Athens, Greece

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens , usually referred to simply as the University of Athens, has been in continuous operation since its establishment in 1837. It is the oldest higher education institution in the modern Greek state. Wikipedia.


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Oikonomou K.,Ionian University | Stavrakakis I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications | Year: 2010

Service placement is a key problem in communication networks as it determines how efficiently the user service demands are supported. This problem has been traditionally approached through the formulation and resolution of large optimization problems requiring global knowledge and a continuous recalculation of the solution in case of network changes. Such approaches are not suitable for large-scale and dynamic network environments. In this paper, the problem of determining the optimal location of a service facility is revisited and addressed in a way that is both scalable and deals inherently with network dynamicity. In particular, service migration which enables service facilities to move between neighbor nodes towards more communication cost-effective positions, is based on local information. The migration policies proposed in this work are analytically shown to be capable of moving a service facility between neighbor nodes in a way that the cost of service provision is reduced and - under certain conditions - the service facility reaches the optimal (cost minimizing) location, and locks in there as long as the environment does not change; as network conditions change, the migration process is automatically resumed, thus, naturally responding to network dynamicity under certain conditions. The analytical findings of this work are also supported by simulation results that shed some additional light on the behavior and effectiveness of the proposed policies. © 2010 IEEE.


Itsios G.,University of Patras | Sfetsos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Siampos K.,University of Mons | Torrielli A.,University of Surrey
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2014

We construct the Lax-pair, the classical monodromy matrix and the corresponding solution of the Yang-Baxter equation, for a two-parameter deformation of the Principal chiral model for a simple group. This deformation includes as a one-parameter subset, a class of integrable gauged WZW-type theories interpolating between the WZW model and the non-Abelian T-dual of the principal chiral model. We derive in full detail the Yangian algebra using two independent methods: by computing the algebra of the non-local charges and alternatively through an expansion of the Maillet brackets for the monodromy matrix. As a byproduct, we also provide a detailed general proof of the Serre relations for the Yangian symmetry. © 2014 The Authors.Published by Elsevier B.V.


Kolomvatsos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Anagnostopoulos C.,Ionian University | Hadjiefthymiades S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology | Year: 2012

Future Web business models involve virtual environments where entities interact in order to sell or buy information goods. Such environments are known as Information Markets (IMs). Intelligent agents are used in IMs for representing buyers or information providers (sellers). We focus on the decisions taken by the buyer in the purchase negotiation process with sellers. We propose a reasoning mechanism on the offers (prices of information goods) issued by sellers based on fuzzy logic. The buyer's knowledge on the negotiation process is modeled through fuzzy sets. We propose a fuzzy inference engine dealing with the decisions that the buyer takes on each stage of the negotiation process. The outcome of the proposed reasoning method indicates whether the buyer should accept or reject the sellers' offers. Our findings are very promising for the efficiency of automated transactions undertaken by intelligent agents. © 2012 ACM.


Duntas L.H.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Benvenga S.,Messina University
Endocrine | Year: 2015

This review aims to illustrate the importance of selenium (Se) for maintenance of overall health, especially for the thyroid, immunity, and homeostasis. Furthermore, it outlines the role of Se in reproduction and in virology and discusses the effects of Se supplementation in critical illness. The multifaceted aspects of this essential nutrient have attracted worldwide clinical and research interest in the last few decades. Se exerts its activity in the form of the aminoacid selenocysteine incorporated in selenoproteins. The impact of Se administration should be considered in relation to its apparent U shaped effects, i.e., exhibiting major advantages in Se-deficient individuals but specific health risks in those with Se excess. Addition of selenium to the administration of levothyroxine may be useful in patients with low Se intake and with mild-form or early-stage Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT). Serum Se concentration (possibly also at tissue level) decreases in inflammatory conditions and may vary with the severity and duration of the inflammatory process. In such cases, the effect of Se supplementation seems to be useful and rational. Meanwhile, Se’s ability to improve the activity of T cells and the cytotoxicity of natural killer cells could render it effective in viral disease. However, the evidence, and this should be stressed, is at present conflicting as to whether Se supplementation is of benefit in patients with HT, though there are indications that it is advantageous in cases of mild/moderate Graves’ Orbitopathy. The role of Se in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is ambiguous, driven by both Se intake and serum levels. The evidence that insulin and glycaemia influence the transport and activity of Se, via regulatory activity on selenoproteins, and that high serum Se may have a diabetogenic effect suggests a ‘Janus-effect’ of Se in T2DM. Though the evidence is not as yet clear-cut, the organic form (selenomethionine), due to its pharmacokinetics, is likely to be more advantageous in long-term prevention, and supplementation efforts, while the inorganic form (sodium selenite) has proven effective in an acute, e.g., sepsis, clinical setting. Recent data indicate that functional selenoprotein single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may interfere with Se utilization and effectiveness. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Locarnini S.,Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory | Hatzakis A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Chen D.-S.,National Taiwan University Hospital | Lok A.,University of Michigan
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2015

The last 50 years of hepatitis B research has resulted in the development of effective screening assays for surveillance, vaccines for prevention and antiviral drugs that significantly improve patient clinical outcomes. Not surprisingly then, the global epidemiology of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is set to change dramatically over the next decade. For example, the success and the high coverage of universal HBV vaccination and the ageing cohorts of patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) will result in reductions of incidence and prevalence of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and probably hepatocellular carcinoma. This will be further accelerated by the impressive progress in the treatment outcomes for patients with CHB. In spite of this success, challenges remain, such as planning for the impact of migration from countries with high prevalence rates to those countries with low rates of HBV infection. The recent establishment of the World Health Organisation Global Hepatitis Program with the provision of a framework for global action has become the cornerstone for all countries to now frame their own particular national responses to control hepatitis B. An effective policy framework can prevent new infections, ensure people can access clinical care, and in doing so reduce the burden of infection at an individual, country and regional level. These developments present a real opportunity to reduce the significant, social and economic burden of global hepatitis B, ultimately the critical next steps to render the world hepatitis B free. © 2015 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Sfetsos K.,University of Surrey | Sfetsos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2014

We derive two new classes of integrable theories interpolating between exact CFT WZW or gauged WZW models and non-Abelian T-duals of principal chiral models or geometric coset models. They are naturally constructed by gauging symmetries of integrable models. Our analysis implies that non-Abelian T-duality preserves integrability and suggests a novel way to understand the global properties of the corresponding backgrounds. © 2014 The Author.


Terpos E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Dimopoulos M.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Berenson J.,Institute for Myeloma and Bone Research
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology | Year: 2011

Patients with advanced multiple myeloma (MM) often have increased osteolytic activity of osteoclasts and impaired osteogenesis by osteoblasts, resulting in osteolytic bone lesions that increase the risk of skeletal-related events (SREs) including pathologic fracture, the need for radiotherapy or surgery to bone, and spinal cord compression. Such SREs are potentially life-limiting, and can reduce patients' functional independence and quality of life. Bisphosphonates (e.g., oral clodronate and intravenous pamidronate and zoledronic acid) can inhibit osteoclast-mediated osteolysis, thereby reducing the risk of SREs, ameliorating bone pain, and potentially prolonging survival in patients with MM. Extensive clinical experience demonstrates that bisphosphonates are generally well tolerated, and common adverse events are typically mild and manageable. Studies are ongoing to optimize the timing and duration of bisphosphonate therapy in patients with bone lesions from MM. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Chroneos A.,Imperial College London | Londos C.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Sgourou E.N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Pochet P.,CEA Grenoble
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2011

We investigate the impact of tin doping on the formation of vacancy-oxygen pairs (VO or A-centers) and their conversion to VO 2 clusters in electron-irradiated silicon. The experimental results are consistent with previous reports that Sn doping suppresses the formation of the A-center. We introduce a model to account for the observed differences under both Sn-poor and Sn-rich doping conditions. Using density functional theory calculations, we propose point defect engineering strategies to reduce the concentration of the deleterious A-centers in silicon. We predict that doping with lead, zirconium, or hafnium will lead to the suppression of the A-centers. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.


Souras N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
International Orthopaedics | Year: 2013

Osteochondral lesion of the talus (OLT) is a broad term used to describe an injury or abnormality of the talar articular cartilage and adjacent bone. A variety of terms have been used to refer to this clinical entity, including osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), osteochondral fracture and osteochondral defect. Whether OLT is a precursor to more generalised arthrosis of the ankle remains unclear, but the condition is often symptomatic enough to warrant treatment. In more than one third of cases, conservative treatment is unsuccessful, and surgery is indicated. There is a wide variety of treatment strategies for osteochondral defects of the ankle, with new techniques that have substantially increased over the last decade. The common treatment strategies of symptomatic osteochondral lesions include nonsurgical treatment, with rest, cast immobilisation and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Surgical options are lesion excision, excision and curettage, excision combined with curettage and microfracturing, filling the defect with autogenous cancellous bone graft, antegrade (transmalleolar) drilling, retrograde drilling, fixation and techniques such as osteochondral transplantation [osteochondral autograft transfer system (OATS)] and autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI). Furthermore, smaller lesions are symptomatic and when left untreated, OCDs can progress; current treatment strategies have not solved this problem. The target of these treatment strategies is to relieve symptoms and improve function. Publications on the efficacy of these treatment strategies vary. In most cases, several treatment options are viable, and the choice of treatment is based on defect type and size and preferences of the treating clinician. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Al-Dashti H.,Directorate General of Kuwait Civil Aviation | Spyrou C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2014

Dust aerosols are analyzed for their optical and physical properties during an episode of a dust storm that blew over Kuwait on 26 March 2003 when the military Operation Iraqi Freedom was in full swing. The intensity of the dust storm was such that it left a thick suspension of dust throughout the following day, 27 March. The synoptic sequence leading to the dust storm and the associated wind fields are discussed. Ground-based measurements of aerosol optical thickness reached 3.617 and 4.17 on 26 and 27 March respectively while the Ångstrom coefficient, α870/440, dropped to -0.0234 and -0.0318. Particulate matter concentration of 10 Ǐ1/4m diameter or less, PM10, peaked at 4800 Ǐ1/4g m-3 during dust storm hours of 26 March. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) retrieved aerosol optical depth (AOD) by Deep Blue algorithm and Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) aerosol index (AI) exhibited high values. Latitude-longitude maps of AOD and AI were used to deduce source regions of dust transport over Kuwait. The vertical profile of the dust layer was simulated using the SKIRON atmospheric model. Instantaneous net direct radiative forcing is calculated at top of atmosphere (TOA) and surface level. The thick dust layer of 26 March resulted in cooling the TOA by -60 Wm-2 and surface level by -175 Wm-2 for a surface albedo of 0.35. Slightly higher values were obtained for 27 March due to the increase in aerosol optical thickness. Radiative heating/cooling rates in the shortwave and longwave bands were also examined. Shortwave heating rate reached a maximum value of 2 K day-1 between 3 and 5 km, dropped to 1.5 K day-1 at 6 km and diminished at 8 km. Longwave radiation initially heated the lower atmosphere by a maximum value of 0.2 K day-1 at surface level, declined sharply at increasing altitude and diminished at 4 km. Above 4 km longwave radiation started to cool the atmosphere slightly reaching a maximum rate of -0.1 K day-1 at 6 km. © Author(s) 2014.


Voulgarelis M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Current Opinion in Rheumatology | Year: 2012

The encouraging biological insights into the autoimmune component of MDS pathophysiology can lead to the development of novel forms of treatment for controlling MDS process. MDS with AIMs constitute an ideal model in the investigation of disordered immune function in preleukemic states. Copyright © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Dilis V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Trichopoulou A.,Hellenic Health Foundation
Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2010

Antioxidants are compounds physiologically produced or provided through the diet with a potential to inhibit the oxidation of important biological molecules, such as proteins, lipids, and DNA. The contemporary Greek diet is still strongly influenced by Mediterranean dietary traditions. The traditional Mediterranean diet (MD) is a plant-based diet with apparently beneficial health properties, to which a high antioxidant content may contribute. To explore this issue in detail, a database of the content of >200 Greek foods and recipes for a wide spectrum of antioxidant compounds and indices (flavonoids, proanthocyannidins, other antioxidant microcomponents, and total antioxidant capacity) was developed. The database enabled the estimation of antioxidant intakes in Greece using the population-based European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, in which >28,000 Greeks participate. The results of this work suggest that the contemporaryMD in the Greek population is a rich source of a variety of antioxidants. These data can be used in studies about the relationship between antioxidant intake and chronic diseases in the Greek population. © 2010 American Society for Nutrition.


