrations of biomarkers (cTnT and NT-pro-BNP) in the early detection of subclinical anthracycline-induced functional alterations in children with ALL. Methods: All children consecutively admitted to our Pediatric Oncologic Department from January 2009 to October 2010 with a diagnosis of ALL were enrolled in this study. cTnT and NT-pro-BNP were evaluated in all patients at diagnosis, before doxorubicin therapy and 2 and 24 h following each anthracycline administration. ECG and echocardiography were performed at diagnosis and 24 h after each anthracycline course. Results: Nineteen children with standard-risk ALL were evaluated. The mean age was 6 years. The cumulative doxorubicin dosage was 240 mg/m2 according to the AIEOP (Associazione Italiana Ematologia Oncologia Pediatrica) ALL 2000 protocol. None of the 19 patients developed congestive heart failure. With increasing cumulative dosages of anthracyclines a significant increase was observed in MPI. This increase was statistically significant starting from the cumulative dosage of 120 mg/m 2 compared to baseline, while the median NT-pro-BNP level did not change significantly during treatment and cTnT levels never exceeded the cut-off value for cardiac injury. Conclusion: MPI value is a sensitive and accurate parameter, allowing subclinical cardiac dysfunction to be detected in children receiving anthracyclines. Lifelong cardiac surveillance of these patients is warranted in order to determine the clinical implications of increased MPI on long-term cardiac status. © 2012 Japan Society of Clinical Oncology. Source

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