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Monte Porzio Catone, Italy

Barone A.,Freelance | Piccioni R.,Italian Workers Compensation Authority
Proceedings of Forum Acusticum | Year: 2014

The school gymnasium are often characterized by an unfavourable acoustic climate. The effectiveness of speech communication is deeply restricted because of the very poor intelligibility rating; moreover this acoustic climate produces a remarkable stress level, particularly to the teachers, that spend the most part of their working time in these environments. The cause of this situation consists of several factors, that have been carefully analysed: The raised level of background noise, due to the sound pollution coming from outside, that is mainly originated by road traffic. The room sizes, that are lower than the ones prescribed by the law. Physical activities take place in environments originally designed for different purposes, because of the few resources available for the educational sector. The raised noise levels due to overcrowding. For the above mentioned reasons very often the gyms give hospitality to the pupils of other close schools at the same time. The poor acoustic absorption, as evidenced by the high reverberation times data. The surfaces of the environments are very reflective, because of the lacking in interventions for improving the acoustic quality. The noise levels at which teachers and students are exposed to, are lower compared with the limits ratified by the law; nevertheless they determine a very high psychological disease; moreover the teachers show problems with their vocal cords, because of the vocal effort they perform to make their voice more intelligible; this effort has no significant effect on the speech communication. In this paper we present the results of acoustic quality assessment, performed in a school gym in Rome, and a proposal to improve the acoustic comfort that can be carried out quickly and a relatively low cost.

Tinelli E.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Francia A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Quartuccio E.M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Morreale M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Neuroradiology | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Psychiatric symptoms occur in approximately 30% of patients with MS. Such symptoms include OCD, which may interfere heavily with the patient's daily life. We hypothesized that the widespread involvement of both GM and WM, which characterizes MS, may be responsible for the occurrence of OCD when specific brain structures are affected. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between GM and WM tissue damage and OCD in patients with MS. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We evaluated 16 patients with relapsing-remitting MS who had been diagnosed with OCD on the basis of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition) and 15 age- and sex-matched patients with relapsing-remitting MS with no psychiatric disorders as a CG. The MR study (1.5T) included 3D T1-weighted fast-field echo sequences, DTI (32 directions), and conventional MRI. Images were processed using SPM5, FSL, and Jim 5.0 software to evaluate VBM, TBSS, and global and regional LV, respectively. RESULTS: The VBM analysis revealed a set of clusters of reduced GM volume in the OCD group, compared with the CG, located in the right inferior and middle temporal gyri and in the inferior frontal gyrus. TBSS did not detect any differences in the FA values between the 2 groups; global and regional LV values also did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that OCD in MS may be caused by damage in the right frontotemporal cortex.

De Lazzari C.,R.O.S.A. | De Lazzari C.,National Institute of Cardiovascular Research | Del Prete E.,Italian Workers Compensation Authority | Genuini I.,National Institute of Cardiovascular Research | And 3 more authors.
Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine | Year: 2013

In silico modeling of the cardiovascular system (CVS) can help both in understanding pharmacological or pathophysiological process and in providing information which could not be obtained by means of traditional clinical research methods due to practical or ethical reasons. In this work the numerical CVS was used to study the effect of interaction between mechanical ventilation and biventricular pacemaker by haemodynamic and energetic point of view. Starting from literature data on patients with intra and/or inter-ventricular activation time delay and treated using biventricular pacemaker, we used in silico simulator to analyse the effects induced by mechanical ventilatory assistance (MVA). After reproducing baseline and CRT conditions, the MVA was simulated changing the mean intrathoracic pressure value. Results show that simultaneous application of CRT and MVA yields a reduction of cardiac output, left ventricular end-diastolic and end-systolic volume when positive mean intrathoracic pressure is applied. In the same conditions, when MVA is applied, left ventricular ejection fraction, mean left (right) atrial and pulmonary arterial pressure increase. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Mrema E.J.,University of Milan | Mrema E.J.,Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences | Rubino F.M.,University of Milan | Mandic-Rajcevic S.,University of Milan | And 6 more authors.
Human and Experimental Toxicology | Year: 2013

Despite extensive use of organochlorinated pesticides (OCPs) such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in Italy in the 1940s to 1970s, especially for public health control ofmalariamosquitoes, information on their exposure levels among the general population is limited. TheseOCPs can be a source of health risk to human. A total of 137 blood sampleswere collected fromresidents of the general population of three Italian towns,Novafeltria, Pavia and Milan, to determine the levels of eightOCPs in blood serum. The concentrations of beta-hexachlorocyclohexane, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), 1,1-dichloro-2-(o- chlorophenyl)-2-(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene, 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)-ethylene (p,p'-DDE), 1,1-dichloro-2-(o-chlorophenyl)-2-(p- chlorophenyl)ethane, 1,1-dichloro- 2,2-bis (4-chlorophenyl)ethane, 1,1,1-trichloro-2-(o-chlorophenyl)-2-(p-chlorophenyl)-ethane and 1,1,1-trichloro- 2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethane were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Variations in serum concentrations of OCPs with respect to place of residence, gender, age and body mass index (BMI) were evaluated by non-parametric tests. p,p'-DDE and HCB were the most abundant and major contributors of total OCP concentration. Their levels differed significantly between the three towns with a trend Milan > Novafeltria > Pavia ( p < 0.0001). Females had significantly higher concentrations of HCB and p,p'-DDE than males in the overall population sample.HCB concentrations were significantly higher in females than in males ofMilan (p=0.029).We observed positive correlations of p,p'-DDE and HCB with age in Novafeltria subjects (r = 0.468, p = 0.004). Total OCP concentrations differed significantly across BMI categories (p = 0.018) in overall population. We have demonstrated a clear pattern of themainOCPs in a fairly large population. Generally, our study provides information on OCPs exposure among the Italian general population and provides indications for further investigations. © The Author(s) 2013.

Barone A.,Independent Professional | Piccioni R.,Italian Workers Compensation Authority
22nd International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2015 | Year: 2015

This study is about the acoustic improvement of a call center made up of six open-space areas. This kind of environment must have all the necessary requirements for a place dedicated to continuous telephone contact with users. Adequate soundproofing of different workstations must be provided, to ensure good sound quality through the headphones and avoid an unfavourable acoustic environment where operators have to make excessive vocal effort. Aim of the project is to examine and evaluate acoustic comfort parameters, mainly background noise and reverberation time. As regards the first parameter, measurement results have been compared with reference "curves" defining acoustic suitability of different types of environment, related to their characteristics and uses. Moreover, reverberation time values have been compared with reference optimal threshold values for these environments. Based on our measurements, environments were characterized by considerable background noise, impulsive tones and high reverberation times. Therefore, an improvement plan was proposed based on the application of sound absorbing panels. The improvement plan was gradually optimized by applying panels on increasingly large surfaces while monitoring results until achieving the best possible performance. To this purpose, prediction models were used which were tested based on actual in situ reverberation times, during the different panel application steps. Noise measurements performed after the improvement were good and confirmed the effectiveness of the plan.

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