Ramos-Casals M.,Sjogren Syndrome Research Group AGAUR | Tzioufas A.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Stone J.H.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Siso A.,Primary Care Research Group | Bosch X.,Hospital Clinic
JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association | Year: 2010

Context: A variety of topical and systemic drugs are available to treat primary Sjögren syndrome, although no evidence-based therapeutic guidelines are currently available. Objective: To summarize evidence on primary Sjögren syndrome drug therapy from randomized controlled trials. Data Sources: We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for articles on drug therapy for primary Sjögren syndrome published between January 1, 1986, and April 30, 2010. Study Selection: Controlled trials of topical and systemic drugs including adult patients with primary Sjögren syndrome were selected as the primary information source. Results: The search strategy yielded 37 trials. A placebo-controlled trial found significant improvement in the Schirmer and corneal staining scores, blurred vision, and artificial tear use in patients treated with topical ocular 0.05% cyclosporine. Three placebo-controlled trials found that pilocarpine was associated with improvements in dry mouth (61%-70% vs 24%-31% in the placebo group) and dry eye (42%-53% vs 26%). Two placebo-controlled trials found that cevimeline was associated with improvement in dry mouth (66%-76% vs 35%-37% in the placebo group) and dry eye (39%-72% vs 24%-30%). Small trials (<20 patients) found no significant improvement in sicca outcomes for oral prednisone or hydroxychloroquine and limited benefits for immunosuppressive agents (azathioprine and cyclosporine). A large trial found limited benefits for oral interferon alfa-2a. Two placebo-controlled trials of infliximab and etanercept did not achieve the primary outcome (a composite visual analog scale measuring joint pain, fatigue, and dryness); neither did 2 small trials (<30 patients) testing rituximab, although significant results were observed in some secondary outcomes and improvement compared with baseline. Conclusions: In primary Sjögren syndrome, evidence from controlled trials suggests benefits for pilocarpine and cevimeline for sicca features and topical cyclosporine for moderate or severe dry eye. Anti-tumor necrosis factor agents have not shown clinical efficacy, and larger controlled trials are needed to establish the efficacy of rituximab. ©2010 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.


Avrameas S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Avrameas S.,Hellenic Pasteur Institute | Selmi C.,Humanitas Clinical and Research Center | Selmi C.,University of California at Davis
Journal of Autoimmunity | Year: 2013

Natural autoantibodies (autoNAb) recognize self antigens and are an important component of the immune system, as species ranging from invertebrates to vertebrates have polyreactive IgM NAbs. In higher vertebrates, different polyreactive autoNAbs isotypes are also frequently encountered and autopolyreactive IgG NAbs are largely predominant compared to low-titer monoreactive IgG NAbs specific for either self or non-self antigens. Autopolyreactive NAbs manifest the capacity to recognize three-dimensional structures and thus represent a fundamental feature of the immune system that has long been preserved during evolution. NAbs are produced in a continuum of functional and phenotypic tiers of B cells and are likely to derive from proteins initially selected to build the organism that were adapted through evolution to recognize environmental constituents, while preserving their capacity to recognize self antigens. The clonal selection is considered the predominant mechanism of the regulation of the immune system complexity but growing evidence suggests that autoNAbs are also actively implicated. In all species NAbs reacting with either self or non-self antigens constitute a vast network of infinite interactions providing high complexity, stability and plasticity. This evolutionary process was intended to allow the effective recognition of environmental antigens, immune memory, immunoregulatory phenomena, as well as tissue homeostasis. The present article is intended to illustrate the history and the current and future developments in our understanding of self and non-self recognizing NAbs to ultimately enlighten the complexity of the immune system regulation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Avgeris M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Stravodimos K.,Laiko General Hospital | Fragoulis E.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Scorilas A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: Prostate cancer (PCa) is characterised by great heterogeneity of the disease progression rate. Tumours range from insignificant and not life threatening to high risk for relapse ones. Consequently, a large number of patients undergo unnecessary treatment. miR-145 is a well-documented tumour suppressor and its expression, which is regulated by the p53 pathway, has been found to be decreased in the majority of human malignancies. The aim of our study was to evaluate the clinical utility of miR-145 for the prognostication of PCa. Methods: Total RNA was isolated from 137 prostate tissue specimens obtained from 73 radical prostatectomy-treated PCa patients and 64 transurethral-or open prostatectomy-treated benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) patients. Following polyadenylation and reverse transcription, miR-145 levels were determined by quantitative real-time PCR assay, using SNORD48 (RNU48) for normalisation purposes. Results: Downregulated miR-145 expression was found in PCa compared with BPH patients. The reduction of miR-145 expression in PCa was correlated with higher Gleason score, advanced clinical stage, larger tumour diameter and higher prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and follow-up PSA levels. In addition, higher risk for biochemical recurrence and significantly shorter disease-free survival (DFS) was found for the PCa patients expressing lower miR-145. Focusing on 'low-and intermediate-recurrence risk' PCa patients, miR-145 loss was revealed to be a reliable predictor of biochemical relapse and poor DFS independent from Gleason score, clinical stage, PSA and patients' age. Conclusion: The loss of the tumour-suppressor miR-145 increases the risk for disease progression and predicts the poor survival of PCa patients. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.


Diamanti-Kandarakis E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2012

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age that is associated with significant adverse short- and long-term health consequences. Multiple metabolic aberrations, such as insulin resistance (IR) and hyperinsulinaemia, high incidence of impaired glucose tolerance, visceral obesity, inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, hypertension and dyslipidemia are associated with the syndrome. Assessing the metabolic aberrations and their long term health impact in women with PCOS is challenging and becomes more important as therapeutic interventions currently available for the management of PCOS are not fully able to deal with all these consequences. Current therapeutic management of PCOS has incorporated new treatments resulting from the better understanding of the pathophysiology of the syndrome. The aim of this review is to summarize the effect of old, new and emerging therapies used in the management of PCOS, on the metabolic aberrations of PCOS © The Author(s), 2012.


Kanellopoulos A.J.,Laservisiongr Eye Institute | Asimellis G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Clinical Ophthalmology | Year: 2013

To survey the standard keratoconus grading scale (Pentacam® -derived Amsler- Krumeich stages) compared to corneal irregularity indices and best spectacle-corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA). Patients and methods: Two-hundred and twelve keratoconus cases were evaluated for keratoconus grading, anterior surface irregularity indices (measured by Pentacam imaging), and subjective refraction (measured by CDVA). The correlations between CDVA, keratometry, and the Scheimpflug keratoconus grading and the seven anterior surface Pentacam-derived topometric indices - index of surface variance, index of vertical asymmetry, keratoconus index, central keratoconus index, index of height asymmetry, index of height decentration, and index of minimum radius of curvature - were analyzed using paired two-tailed t-tests, coefficient of determination (r2), and trendline linearity. Results: The average ± standard deviation CDVA (expressed decimally) was 0.626 ± 0.244 for all eyes (range 0.10-1.00). The average flat meridian keratometry was (K1) 46.7 ± 5.89 D; the average steep keratometry (K2) was 51.05 ± 6.59 D. The index of surface variance and the index of height decentration had the strongest correlation with topographic keratoconus grading (P,0.001). CDVA and keratometry correlated poorly with keratoconus severity. Conclusion: It is reported here for the first time that the index of surface variance and the index of height decentration may be the most sensitive and specific criteria in the diagnosis, progres-sion, and surgical follow-up of keratoconus. The classification proposed herein may present a novel benchmark in clinical work and future studies. © 2013 Kanellopoulos and Asimellis, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.


Balatsouras D.G.,Tzanion General Hospital | Korres S.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery | Year: 2012

Objective. To study the demographic, clinical, pathogenetic, and nystagmographic features and treatment outcomes of subjective benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Study Design. Prospective clinical trial. Setting. Tertiary referral center. Subjects and Methods. Sixty-three patients were studied (mean [SD] age 55.4 [9.4] years), 27 men and 36 women, who presented with a positive history for BPPV and Dix-Hallpike or supine roll tests positive for vertigo but negative for nystagmus. A comprehensive history was obtained, followed by clinical examination of the ears, nose, and throat and a complete audiologic and neurotologic examination, including videonystagmography. All patients were treated with the appropriate canalith repositioning procedure, depending on the type of provoking positioning test. A group of 204 patients with typical BPPV were used for comparison. Results. Forty-five patients with subjective BPPV were successfully treated. Eighteen patients, in most of whom vertigo of other causes was identified, did not respond to treatment. Comparison between patients with subjective and typical BPPV showed similar epidemiological and clinical features. Treatment failed in 13.5% of patients with subjective disease, after excluding patients with different causes of positional vertigo, as compared with 7.8% of patients with typical BPPV (odds ratio = 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.7-4.7; P = .32). Conclusion. Subjective BPPV is quite common, accounting for more than one-fourth of patients with typical BPPV and sharing common features with it, with the exception of nystagmus. No statistical difference in treatment outcomes between patients with subjective and typical BPPV was found, but study of a larger sample is needed. © American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2012.


Xenakis D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Passas N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Merakos L.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials | Year: 2014

Support of femtocells is an integral part of the Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) system and a key enabler for its wide adoption in a broad scale. Femtocells are short-range, low-power and low-cost cellular stations which are installed by the consumers in an unplanned manner. Even though current literature includes various studies towards understanding the main challenges of interference management in the presence of femtocells, little light has been shed on the open issues of mobility management (MM) in the two-tier macrocell-femtocell network. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive discussion on the key aspects and research challenges of MM support in the presence of femtocells, with the emphasis given on the phases of a) cell identification, b) access control, c) cell search, d) cell selection/ reselection, e) handover (HO) decision, and f) HO execution. A detailed overview of the respective MM procedures in the LTE-A system is also provided to better comprehend the solutions and open issues posed in real-life systems. Based on the discussion for the HO decision phase, we subsequently survey and classify existing HO decision algorithms for the two-tier macrocell-femtocell network, depending on the primary HO decision criterion used. For each class, we overview up to three representative algorithms and provide detailed flowcharts to describe their fundamental operation. A comparative summary of the main decision parameters and key features of selected HO decision algorithms concludes this work, providing insights for future algorithmic design and standardization activities. © 2014 IEEE.


Mavrogeni S.,Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center | Dimitroulas T.,Russells Hall Hospital | Chatziioannou S.N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kitas G.,University of Manchester
Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism | Year: 2013

Objectives: Takayasu arteritis is a rare large vessel vasculitis of unknown etiology, in which both early diagnosis and follow-up present very significant challenges. The high incidence of diseaseassociated morbidity and significant risk of premature death - particularly in young adults- mandate the need to facilitate early diagnosis and aggressive treatment where appropriate. The aim of this review is to summarize the current level of knowledge regarding the usefulness of evolving imaging modalities in the diagnostic workup and management of patients suffering with Takayasu arteritis. We also propose an imaging algorithm for the evaluation of this population. Methods: A MEDLINE search for articles published between January 1999 and December 2011 was conducted using the following keywords: Takayasu arteritis, imaging modalities, echocardiogram, cardiac magnetic resonance, positron emission tomography scan, diagnosis. Results: Imaging studies-particularly cardiac magnetic resonance- can assist early diagnosis by demonstrating vascular lesions even when angiography is negative, by identifying the presence of vascular inflammation and/or wall thickening; they are also useful for monitoring purposes. However, availability, expertise, high cost, and radiation are considerable limitations. Magnetic resonance imaging, although it can detect both anatomic and pathophysiologic changes without radiation, is time-consuming, needs high expertise, and still remains an expensive tool, not widely available. Conclusions: Knowledge of the advantages and limitations of the various imaging procedures can complement the physicians' clinical assessment and, along with nonspecific serologic tests, can aid them in diagnosing active arteritis and commence relevant treatment early on, as well as monitor activity and tailor therapy subsequently. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Terzis P.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Dimakis N.,Austral University of Chile | Christodoulakis T.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

A scalar-tensor theory of gravity, containing an arbitrary coupling function F(φ) and a general potential V(φ), is considered in the context of a spatially flat Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker model. The use of reparametrization invariance enables a particular lapse parametrization in which the minisuperspace metric completely specifies the dynamics of the system. A requirement of the existence of the maximal possible number of autonomous integrals of motion is imposed. This leads to a flat minisuperspace metric realized by a particular relation between the coupling function and the potential. The space of solutions is completely described in terms of the three autonomous integrals of motion constructed by the Killing fields of the minisupermetric and an additional rheonomous emanating from the homothetic field. The solutions contain the arbitrary function which remains after the imposition of the relation between F(φ) and V(φ). To exemplify the use of the general results, we select some particular cases and study their physical implications through an effective energy-momentum tensor, which turns out to be that of a perfect fluid. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH-2010-1.2-1 | Award Amount: 9.98M | Year: 2011

The research programme will integrate diverse levels, methods and disciplinary traditions with the aim of developing a comprehensive policy agenda for changing the role of the financial system to help achieve a future which is sustainable in environmental, social and economic terms. The programme involves an integrated and balanced consortium involving partners from 14 countries that has unsurpassed experience of deploying diverse perspectives both within economics and across disciplines inclusive of economics. The programme is distinctively pluralistic, and aims to forge alliances across the social sciences, so as to understand how finance can better serve economic, social and environmental needs. The central issues addressed are the ways in which the growth and performance of economies in the last 30 years have been dependent on the characteristics of the processes of financialisation; how has financialisation impacted on the achievement of specific economic, social, and environmental objectives?; the nature of the relationship between financialisation and the sustainability of the financial system, economic development and the environment?; the lessons to be drawn from the crisis about the nature and impacts of financialisation? ; what are the requisites of a financial system able to support a process of sustainable development, broadly conceived?


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.1.1 | Award Amount: 7.45M | Year: 2010

The availability of position information plays an increasing role in wireless communications networks already today and will be an integral part of future systems. They inherently can offer the ability for stand-alone positioning especially in situations where conventional satellite based positioning systems such as GPS fail (e.g., indoor). In this framework, positioning information is an important enabler either for location and context-aware services or even to improve the communications system itself.The WHERE2 project is a successor of the WHERE project and addresses the combination of positioning and communications in order to exploit synergies and to enhance the efficiency of future wireless communications systems. The key objective of WHERE2 is to assess the fundamental synergies between the two worlds of heterogeneous cooperative positioning and communications in the real world under realistic constraints. The estimation of the position of mobile terminals (MTs) is the main goal in WHERE2. The positioning algorithms combine measurements from heterogeneous infrastructure and complement them by cooperative measurements between MTs, additional information from inertial sensors, and context information. Based on the performance of the geo-aided positioning strategies (in the sense of accuracy, complexity, overhead of signalling, reliability of the provided information, etc.) the impact on coordinated, cooperative, and cognitive networks is assessed. This is done under realistic scenarios and system parameters following on-going standardization processes. A joint and integrated demonstration using multiple hardware platforms provides a verification of the performance of dedicated cooperative algorithms.All the tasks in WHERE2 are covered by different work packages, which are in close interaction to ensure an integral research of cooperative positioning and communications.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: FI.ICT-2011.1.8 | Award Amount: 7.36M | Year: 2011

The SmartAgriFood project addresses the food and agribusiness as a use case for the Future Internet. The intelligence, efficiency, sustainability and performance of the agri-food sector can be radically enhanced by using information & decision support systems that are tightly integrated with advanced internet-based networks & services. Concurrently, the sector provides extremely demanding use cases for Future Internet design from physical layer all the way up to the service layer. This project will focus on three sub systems of the sector - smart farming, focussing on sensors and traceability; smart agri-logistics, focusing on real-time virtualisation, connectivity and logistics intelligence; and smart food awareness, focussing on transparency of data and knowledge representation. Using a user-centred methodology, the use case specification will be developed with a particular focus on transparency and interoperability of data and knowledge across the food supply chain. Project results will include:\n-Use Case descriptions for smart farming, including sophisticated and robust broadband sensing and monitoring of animals and plants\n-Use Case descriptions for smart agri-logistics, including intelligent transport and real-time logistics of agri-food products\n-Use Case descriptions of smart food awareness, focussing enabling the consumer with information concerning safety, health, environmental impact and animal welfare\n-Identification of generic requirements for the generic enablers\n-Extensive community and user organisation involvement both in requirements gathering, pilot demonstration, and evaluation\n-Specification of interfaces and functionalities for integration to Core Platform,\n-Significant contributions to standardisation and regulatory bodies in Europe.\nKey features of SmartAgriFood concepts will be demonstrated and verified by simulations and experimental systems within this project and by large scale demonstration as intended in Phase II.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.1.1 | Award Amount: 18.27M | Year: 2008

The End-to-End Efficiency (E3) project is an ambitious FP7 EC Integrated Project (IP) aiming at integrating cognitive wireless systems in the Beyond 3G (B3G) world, evolving current heterogeneous wireless system infrastructures into an integrated, scalable and efficiently managed B3G cognitive system framework. The key objective of the E3 project is to design, develop, prototype and showcase solutions to guarantee interoperability, flexibility and scalability between existing legacy and future wireless systems, manage the overall system complexity, and ensure convergence across access technologies, business domains, regulatory domains and geographical regions.\n\nCognitive radio systems are seen by many actors of the wireless industry as a core technical evolution towards exploitation of the full potential of B3G systems. It is under way to revolutionize wireless communications just as the PC revolution. E3 will ensure seamless access to applications and services and exploitation of the full diversity of corresponding heterogeneous systems, in order to offer an extensive set of operational choices to the users, application and service providers, operators, manufacturers and regulators. E3 will optimise the use of the radio resources and spectrum, following cognitive network paradigms. The management functions will be distributed over different network elements at various levels of the system topology.\n\nThe E3 consortium will bring together major key European players in the domain of cognitive radios and networks, self-management and end-to-end reconfigurability. E3 will build on several key achievements from the successful FP6 E2R Programme, pursuing research into the most promising directions, in order to facilitate the vision of true end-to-end connectivity.\n\nThe E3 project addresses the core of the Strategic Objective ICT-2007.1.1 The Network of the Future from Challenge 1 Pervasive and Trusted Network and Service Infrastructures.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: HEALTH.2013.4.1-4 | Award Amount: 553.89K | Year: 2013

The landscape of genetic testing is rapidly changing. Soon, whole genome sequence analysis (3Gb-testing) will be an effective and financially viable alternative to targeted gene analysis. New technologies that allow efficient sequencing of a whole human genome in a diagnostic setting will have an enormous impact on diagnostic centres replacing many existing molecular and cytogenetic tests. Patients deserve to benefit from our vastly growing knowledge on functional genomics. 3Gb-testing is the ideal method to bring these benefits to the public. However, it is critical to avoid mistakes with respect to ethics, quality, over or mis-interpretation of data. It is essential that our society is prepared for the change once it is implemented. Hence, current gaps in our knowledge have to be identified and research has to be initiated to bridge these gaps. The 3Gb-TEST project will bring stakeholders together and ensure they are informed with respect to the desirable and undesirable developments. The clinical utility and cost effectiveness of whole genome sequencing needs to be determined as part of a robust health technology assessment process (HTA). Interpretation of sequence data in terms of clinical relevance will pose a challenge to both laboratory and clinical geneticists. Substantial investments may be required and the logistic restructuring of genetic services will need to be addressed. This project aims to prepare Europe for innovations in molecular testing. Quality assessment schemes, HTA and guidelines have to be in place. Healthcare professionals must be aware of the impending change and potential impact on practice. The Consortium will inform the healthcare community and make recommendations to the European Commission, the European Society of Human Genetics, and national organizations relevant to this field. A key output will be a validated roadmap for the implementation of diagnostic genome sequencing in Europe.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.4.4 | Award Amount: 13.86M | Year: 2012

Scalable end-user access to Big Data is critical for effective data analysis and value creation. Optique will bring about a paradigm shift for data access by\n\n* providing a semantic end-to-end connection between users and data sources\n* enabling users to rapidly formulate intuitive queries using familiar vocabularies and conceptualisations\n* seamlessly integrating data spread across multiple distributed data sources, including streaming sources\n* exploiting massive parallelism for scalability far beyond traditional RDBMSs\n\nand thus reducing the turnaround time for information requests to minutes rather than days.\n\nThese objectives will be achieved by bringing together leading experts and cutting edge technology from diverse communities to develop an extensible platform that will provide a complete and generic solution to the data access challenges posed by Big Data.\n\nThe platform will: (i) Use an ontology and declarative mappings to capture user conceptualisations and to transform user queries into complete, correct and highly optimised queries over the data sources; (ii) Integrate distributed heterogeneous sources, including streams; (iii) Exploit massively parallel technologies and holistic optimisations to maximise performance; (iv) Include tools to support query formulation and ontology and mapping management; (v) Use semi-automatic bootstrapping of ontologies and mappings and query driven ontology construction to minimise installation overhead.\n\nDevelopment of the platform will be informed by and continuously evaluated against the requirements of complex real-world challenges, with two large European companies providing the project with comprehensive use cases, and access to user groups and TB scale data sets.\n\nExperience from the use case deployments will be used to develop high quality tutoring and training resources, and to engage in an aggressive dissemination and exploitation program aimed at achieving the widest possible uptake of Optique technology.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.0 | Award Amount: 3.16M | Year: 2010

High dimensional geometric data are ubiquitous in science and engineering, and thus processing and analyzing them is a core task in these disciplines. The Computational Geometric Learning project (CG Learning) aims at extending the success story of geometric algorithms with guarantees, as achieved in the CGAL library and the related EU funded research projects, to spaces of high dimensions. This is not a straightforward task. For many problems, no efficient algorithms exist that compute the exact solution in high dimensions. This behavior is commonly called the curse of dimensionality. We plan to address the curse of dimensionality by focusing on inherent structure in the data like sparsity or low intrinsic dimension, and by resorting to fast approximation algorithms. The following two kinds of approximation guarantee are particularly desirable: first, the solution approximates an objective better if more time and memory resources are employed (algorithmic guarantee), and second, the approximation gets better when the data become more dense and/or more accurate (learning theoretic guarantee). To lay the foundation of a new field---computational geometric learning---we will follow an approach integrating both theoretical and practical developments, the latter in the form of the construction of a high quality software library and application software.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.4.1 | Award Amount: 2.95M | Year: 2008

Past and existing efforts for digital recapturing and preservation of European cultural and scientific heritage have consumed significant effort and resources for the digitisation, characterisation, and classification of content. Digital libraries have thus emerged providing electronic access for many communities of users to available information of their discipline. What has never been targeted, however, is a digital library that draws content from one domain and makes it available to the users of another.\nThe proposed project approaches this need by introducing the concept of a Cross-Discipline Digital Library Engine. Papyrus intends to be a dynamic digital library which will understand user queries in the context of a specific discipline, look for content in a domain alien to that discipline and return the results presented in a way useful and comprehensive to the user. Papyrus intends to showcase this approach with a specific pair of disciplines which can be illustrated as an apparent need and may prove to be an immediate exploitation opportunity even on its own. This proposed use case is the recovery of history from news digital content.\nTo realise these objectives Papyrus brings together expertise from 6 EU countries including: 4 research organisations with specific expertise in knowledge management, AI and query analysis and semantic multimedia analysis; two research organisations experts in the history of science; two worldwide leaders in the provision of news; a coordinator experienced in realising such RandD and commercial projects and the world leader in the market of search engines.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2011.1.2 | Award Amount: 658.55K | Year: 2012

Cloud Computing is now deemed the key computing paradigm for empowering distributed information systems and mainstream applications. The same holds for Open Source development models and software solutions. Their interrelation however remains not fully explored and exploited. SUCRE will discuss and identify the impediments on why open source cloud solutions have not been yet widely adopted. We will also examine how this adoption can be facilitated through an international dialogue on the hot topics of interoperability and data portability involving experts from both the EU and Japan.\nSUCRE will investigate and suggest means for reinforcing the adoption of open source cloud solutions by key stakeholders. We will engage two user communities whose future computing requirements could be very well served by open source cloud solutions, namely, the public sector and the industry that provides computing services to the health care sector. Both are of paramount societal importance and will serve as the SUCRE use-cases. SUCRE will produce a recommendation report with Open-Source Solutions for Interoperable Clouds in these two high-impact economic sectors, addressing issues related to interoperability and standards, including technological, societal, and legal aspects.\nParticular attention will be given to the interaction between academia and industry as well as among industry players. This will be reflected in the formation of the SUCRE EU Japan Experts Group, as well as in our effort to bring together the researchers of tomorrow with industry and areas experts in the fields of the Internet of Services, Clouds and Open Source.\nThrough the 5-step integrated approach, SUCRE will set up an all-embracing, still focused, supporting mechanism for projects funded by the Software & Service Architectures and Infrastructures Unit, consisting of targeted workshops, an experts group, a young -researchers forum, publications and promotional material.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-4.2-3 | Award Amount: 1.22M | Year: 2008

This proposal aims to review current knowledge and issues related to the economic impact of health at work, to assemble, organise, analyse and synthesise data from national projects and surveys, and to recommend future actions for research and policy development aiming at improving health and safety at work in a changing labour market environment in the European Union in an era of ageing populations, feminised labour markets and increased incidence of Small and Medium Enterprices (SMEs). This is achieved through co-ordinated reviews, the development of common databases regarding indicators of health and safety at work in the participant countries (including the incidence of accidents and illnesses of work, the incidence of absenteeism, and early retirement due to accidents/illnesses at work,) and the associated GIS analysis capability. In addition, a pilot study aiming at designing appropriate data collection protocols is designed to explore the appropriateness of small scale surveys, using purpose-build questionnaire, to determine the preference setting of both employers and employees with regard to health and safety at work and to highlight the cost and benefits of investing in improving the health and safety at work. The above lead to a series of co-ordination meetings and workshops at which the status of health and safety at work, its repercussions for the quality of work and its effects on Europes competitiveness are reviewed and studied. A comparative EU-wide assessment of the structure and dynamics of the health and safety at work is carried out. Policy recommendations aiming at improving the health and safety at work in the context of changing labour market environment are detailed with particular reference to the ageing population, the feminisation of the labour markets and the increased incidence of SMEs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CS | Phase: JTI-CS-2012-2-SFWA-01-052 | Award Amount: 336.17K | Year: 2013

The overall aim of this project is a novel approach for increased sensitivity of laminar wings to ice accretion in all flight phase. The CfP topic will address three main objectives therefore: 1. Development of a system architecture model for an active ice protection system; 2. Development of innovative sensing options to support the active ice protection strategy; 3. Overall aircraft model that demonstrates the effectiveness of the new ice protection system.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES | Award Amount: 314.70K | Year: 2012

The main goal of this project is the establishment of a network between European, South American, North American and South African educational and research entities. This attempt will be based on an innovative scientific project aiming towards the identification of hERG (human Ether--go-go Related Gene) channel blockers in commonly consumed botanicals and supplements. Blocking these ion channels may result in ventricular tachyarrhythmia and an increased incidence of sudden death. Thus, the hERG channel is considered as an important antitarget. Several drugs have been removed from the market for this reason, and compounds have been blocked from proceeding further into phases of clinical development. As botanicals (comprising dietary supplements, spices, herbal medicinal products) continue to increase in popularity there is an urgent need for studies aimed to critically assess the potential cardiotoxic risks of these products. State-of-the-art methodologies and techniques will be incorporated for target-oriented identification and isolation of hERG channel blocking constituents. PK and PD studies will be performed and LC-MS based methods will be developed and applied towards the measurement of bioactive components in biofluids samples. Comparison of biofluids derived from administration of single chemical entities and corresponding botanicals will be achieved using MS- and NMR-based metabolomics. The obtained results will help to elaborate and evaluate hERG related safety aspects aiming towards the risk assessment of frequently consumed botanicals. Within this frame numerous short term and extended secondments of scientific staff will be accomplished, while the organization of several workshops will assure the proper dissemination of the produced knowledge throughout all the scientific community but also the public. Core scientific knowledge is expected to be produced and exchanged, and partnerships with future scientific potentials to be created.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.1-3 | Award Amount: 7.82M | Year: 2014

The eSMART programme of work will demonstrate the effects of a real-time, mobile phone based, remote patient monitoring intervention on key patient outcomes and delivery of care provided to people with cancer during and after chemotherapy. Utilising the remote patient monitoring system, the Advanced Symptom Management System (ASyMS), will reduce the symptom burden experienced by patients receiving chemotherapy, improve their quality of life (QoL) during acute treatment and survivorship, and result in changes in clinical practice and improved delivery of care for patients with cancer. eSMART involves 11 European and one American partner as well as cancer care clinicians from all partner countries. A two-group, multicentre, repeated-measures randomised controlled trial (RCT) will be conducted across 16 sites in Europe, 1108 patients will be recruited. Adult (>18 years) patients diagnosed with breast, colorectal cancer or haematological cancers, commencing first-line chemotherapy and planned to receive at least 4 cycles of chemotherapy will be invited to participate. Work will take place in four consecutive phases. Members of the European Cancer Patient Coalition have an integral role as advisors at every stage of the programme to provide advice and feedback and ensure that work is conducted in line with patients perspectives and needs. eSMART will demonstrate how delivering patient focused, anticipatory care via technology can improve outcomes for people with cancer whilst simultaneously addressing the increasing demands on acute services across Europe by; enhancing patient outcomes and quality-of-life improvement; promoting of advances in cancer care; reducing social and economic barriers in cancer care; accelerating interoperability and collaboration across Europe and enhancing the economic stimulation of the National Health markets.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: EeB.NMP.2012-2 | Award Amount: 8.61M | Year: 2012

The proposed project will develop and demonstrate energy efficient new and innovative technologies and solutions for retrofitting and performance monitoring of a number of typical residential buildings in EU countries. Technologies envisaged for envelope retrofitting include various types of insulation materials. Energy efficient solutions will also be deployed including energy efficient lighting and HVAC, and renewable energy systems. The technologies and solutions will be affordable, durable, easy for installation and compatible with existing building functions and aesthetics as well as energy efficient. The types of building for retrofitting will include detached, semidetached and terrace houses, and flats of different ages. Methods for measurement of building performance before and after retrofitting will include leakage test and thermal imaging to determine the major areas of building envelope for improvement, in addition to smart energy metering for individual technologies and building as a whole. The buildings will be retrofitted to at least the latest national building standards for new buildings. The type and number of technology deployed will be optimised using life cycle energy analysis for each type of building. The work programme will involve development of computer models for optimising technologies and solutions, analysing dynamic energy demand of buildings and predicting microclimate indoors, development and testing of technologies and solutions under laboratory conditions, retrofitting and monitoring residential buildings in different climatic conditions, and a socio-economic analysis. The above outcomes will be delivered through innovative solutions developed by a Consortium comprising leading companies, universities and public institutions from 10 European countries.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2008.1.2.1.3. | Award Amount: 1.14M | Year: 2009

This proposal puts forward plans to establish a research network of experts on noise and health in Europe. This network will establish future research directions and policy needs in Europe. The network will review the existing literature on environmental noise exposure and health focussing on the consolidation of existing state of the art knowledge and the identification of gaps in the evidence and future research needs and hypotheses to be tested. In the network we will train junior researchers in noise and health through setting up an exchange network across Europe. The network will focus on noise exposure assessment in health studies in order to build more complex analytical models of noise and health effects that take into account moderating factors including the joint effects of air pollution and noise. A specific function of the network will be to establish communication between researchers on noise and researchers on air pollution. We will improve the measurement of health outcomes relevant to noise research and strengthen the available methodologies for future research, by extending analyses on existing research taking advantage of the large EU-funded RANCH and HYENA studies and relevant national studies. We will develop novel designs for research on noise and health to provide to the EU a new strategy for the development of noise and health research in the future. We will disseminate the results to the EU, to national governments, to fellow researchers, and other stakeholders.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 2.82M | Year: 2008

SAGA aims at advancing the mathematical foundations of CAD technology. Based on some exploratory work, we believe that this technology can be greatly enhanced by exploiting results and techniques from many different fields in mathematics: Algebraic Geometry, Symbolic Computation, but also Numerical Analysis and Approximation Theory. The main goal of the proposal is to exploit the diverse knowledge of the partners (from universities, research institutes, and industry) for training a new generation of mathematicians. To master the challenges of combining CAD and Algebraic Geometry, Europe needs new experts with experience from different schools of thought and applications, who have built their own Europe-wide contact net and have either gathered important industrial experience before pursuing an academic career or have academic research experience before entering industry. SAGA offers an environment of researchers from different areas with a common vision, and tailor-made training opportunities to learn geometric modeling both from the industrial and the fundamental mathematics perspective. The network-wide training will offer one large training event per year, i.e. a school, two study groups for joint problem solving, and a final workshop. Complementary skills will be trained both locally and also at the annual events that are open also for external researchers. The topics envisaged for training-through-research include how current CAD algorithms can be improved when several representations for the same object are available, with easily performed conversion between them; how algebraic and geometrical tools can be adapted to solve CAD problems; how concrete CAD challenges (like hole filling, offsets, singularities) can be dealt with using Algebraic Geometry; as well as practical problems posed by industry.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.3.5 | Award Amount: 4.02M | Year: 2008

The PHASORS project targets the development and applications of fibre based Phase Sensitive Amplifier (PSA) technology in 40Gbit/s broadband core networks, and seeks to provide Europe with a lead in this important yet relatively unexplored area. PSAs have the potential to be a disruptive technology within future optical communications, enabling ultra-low noise amplifiers and a host of important ultrafast optical processing functions for networks employing high spectral efficiency phase encoded signals.\n \nSpecifically PHASORS will:\n\n(1) Develop a reliable technology base for the realisation of practical, cost effective, PSAs and will advance the state-of-the-art in phase-locked pump systems, narrow linewidth lasers, high power amplifiers and lasers, and high performance nonlinear fibres.\n\n(2) Investigate both interferometric and non-interferometric fibre based approaches to PSA. \n\n(3) Demonstrate a PSA with a record noise figure of less than 1dB.\n\n(4) Demonstrate the benefits of the low noise properties of PSA for transmission applications.\n\n(5)Demonstrate the use of PSAs within two different application spaces:\n\tPhase sensitive optical sampling at data rates of > 40 Gb/s; \n\tOptical regeneration of phase modulated data signals at data rates >40 Gb/s.\n\nPHASORS is therefore fully aligned with the objectives of ICT-2007.3.5: Photonic components and subsystems and directly addresses several of its target outcomes by developing high performance lasers and using them together with optical fibres for high performance within specific applications in phase-sensitive parametric amplification. If successful, the PHASORS technology will have a significant impact in enabling scalable, future-proof and cost effective broadband core networks at 40Gb/s or beyond per channel. The high performance components developed will also have applications in a range of other non telecom applications including sensing, aerospace, metrology and medicine amonst others.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.2-4 | Award Amount: 3.83M | Year: 2009

Current human resources planning models in nursing are unreliable and ineffective as they consider volumes, but ignore effects on quality in patient care. The project RN4CAST aims innovative forecasting methods by addressing not only volumes, but quality of nursing staff as well as quality of patient care. RN4CAST is a consortium of 15 partners that will quantify in 11 European countries-Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK - important unmeasured factors in forecasting models including how features of hospital work environments and qualifications of the nurse workforce impact on nurse recruitment, retention, productivity and patient outcomes. Three partners outside Europe - China, South Africa, and Botswana- provide additional perspectives. Innovative elements of the project include unique measures of workplace dynamics and patient outcomes. Nurse workforce planning initiatives at national and European levels will be reviewed and newly collected data added to enhance accuracy for nurse workforce management. Data collection focuses on general hospitals, which employ the majority of nurses, account for the largest number of medical errors and comprise the largest share of national health expenditures. Each European partner will conduct a study of 20 to 50 hospitals depending on country size yielding information on more than 350 hospitals including surveys from over 50,000 nurses and outcomes of tens of thousands of patients. European partners were selected by geographic distribution, membership duration in the EU, research expertise and availability of patient discharge data. University of Pennsylvania, USA, will contribute specialized research expertise derived from previous international research. RN4CAST will be the largest nurse workforce study ever conducted in Europe, will add to accuracy of forecasting models and generate new approaches to more effective management of nursing resources in Europe.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2009.1.3.1.1 | Award Amount: 8.23M | Year: 2010

Fire regimes result from interactions between climate, land-use and land-cover (LULC), and socioeconomic factors, among other. These changed during the last decades, particularly around the Mediterranean. Our understanding of how they affected fire regime in the past is limited. During this century temperatures, drought and heat waves will very likely increase, and rainfall decrease. These and further socioeconomic change will affect LULC. Additional areas will be abandoned due to being unsuitable for agriculture or other uses. Fire danger and fire hazard are very likely to increase, affecting fire regimes. FUME will learn from the past to understand future impacts. Mod. 1 we will study how LULC and socioeconomics changed and how climate and weather affected fire in dynamically changing landscapes. Fires will be mapped throughout Europe to determine hazard burning functions for LULC types. Since climate has changed, an attempt to attribute (sensu IPCC) fire regime change to climate, differentiating it from socioeconomic change, will be made. Mod. 2 will produce scenarios of change (climate, including extremes, land-use land-cover, socioeconomics, vegetation) for various emissions pathways and three time-slices during this century. With these and results from Mod.1, models and field experiments projected impacts on fire-regime and vegetation vulnerabilities will be calculated, including climate extremes (drought, heat-waves). Mod. 3 will investigate adaptation options in fire- and land-management, including restoration. Fire prevention and fire fighting protocols will be tested/developed under the new conditions to mitigating fire risks. A company managing fire will be a key player. Costs and policy impacts of changes in fire will be studied. Research will focus on old and new fire areas, the rural interface, whole Europe and the Mediterranean, including all Mediterranean countries of the world. Users will be involved in training and other activities.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.1-5 | Award Amount: 14.64M | Year: 2008

Cys-loop receptors (CLRs) form a superfamily of structurally related neurotransmitter-gated ion channels, comprising nicotinic acetylcholine, glycine, GABA-A/C and serotonin (5HT3) receptors, crucial to function of the peripheral and central nervous system. CLRs cover a wide spectrum of functions, ranging from muscle contraction to cognitive functions. CLR (mal)function is linked to various disorders, including muscular dystrophies, neurodegenerative diseases, e.g. Alzheimers and Parkinsons, and neuropsychiatric diseases, e.g. schizophrenia, epilepsy and addiction. CLRs are potentially important drug targets for treatment of disease. However, novel drug discovery strategies call for in depth understanding of ligand binding sites, the structure-function relationships of these receptors and insight into their actions in the nervous system. NeuroCypres assembles the expertise of leading European laboratories to provide a technology workflow, which enables to embark on this next step in CLR structure and function. A major target of this project is to obtain high-resolution X-ray and NMR structures for CLRs and their complexes with diverse ligands, agonists/antagonists, channel blockers and modulators, which will reveal basic mechanisms of receptor functioning from ligand binding to gating and open new avenues to rational drug design. In addition, the project aims at understanding receptor function in the context of the brain, focusing on receptor biosensors, receptor-protein interactions and transgenic models. This major challenge requires application and development of a multidisciplinary workflow of high-throughput (HT) crystallization and HT-electrophysiology technologies, X-ray analysis, NMR and computational modeling, fragment-based drug design, innovative quantitative methods of interaction-proteomics, sensitive methods for visualization of activity and localization of receptors and studies of in vitro and in vivo function in animal models of disease.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-3 | Award Amount: 4.84M | Year: 2008

Genomic instability is a characteristic of practically all human cancers. Recent results generated by members of this Consortium suggest that signs of genomic instability are evident from the very beginning of human cancer development, even in precancerous lesions. In these early lesions, the genomic instability affects primarily specific genomic loci, called common fragile sites. Because common fragile sites are very sensitive to perturbations in DNA replication, we proposed that cancer development from its very beginning is associated with DNA replication stress. A separate set of observations focused on telomeres and showed that short telomeres mimick DNA ends, activate the DNA damage checkpoint and promote genomic instability and cancer development. We propose here to study the role of DNA replication stress and short telomeres on driving genomic instability particularly in human precancerous lesions. Our studies will investigate the most common forms of cancer in the EU and will benefit from access to some of the largest databases of cancerous and precancerous lesions in Europe. Genomic instability will be explored using high resolution genomic arrays and the data will be correlated to clinical information on tumor progression. Further, analysis of proteins and genes involved in the cellular response to DNA replication stress and short telomeres will be explored using high throughput and targeted approaches and will be used to identify novel targets for cancer therapy.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.6.4 | Award Amount: 5.48M | Year: 2010

The ENVISION project provides an ENVIronmental Services Infrastructure with Ontologies that aims to support non ICT-skilled users in the process of semantic discovery and adaptive chaining and composition of environmental services. Innovations in ENVISION are: on-the-Web enabling and packaging of technologies for their use by non ICT-skilled users, support for migrating environmental models to be provided as models as a service (Maas), and the use of data streaming information for harvesting information for dynamic building of ontologies and adapting service execution.\nThe ENVISION Environmental Decision Portal supports the creation of web-based applications enabled for dynamic discovery and visual service chaining. The ENVISION Ontology Infrastructure provides support for visual semantic annotation tools and multilingual ontology management. The ENVISION Execution Infrastructure comprises a semantic discovery catalogue and a semantic service mediator based on a generic semantic framework and adaptive service chaining with data-driven adaptability.\nScenario requirements and pilots from the ENVISION user partners focus on landslide hazard assessment and environmental pollution (oil spills) decision support systems. The benefit of ENVISION for the wider community will be better accessibility to modelling tools using the Web and it will provide greater flexibility through improved connections to distributed sources of information.\nThe technology partners contribute their technologies for semantic service discovery and chaining based on semantic annotations as a foundation for the infrastructure of ENVISION.\nThe impact of the project is ensured through strong partner participation and leadership in relevant standardisation communities (e.g. INSPIRE, OGC, ISO/TC211, OMG and OASIS), in user communities like SEISnet and EuroGeoSurveys and through the development of open-source software and reference implementations supporting open standards.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.1.1 | Award Amount: 16.40M | Year: 2010

The internet of today is fragmented into loosely interacting domains. Future Networks will be pervasive: people, machines and the surrounding spaces will form decentralized and dynamic networks of networks of as-yet unseen scales. Future Networks will challenge Service and Network Operators to find the right ways to embed intelligence into networks in order to ensure their autonomic management and control.\nUniverSelf will consolidate autonomic methods of the future Internet for business-driven, service and network management into a novel Unified Management Framework (UMF) evolving through cognition. This UMF will remove the roadblocks of the original Internet design and of its later patchwork growth; it will seamlessly unite the control and management planes by enabling self-organisation of the former and empowering the latter with cognition. This will advance the routine management tasks by people to the level of governance of the entire network and service ecosystem.\nInnovative aspects of UniverSelf are: the dynamic and architecture-agnostic federation of intelligence; its network embodiment for optimum efficiency; technology maturation; processes for building confidence and trust. UniverSelf will convince Service and Network Operators that autonomicity becomes real when worked simultaneously from the two viewpoints - concept federation and network embedding.\nUniverSelf will adopt a use-case driven approach to develop high added value, innovative and cost efficient solutions that will serve both the EU economy and its Citizens, who will benefit in terms of QoE/QoS. The competitiveness of the European ICT industry will be significantly enhanced (creation of new business opportunities, reduced time-to-market); standards bodies (ITU-T, ETSI and IETF) will benefit from UniverSelfs rigorously studied inputs; Service and Network Operators will gain in terms of both Opex and Capex savings via reduction of human effort and mistakes, via resources optimization.


Patent
University of Miami, U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Date: 2011-09-16

Agonists of growth hormone releasing hormone promote islet graft growth and proliferation in patients. Methods of treating patients comprise the use of these agonists.


Patent
University College Cork, Chalmers University of Technology, National, Kapodistrian University of Athens and University of Southampton | Date: 2011-06-08

The invention provides a system for use in an optical communication network to reduce noise comprising means for tapping a low noise signal from said network and a phase sensitive amplifier (PSA) for conditioning said tapped signal. A laser source provides phase locked reference signals to generate at least one pump signal, wherein the at least one pump signal provides correct phase alignment for optimum PSA operation. The invention makes use of injection locked and/or phase locked laser sources in conjunction with low power input tap couplers, or post/mid amplification taps to provide the required phase locked reference signals without degrading the input loss or noise. The use of injection/phase locked local lasers suppresses the detrimental impact of the low tapped power or added noise in the generation of the required pump signals.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2011.2.2-03 | Award Amount: 11.56M | Year: 2012

Nutrition during early development has an important impact on later health, particularly through greater obesity risk, as demonstrated by FP6 EARNEST. EarlyNutrition explores the current key hypotheses on likely causes and pathways to prevention of early life origins of obesity (specifically adiposity) and associated disorders. We bring extraordinary expertise and study populations of 470,000 individuals to investigate: The fuel mediated in utero hypothesis The accelerated postnatal weight gain hypothesis The mismatch hypothesis. Scientific and technical expertise in placental biology, epigenetics and metabolomics will provide understanding at the cellular and molecular level, and refined strategies for intervention in pregnancy and early post natal life to prevent obesity. Using existing cohort studies, ongoing and novel intervention studies and a basic science programme, we will provide the scientific foundations for evidence based recommendations for optimal EarlyNutrition that incorporate long-term health outcomes, focusing on 4 Target Groups: women before pregnancy; pregnant women; infants (incl. breastfeeding); young children. Evidence is produced from animal and placental studies (Theme 1; T1), prospective cohort studies (T2), and randomised controlled trials in pregnant women and infants (T3). T4 covers scientific strategic integration, recommendation development and dissemination, including systematic reviews and behaviour change approaches. A strong multi-disciplinary team of international leaders in the field including collaborators from USA and Australia achieves balance and complementarity. The projects impact comprises definitive evidence on early nutrition effects on health, enhanced EU and global policies, major economic benefits through obesity prevention and value-added nutritional products, and practical recommendations on optimal nutrition in Target Groups. Wide dissemination will be achieved through active engagement with stakeholders.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: ICT-2013.9.9 | Award Amount: 72.73M | Year: 2013

Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest challenges facing 21st century science. If we can rise to the challenge, we can gain profound insights into what makes us human, develop new treatments for brain diseases and build revolutionary new computing technologies. Today, for the first time, modern ICT has brought these goals within sight. The goal of the Human Brain Project, part of the FET Flagship Programme, is to translate this vision into reality, using ICT as a catalyst for a global collaborative effort to understand the human brain and its diseases and ultimately to emulate its computational capabilities. The Human Brain Project will last ten years and will consist of a ramp-up phase (from month 1 to month 36) and subsequent operational phases.\nThis Grant Agreement covers the ramp-up phase. During this phase the strategic goals of the project will be to design, develop and deploy the first versions of six ICT platforms dedicated to Neuroinformatics, Brain Simulation, High Performance Computing, Medical Informatics, Neuromorphic Computing and Neurorobotics, and create a user community of research groups from within and outside the HBP, set up a European Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience, complete a set of pilot projects providing a first demonstration of the scientific value of the platforms and the Institute, develop the scientific and technological capabilities required by future versions of the platforms, implement a policy of Responsible Innovation, and a programme of transdisciplinary education, and develop a framework for collaboration that links the partners under strong scientific leadership and professional project management, providing a coherent European approach and ensuring effective alignment of regional, national and European research and programmes. The project work plan is organized in the form of thirteen subprojects, each dedicated to a specific area of activity.\nA significant part of the budget will be used for competitive calls to complement the collective skills of the Consortium with additional expertise.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2009.2.9.1 | Award Amount: 12.76M | Year: 2010

MARINA is a European project dedicated to bringing offshore renewable energy applications closer to the market by creating new infrastructures for both offshore wind and ocean energy converters. It addresses the need for creating a cost-efficient technology development basis to kick-start growth of the nascent European marine renewable energy (MRE) industry in the deep offshore a major future global market. The project combines deep-water engineering experience from European oil & gas developments during the last 40 years, state-of-the-art concepts for offshore wind energy, and the most promising concepts in todays R&D pipeline on wave energy and other marine renewables. The MARINA project is designed to capitalise on the vast body of proven marine technological knowledge gained in one of the worlds most hostile off-shore operating environments: the Northern European seas. MARINA will bolt this practical technology skill set onto the research base of the emerging but still marginal EU MRE industry and ensure its continued world-leading role. The MARINA project is therefore of major strategic significance for Europe.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.3.2-3 | Award Amount: 15.96M | Year: 2011

Over the past 15 years, EU-funded cohorts and collaborations (EuroSIDA, CASCADE and PENTA), have played a central role in developing our understanding of HIV progression and the effects of ART, enabling European expertise to contribute directly to the advances in patient diagnosis and management worldwide, and providing a continued surveillance mechanism for detection of emerging problems at a European level. Furthermore, we also established COHERE (Collaboration Of HIV Epidemiologic Research in Europe), a new European-wide cohort collaboration encompassing virtually all European HIV cohorts which were not included in the EU-funded networks. COHERE provides us with sufficient statistical power to address questions that cannot be addressed by existing cohorts and networks alone. Together, these collaborations form the foundation of a proposed Network of Excellence, which we have named EuroCoord. EuroCoord currently has access to data from over 250,000 HIV-infected individuals across the European continent, and beyond, both male and female, from neonates to geriatric populations, infected through sex between men, sex between men and women, injecting drug use, nosocomially and from mother to child, with and without co-infection with hepatitis viruses, of different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, from indigenous and migrant populations, in settings with varying levels of access to care and laboratory techniques. Our multidisciplinary research will thus allow us to address key areas of HIV research aimed at improving the management and life of HIV-infected individuals, whilst allowing us to explore differences within sub-groups. EuroCoord is in a position to mobilise European HIV cohort research, bringing it within one truly pan-European network of cohort studies with a strong and increasing presence in the Central- and Eastern European region. The structure of our network, maintaining autonomy within each individual network but within one common research platform, ensures that the most competitive science is performed whilst allowing us to pool our expertise and resources to undertake new initiatives within an integrated collaborative structure.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.1.1 | Award Amount: 26.75M | Year: 2012

In 2020, mobile and wireless traffic volume is expected to increase thousand-fold over 2010 figures. Moreover, an increase in the number of wirelessly-connected devices to counts in the tens of billions will have a profound impact on society. Massive machine communication, forming the basis for the Internet of Things, will make our everyday life more efficient, comfortable and safer, through a wide range of applications including traffic safety and medical services. The variety of applications and traffic types originating from or reaching mobile, WLAN, and sensor networks, will be significantly larger than today, and will result in more diverse requirements on services, devices and networks.\n\nMETIS is set up by leading global players to prepare the migration from todays mobile systems, focused on human communications, towards tomorrows multi-purpose global communication infrastructure, serving humans and things.\n\nThe main objective of METIS is to lay the foundation for, and to generate a European consensus on this future global mobile and wireless communications system. METIS will provide valuable and timely contributions to pre-standardisation and regulation processes, and ensure European leadership in mobile and wireless communications.\n\nMETIS will provide fundamentally new solutions which fit the needs beyond 2020. Research will be conducted on network topologies, radio links, multi-node, and spectrum usage techniques. Horizontal topics will be used to integrate the research results into a system concept that provides the necessary flexibility, versatility and scalability at a low cost. The METIS concept will be evaluated, and a roadmap will be generated.\n\nMETIS is a strong European consortium, completed by selected non-European partners to ensure global harmonisation. The consortium gathers major telecommunication stakeholders; vendors, operators and academic researchers, together with a new partner from the automotive industry to provide new insights


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.2.2. | Award Amount: 6.32M | Year: 2011

Marine life plays a vital role in the Earths ecosystem. Wise and judicious management of all relevant resources is of paramount importance to ensure that all forms of marine life remain sustainable. However, efforts in this direction are severely hindered by extreme compartmentalization and heterogeneity at all levels and sectors: the global, national, and local organizations active in the field; the different scientific disciplines involved; the methodologies used to acquire, format and present data; the procedures used to analyze the data; and several others. The main goal of the iMarine project is, thus, to launch an initiative aimed at establishing and operating an e-infrastructure supporting the principles of the Ecosystem Approach to fisheries management and conservation of marine living resources. iMarine has three main objectives: (i) the establishment of an iMarine Board, formed by representatives of international organisations involved in this domain, which will define a sustainability-driven data-centric e-infrastructure governance model and organizational and technological policy recommendations; (ii) the management and operation of this e-Infrastructure offering user-level and application-level services that support the recommended policies and provide relevant functionality to the stakeholders; (iii) the extension, adaptation and deployment of a rich set of software components that implement these services. Instrumental in the activities of iMarine will be the establishment of an active set of collaborations with other international initiatives. The aim will be to reuse and render interoperable existing policies, technologies, and e-infrastructures. By leveraging on these collaborations and by taking advantage of additional funding that these organizations invest in the project, the number of available resources brought into play will be maximized.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 7.63M | Year: 2011

-thalassaemia major is one of the most severe forms of chronic congenital anaemia. The recommended treatment consists in regular blood transfusions combined with chelating therapy to remove harmful iron accumulation in the body. The use of deferoxamine, the first chelating agent only available for subcutaneous administration is limited due to toxicity and the lack of compliance, despite its satisfactory therapeutic effects. An oral iron chelating agent, deferiprone, was authorised in Europe in August 1999 and recommended for the treatment of iron overload in patients with thalassaemia major when deferoxamine is contraindicated or inadequate. Despite a wide experience of the administration of deferiprone for thalassaemic patients, limited data are available on its use in children below 10 years and the need for additional data in this age subset was clearly indicated in the 2009 priority list approved by the Paediatric Committee at the European Medicines Agency (PDCO). In addition, according to the recent scientific advancements and in consideration of the anticipated benefit of this chelator in controlling cardiac iron overload, studies evaluating the effects of the deferiprone in all the paediatric ages and in all transfusion-dependent chronic congenital anaemia (including Sickle Cell Diseases) were also considered a critical therapeutic need. The DEEP project, in line with these premises, has been funded with the specific aim to produce a new oral liquid formulation of deferiprone suitable for the paediatric use and to provide evidences for the use of this chelator as first line therapy in the whole paediatric population (from 1 month to 18 years) affected by transfusion-dependent chronic anaemia. The condition under study in the DEEP project is rare. This poses special difficulties in the conduct of the studies due to the small patient population and the need to involve a large number of recruiting centres . However, being dedicated to develop an orphan drug, DEEP has been also recognised in the context of IRDiRC, the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium devoted to repurpose/develop 200 new drugs for Rare Diseases by the end of 2020. Main features of the DEEP project are: -The innovative design of the clinical studies including pharmacokinetic modelling for the definition of the most appropriate dosage of deferiprone in younger children, the cardiac MRI T2* evaluation as primary endpoint, a three years safety study aimed at evaluating deferiprone, in monotherapy or in combination, in the real worlds setting and, for the first time, a comparative efficacy-safety trial to compare the two existing oral chelators: deferiprone and deferasirox. -The DEEP Consortium including European and non-European Countries from the Mediterranean region where the transfusion-dependent congenital anaemia, in particular -thalassemia major, is particularly widespread: the collaboration within a multinational and multicultural network makes the Project extremely challenging due to many different ethical, methodological and social approaches to be explored and positively addressed.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2009-1.2.3 | Award Amount: 5.03M | Year: 2009

The proposed project will deliver an electronic infrastructure and supporting mechanisms for the identification, deposition, access, and monitoring of FP7 and ERC funded articles, where the main supporting mechanism will be the establishment and operation of the European Helpdesk System. Additionally, the project will offer a special repository for articles that can be stored neither in institutional nor in subject-based/thematic repositories, while it will also prepare the way for similar functionality on scientific data. All deposited articles and data will be freely accessible worldwide through a new portal to the products of EU-funded research, built as part of this project. It will also connect research input (project contracts) with research output (publications and data) and monitor the system use to obtain statistically-significant trends about both. Thematically, the project will focus on peer-reviewed publications (primarily, journal articles in final or pre-print form, but also conference articles, when considered important) in at least the seven disciplines highlighted in the Open Access pilot (energy, environment, health, cognitive systems-interaction-robotics, electronic infrastructures, science in society, and socioeconomic sciences-humanities) and on research datasets in a subset of them. Geographically, however, it will have a definitive European footprint by covering the European Union in its entirety, engaging people and scientific repositories in almost all 27 member states and beyond. The electronic infrastructure built by the project will be based on state-of-the-art software services of the D-NET package developed within the DRIVER and DRIVER-II projects and the Invenio digital repository software developed at CERN. These will be further enhanced and complemented with services developed within OpenAIRE to address critical requirements and issues that arise in the target environment and require further investigation.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2007.1.1 | Award Amount: 4.75M | Year: 2008

The BONE-proposal builds on the foundations laid out by the ePhoton/ONe projects in the previous Framework Programme. This Network of Excellence has brought together over several years the research activities within Europe in the field of Optical Networks and the BONE-project intends to validate this effort by stimulating a more intensified collaboration, exchange of researchers and building on Virtual Centres of Excellence that can serve to European industry with education and training, research tools and testlabs and pave the way to new technologies and architectures.\nThe Network of the Future, which is the central theme of this Call, will have to cope with a wide variety of applications running on a wide variety of terminals and with an increasing number of connected devices and increasing speed and data-loads. The BONE-proposal does not look into issues as convergence between mobile and fixed networks, nor does it consider issues regarding the optimised broadband access in the last mile using a wide variety of technologies such as DSL, cable, WiMAX, WiFi, PLC,... The BONE-proposal looks further into the future and takes as the final Network of the Future:\n- a high capacity, flexible, reconfigurable and self-healing optical Core and Metro network which supports the transport of massive amounts of data\n- a FTTx solution in which the x is as close as possible to the home, at the home, or even in the home. From this point the user is connected using terminal-specific technologies (wireless to handheld devices, fiber to home cinema, wireless to laptop, fixed connection to desktop,...)\nBONE clearly identifies the existence of the current technologies and also recognizes the fact that users also require the mobility of wireless access, but this mobile connection ends at a gateway or access points and from there a fixed connection is required and this fixed connection will finally be an optical link.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2012.2.2.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.78M | Year: 2013

This project aims to promote a widespread use of inquiry-based science teaching (IBST) in primary and secondary schools. Our major innovation is to connect IBST in school with the world of work making science more meaningful for young European students and motivating their interest in careers in S & T. To this end, we will run training courses in which pre- and in-service teachers will learn about IBST supported by teachers from vocational education, representatives from industry and informal learning. They will develop inquiry tasks in vocational contexts, leading to a large European task repository. Teachers will experience IBST themselves and through iterative cycles of implementation followed by reflection integrate this into their practice. To ensure widespread participation we will use a pyramid model in which we will work with a small number of teachers first each of which will then work with further teachers. Additionally we will develop an innovative interactive e-learning platform. To profit from the international perspective offered by the project teachers will be connected with existing European networks and our own thematic network on IBST through (virtual) meetings, a forum and the task repository. We will adopt a systemic approach to dissemination working with teachers and additionally parents, students, school authorities and policy makers. National and European advisory panels will bring together stakeholders to advise partners throughout the project; dialogue with policy makers will be facilitated by workshops and policy papers. To ensure effectiveness our work will be informed by a detailed analysis of the educational systems in partner nations. We plan to reach more than 65.000 teachers directly and 800.000 teachers indirectly (via stakeholders, media). Throughout, our work will be subject to rigorous evaluation and measures of quality assurance that will be both summative and formative in informing the progress of the project.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2007.2.1.5.1. | Award Amount: 4.10M | Year: 2008

Like any living system, urban communities consume material and energy inputs, process them into usable forms, and eliminate the wastes from the process. This can be seen as metabolism of industry, commerce, municipal operations, and households. Understanding the pattern of these energy and material flows through a communitys economy provides a systemic reading of the present situation for goal and objective setting and development of indicators for sustainability. At present, planning policies often reflect the logic of the market. They would better reflect a vision of urban development, in which environmental and social considerations are fully embedded in spatial planning policies at all steps of the policy cycle from problem identification and policy design through to the implementation and ex-post evaluation stages. Therefore, the widespread inclusion of sustainability objectives in urban planning at all scales (from regional to site level) is necessary, providing the opportunity for the incorporation of bio-physical sciences knowledge into the planning process on a routine basis. To this end, the proposed project BRIDGE (sustainaBle uRban plannIng Decision support accountinG for urban mEtabolism) aims at bridging the gap between bio-physical sciences and urban planners and to illustrate the advantages of accounting for environmental issues on a routine basis in design decisions. BRIDGE will provide the means to quantitative estimate the various components of the urban metabolism (observation of physical flows and modelling), the means for quantitative estimate their impacts (socio-economic and environmental impact assessments and indicators), as well as the means for resource optimisation in urban fabric (support the decision making in urban planning). BRIDGE will focus on the interrelation between energy and material flows and urban structure.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2007.1.2.2.2. | Award Amount: 8.22M | Year: 2008

European policy making is hampered by considerable uncertainty about the magnitude and nature of the impacts of long term exposure to air pollution on human health. ESCAPE is a collaboration of more than 30 European cohort studies including some 900,000 subjects. It is aimed at quantifying health impacts of air pollution and at reducing uncertainty. ESCAPE will also test new hypotheses on specific health effects of air pollution. ESCAPE will focus on effects of within-city, within-area and within-country contrasts in air pollution, and so will enable Europe to remain at the cutting edge worldwide for further development and application of methods which have been largely pioneered here. ESCAPE will make measurements of airborne particulate matter and nitrogen oxides in selected regions in Europe. It will measure the chemical composition of the collected particles and it will store samples for future chemical and toxicological analyses. Escape will focus on four categories of cohort studies: 1. Pregnancy outcome and birth cohort studies; 2. Studies on respiratory disease in adults; 3. Studies on cardiovascular disease in adults; 4. Studies on cancer incidence and mortality. ESCAPE responds to a specific FP7 call for a large collaborative project in the Environment and Health program. The call asks for research within existing cohorts among children as well as elderly adults as sensitive groups, and it asks to consider the role of other environmental exposures such as noise, and of biomarkers and gene-environment interactions. Whereas ESCAPE will focus, as requested, on air pollution and to a lesser extent traffic noise exposures, studies have been included which contain a wealth of data on other exposures (e.g., drinking water contaminants), on biomarkers and on genetics. ESCAPE will actively engage stakeholder organisations and policy makers so that results can be swiftly translated to support policy development and implementation.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: OCEAN.2011-1 | Award Amount: 7.38M | Year: 2012

European oceans will be subject to massive development of marine infrastructure in the near future. The most obvious is the energy facilities e.g. offshore wind farms, exploitation of wave energy, expansion of electricity connections, and also further development and implementation of marine aquaculture. This will also lead to an increased need for marine infrastructure to support installation and the on-going operation of the facilities. However both economical costs and environmental impact have to be reduced in order to increase the feasibility of the use of ocean space. Marine structures for offshore wind farms and aquaculture have to be installed at various sites and on much larger scale than earlier implementation of offshore structures in order to fulfil EU strategies (1) for reduction of fossil-based energy and (2) to become a major player in sustainable aquaculture. However the feasibility is much more sensitive to the costs of structures and the installation of the structures than for instance Oil & Gas facilities. Novel innovative design concepts should address different physical conditions in order to make the best use of the ocean space. Going from deep water (north of Spain) to shallow water with high morphological activity (the Wadden sea) and further to inner waters like the inner Danish/Baltic areas and the Adriatic sea changes the focus from a strong physical aspect to environmental impact. This will make it possible to develop, test and integrate different technologies but also to address site specific challenges. Both for offshore renewables and for aquaculture a substantial part of the costs is variable cost related to operations and maintenance of the plants. It is obvious that optimization of the use of ocean space for different purposes might benefit from shared resources such staff allocation, transportation of staff and material from and to the platforms, use of forecasting systems, ships etc.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2011.1.6 | Award Amount: 5.99M | Year: 2011

The goal of EINS is coordinating and integrating European research aimed at achieving a deeper multidisciplinary understanding of the development of the Internet as a societal and technological artefact, whose evolution is increasingly interwined with that of human societies. Its main objective is to allow an open and productive dialogue between all the disciplines which study Internet systems under any technological or humanistic perspective, and which in turn are being transformed by the continuous advances in Internet functionalities and applications. EINS will bring together research institutions focusing on network engineering, computation, complexity, security, trust, mathematics, physics, sociology, game theory, economics, political sciences, humanities, law, energy, transport, artistic expression, and any other relevant social and life sciences.\nThis multidisciplinary bridging of the different disciplines may also be seen as the starting point for a new Internet Science, the theoretical and empirical foundation for an holistic understanding of the complex techno-social interactions related to the Internet. It is supposed to inform the future technological, social, political choices concerning Internet technologies, infrastructures and policies made by the various public and private stakeholders, for example as for the far-ended possible consequences of architectural choices on social, economic, environmental or political aspects, and ultimately on quality of life at large.\nThe individual contributing disciplines will themselves benefit from a more holistic understanding of the Internet principles and in particular of the network effect. The unprecedented connectivity offered by the Internet plays a role often underappreciated in most of them; whereas the Internet provides both an operational development platform and a concrete empirical and experimental model. These multi- and inter-disciplinary investigations will improve the design of elements of Future Internet, enhance the understanding of its evolving and emerging implications at societal level, and possibly identify universal principles for understanding the Internet-based world that will be fed back to the participating disciplines. EINS will:\nCoordinate the investigation, from a multi-disciplinary perspective, of specific topics at the intersection between humanistic and technological sciences, such as privacy & identity, reputation, virtual communities, security & resilience, network neutrality\nLay the foundations for an Internet Science, based i.a. on Network Science and Web Science, aiming at understanding the impact of the network effect on human societies & organisations, as for technological, economic, social & environmental aspects\nProvide concrete incentives for academic institutions and individual researchers to conduct studies across multiple disciplines, in the form of online journals, conferences, workshops, PhD courses, schools, contests, and open calls


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA-2007-1.1-01;SPA-2007-1.1-02 | Award Amount: 15.86M | Year: 2009

MACC (Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate) is designed to meet the requirements that have been expressed for the pilot Core GMES Atmospheric Service. The project has been prepared by the consortia of the FP6 project GEMS and the GSE project PROMOTE, whose core service lines will provide the starting point for MACC. From mid-2009 MACC will continue, improve, extend, integrate and validate these service lines, so that the overall MACC system is ready near the end of 2011 for qualification as the operational GMES Atmospheric Core Service. MACC will prepare the core service in terms of implementation, sustained operation and availability. It will maintain and further develop the efficiency and resilience of the end-to-end pre-operational system, and will refine the scientific basis and quality of the products of the system. It will ensure that its service lines best meet both the requirements of downstream-service providers and end users at the European, national and local levels, and the requirements of the global scientific user community. The service lines will cover air quality, climate forcing, stratospheric ozone and solar radiation. MACC will deliver operational products and information that support the establishment and implementation of European policy and wider international programmes. It will acquire and assimilate observational data to provide sustained real-time and retrospective global monitoring of greenhouse gases, aerosols and reactive gases such as tropospheric ozone and nitrogen dioxide. It will provide daily global forecasts of atmospheric composition, detailed air-quality forecasts and assessments for Europe, and key information on long range transport of atmospheric pollutants. It will provide comprehensive web-based graphical products and gridded data on which downstream services may be based. Feedback will be given to space agencies and providers of in-situ data on the quality of their data and on future observational requirements.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.2.1-3 | Award Amount: 8.21M | Year: 2013

Conduct Disorder (CD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder with symptoms of Conduct Disorder (which is included among the abbreviation CD throughout the proposal) has a highly negative impact for the affected individual as well as for families and society. Although the number of females exhibiting serious aggressive behaviours is growing, the majority of studies on aetiology and treatment of CD have focused on male subjects only, despite strong evidence for a differential neurobiological basis of female CD. The key aims of the FemNAT-CD consortium are to identify biomarkers and to study disease mechanisms from pre- to postpubertal female CD as well as new psychological and pharmacological treatment options for female adolescent CD targeting emotion processing abilities. With the present proposal, we aim at clarifying the phenomenology and neurobiology of female CD from pre-puberty to post-puberty. We will study the role of genetic and environmental risk factors on female CD, related psychopathology, brain structure and function, HPA axis and autonomic nervous system (ANS) disturbance to elicit CD specific endophenotypes and its biomarkers. We will describe the clinical, neuronal and neurocognitive phenotype of female CD from pre- to postpuberty and related neuroendocrine and ANS function as well as moderating, mediating and direct risk factors to identify distinct homogeneous subtypes to guide targeted future treatment approaches. We translate knowledge of neuropsychological and neurobiological characteristics into targeted intervention by performing a randomised controlled trial of an innovative 16-week DBT-CD-A psychological treatment program focussing on emotion processing. The effect oxytocin and serotonin on neural function underlying emotion processing and aggression will be studied in a female animal model and two proof of concept pharmaco-challenge studies. We also target several societal and education objectives. Our consortium brings together strong clinical and basic science expertise on paediatric CD, including a number of SMEs and a professional management company.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: HEALTH.2013.4.1-4 | Award Amount: 778.76K | Year: 2013

Europe has 30 million people with asthma, whose treatment costs about 20 bn annually. Productivity lost through poor asthma control in Europe is estimated to be 9.8 bn per year. By 2020 approximately 120,000 people in Europe will die from asthma attacks, and 4 million hospitalisations will be needed for the most severely affected. The Objectives of EARIP (European Asthma Research and Innovation Partnership) include to: reduce the annual level of deaths by 25% within 10 years and 50% within 20 years, and hospitalisations by 50% identify more effective mechanisms to discover, develop and prioritise biological targets to helping pharmaceutical companies reduce asthma attacks and hospital admissions in asthma of varying severity and mechanistic sub-type develop new systems, models and tools for the phenotypic stratification of asthma, and determine priority needs of sub-groups identify innovations needed in health and care systems to put individual patients at the heart of asthma management/treatment, and improve outcomes with better diagnostic and patient self-management plans review research gaps in treatment of asthma identified at national and international levels, and rank in priority order identify and internationally ratify a list of research objectives of greatest potential added value in the treatment and management of asthma and produce a Roadmap setting out priorities for the research and innovations needed address the fragmentation of research approaches and healthcare systems in the management of asthma that has resulted in European countries being 14 of the worlds worst 20 for prevalence of asthma in adults, and bring together European stakeholders who will together to address specific Objectives, and review how best to establish a European Innovation Partnership, its Vision, Strategic Priorities, Priority Actions, representative core membership, organisational and governance structure, and requirements for wider interactions


Human balance is achieved and maintained by a complex set of sensorimotor systems that include sensory input from vision, proprioception and the vestibular system (motion, equilibrium, spatial orientation); integration of the sensory input; and motor output to the muscles of the eye and body. Failure at the level of the sensory inputs or at the integration of the sensory information by the central nervous system may lead to a variety of age spanning diseases which affect balance. This complexity leads to undiagnosed or under-treated patients with balance disorders for long periods and results in large socio-economic costs.The EMBalance project aims to extend existing but generic and currently uncoupled balance modelling activities leading to a multi-scale and patient-specific balance Hypermodel, which will be incorporated to a Decision Support System, towards the early diagnosis, prediction and the efficient treatment planning of balance disorders. Various data will feed the intelligent system increasing the dimensionality and personalization of the system. Human Computer Interaction techniques will be utilized in order to develop the required interfaces in a user-intuitive and efficient way, while interoperable web-services will enhance the accessibility and acceptance of the system. The vision extends to the experimental and clinical validation of the project outcomes with existing and newly acquired data (by conducting small scale clinical trials), and includes showcases in balance disorders diagnosis, prediction, treatment and follow-up in normal and micro-gravity environments.The final outcome will be a powerful web-based platform provided to primary and secondary care physicians across specialties, levels of training and geographical boundaries, targeting wider clinical acceptance as well as the increased confidence in the developed DSS towards the early diagnostic evaluation, behaviour prediction and effective management planning of balance problems.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.2.4-04 | Award Amount: 12.16M | Year: 2013

Up to 20 million European citizens suffer from food allergy. However management of both food allergy (by patients and health practitioners) and allergens (by industry) is thwarted by lack of evidence to either prevent food allergy developing or protect adequately those who are already allergic. iFAAM will develop evidence-based approaches and tools for MANAGEMENT of ALLERGENS in FOOD and integrate knowledge derived from their application and new knowledge from intervention studies into FOOD ALLERGY MANAGEMENT plans and dietary advice. The resulting holistic strategies will reduce the burden of food allergies in Europe and beyond, whilst enabling the European food industry to compete in the global market place. Our approach will build on e-Health concepts to allow full exploitation of complex data obtained from the work in this proposal and previous and ongoing studies, maximising sharing and linkage of data, by developing an informatics platform Allerg-e-lab. This will enable us to (1) Extend and integrate existing cohorts from observation and intervention studies to provide evidence as to how maternal diet and infant feeding practices (including weaning) modulate the patterns and prevalence of allergies across Europe (2) Establish risk factors for the development of severe reactions to food and identify associated biomarkers (3) Develop a clinically-validated tiered risk assessment and evidence-based risk management approach for food allergens for allergens in the food chain (4) Develop clinically-relevant multi-analyte methods of analysis suited to allergen management across the food chain Stakeholders will be integrated into iFAAM to deliver harmonised integrated approaches, including RISK ASSESSORS AND MANAGERS managing population risk, the FOOD INDUSTRY who manage allergens to ensure consumer safety, HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS to provide food allergy management plans and dietary advice and ALLERGIC CONSUMERS to manage individual risk.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2008.1.1.4.;AAT.2008.3.3.2. | Award Amount: 3.80M | Year: 2009

When an aircraft flies in cold, moist air, especially at low altitudes, ice can form rapidly both on and behind the leading edge of aerofoils and other structures. The growth of the ice disturbs the local airflow and can radically alter the lift of the aerofoil and hence the handling characteristics of the aircraft. This phenomenon has caused a number of fatal accidents and loss of control events and is a problem that will intensify as increased pressures on airports mean that aircraft will spend much longer in low altitude holding patterns. Large aircraft use hot-gases diverted from the engines to remove ice from flight-critical surfaces, while smaller aircraft sometimes use pneumatic boots which expand under pressure to shed the ice layers. These technologies are incompatible with future generations of air transport, in which composite materials will be used extensively. Furthermore, current ice detectors are insensitive, cannot distinguish between ice types and are not co-located with the safety critical zones. Building on electro-thermal de-icing technology now widely used in helicopters, the ON-WINGS project will develop a smart, autonomous, composite electro-thermal de-icing system for fixed wing, helicopter rotor blade and engine inlet applications. The system will incorporate, for the first time, ice detection sensors integrated within the structure, capable of reliably detecting the presence, thickness and type of ice including SLD and mixed phase ice - accreted on the surface. The sensors will control the operation of the electro-thermal heater blankets, thus ensuring optimum de-icing performance while minimising power demand. The system, which will include a self-diagnostic capability, will be validated in an extensive series of icing tunnel trials. ON-WINGS brings together the major European aircraft and helicopter manufacturers, specialist SMEs and research institutes to work on a critical safety issue which crosses national and company boundaries


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2008.1.3.1.1. | Award Amount: 4.11M | Year: 2009

SHARE will deliver measurable progress in all steps leading to a harmonized assessment of seismic hazard in the definition of engineering requirements, in the collection and analysis of input data, in procedures for hazard assessment, and in engineering applications. SHARE will create a unified framework and computational infrastructure for seismic hazard assessment and produce an integrated European probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA) model and specific scenario based modeling tools. The SHARE results will deliver long-lasting structural impact in areas of societal and economic relevance, they will serve as a reference for the Eurocode 8 application, and will provide homogeneous input for the correct seismic safety assessment for critical industry, such as the energy infrastructures and the re-insurance sector. SHARE will cover the whole European territory, the Maghreb countries in the Southern Mediterranean and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.2.2. | Award Amount: 5.16M | Year: 2011

OpenAIREplus will build a 2nd-Generation Open Access Infrastructure by significantly expanding in several directions the outcomes of the OpenAIRE project, which implements the EC Open Access (OA) pilot. Capitalizing on the OpenAIRE infrastructure, built for managing FP7 and ERC funded articles, and the associated supporting mechanism of the European Helpdesk System, OpenAIREplus will develop an open access, participatory infrastructure for scientific information. It will significantly expand its base of harvested publications to also include all OA publications indexed by the DRIVER infrastructure (more than 270 validated institutional repositories) and any other repository containing peer-reviewed literature that complies with certain standards. It will also generically harvest and index the metadata of scientific datasets in selected diverse OA thematic data repositories. It will support the concept of linked publications by deploying novel services for linking peer-reviewed literature and associated data sets and collections, from link discovery based on diverse forms of mining (textual, usage, etc.), to storage, visual representation, and on-line exploration. It will offer both user-level services to experts and non-scientists alike as well as programming interfaces for providers of value-added services to build applications on its content. Deposited articles and data will be openly accessible through an enhanced version of the OpenAIRE portal, together with any available relevant information on associated project funding and usage statistics. OpenAIREplus will retain its European footprint, engaging people and scientific repositories in almost all 27 EU member states and beyond. The technical work will be complemented by a suite of studies and associated research efforts that will partly proceed in collaboration with different European initiatives and investigate issues of intellectual property rights, efficient financing models, and standards.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.3-1 | Award Amount: 8.25M | Year: 2012

Background: A significant proportion of pre-diabetics, show macro and micro vascular complications associated with hyperglycaemia. Although many trials have demonstrated the efficacy of lifestyle and pharmaceutical interventions in diabetes prevention, no trial has evaluated the extent to which mid- and long-term complications can be prevented by early interventions on hyperglycaemia. Aims: To assess the long-term effects on multiple complications of hyperglycaemia of early intensive management of hyperglycaemia with sitagliptin, metformin or their combination added to lifestyle intervention (LSI) (diet and physical activity), compared with LSI alone in adults with non-diabetic intermediate hyperglycaemia (IFG, IGT or both). Study Design: Long-term, multi-centre, randomised, partially double blinded, placebo controlled, phase-IIIb clinical trial with prospective blinded outcome evaluation. Participants will be randomised to four parallel arms: 1) LSI \ 2 placebo tablets/day; 2) LSI \ 2 Metformin tablets of 850 mg/day; 3) LSI \ 2 Sitagliptin tablets of 50 mg/day; 4) LSI \ 2 tablets of a fixed-dose combination of Sitagliptin 50mg and Metformin 850 /day. Active intervention will last for at least 3 years, and additional follow-up up to 5 years. Setting and population: Males and Females with pre-diabetes (IFG, IGT or both) aged 45 to 74 years selected from primary care screening programs in 15 clinical centres from 12 countries: Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. (N=3000) Main Outcomes: The primary endpoint is a combined continuous variable: the microvascular complication ndex (MCI) composed by a linear combination of the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study Scale (ETDRS) score (based on retinograms), the level of urinary albumin to creatinine ratio, and a measure of distal small fibre neuropathy (sudomotor test by SUDOSCAN), measured during baseline visit and at 36th and 60th month visits after randomisation. In addition, this project will include the evaluation of early novel serological biomarkers of systemic inflammation, early micro-vascular damage, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion, and measures of quality of life, sleep quality (somnograms) and neuropsychological evaluation. Vascular function and structure will be evaluated in a subset of participants (n=1000), including cIMT and microvascular endothelial function measured by EndoPAT. Expected results: By evaluating the effect of aggressive treatments in pre-diabetes for the early prevention of diabetes complication, this project has the potential of changing the current paradigm of early management of hyperglycaemia. The ultimate goal is the development of a standardized core protocol for the early prevention of microvascular and other complications, impacting social cost as a result not only in health care, but also in disabilities at work.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA | Phase: SPA.2011.1.5-01 | Award Amount: 41.18M | Year: 2012

The main objective of the MyOcean2 project will be to operate a rigorous, robust and sustainable Ocean Monitoring and Forecasting component of the GMES Marine Service (OMF/GMS) delivering ocean physical state and ecosystem information to intermediate and downstream users in the areas of marine safety, marine resources, marine and coastal environment and climate, seasonal and weather forecasting. This is highly consistent with the objective of the FP7 Space Work Programme to support a European Space Policy focusing on applications such as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), with benefits for citizens, but also other space foundation areas for the competitiveness of the European space industry. In the period from April 2012 to September 2014, MyOcean2 will ensure a controlled continuation and extension of the services and systems already implemented in MyOcean, a previous funded FP7 project that has advanced the pre-operational marine service capabilities by conducting the necessary research and development. To enable the move to full operations as of 2014, MyOcean2 is targeting the prototype operations, and developing the necessary management and coordination environment, to provide GMES users with continuous access to the GMES service products, as well as the interfaces necessary to benefit from independent R&D activities. MyOcean2 will produce and deliver services based upon the common-denominator ocean state variables that are required to help meet the needs for information of those responsible for environmental and civil security policy making, assessment and implementation. MyOcean2 is also expected to have a significant impact on the emergence of a technically robust and sustainable GMES service infrastructure in Europe and significantly contribute to the environmental information base allowing Europe to independently evaluate its policy responses in a reliable and timely manner


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.3.1-1 | Award Amount: 7.72M | Year: 2012

Background. Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is one of the most common and severe hospital-adquired infections, and multidrugresistant gram-negative bacilli (MDR-GNB) constitute the main etiology in many countries. Inappropriate empiric antimicrobial treatment is associated with increased mortality. In this context, the empirical treatment of choice for VAP is unknown. Colistin, and old drug, is now the antimicrobial with greatest in vitro activity against MDR-GNB. However, no randomized clinical trial with colistin has been carried out. Additional aspects of colistin are also not well known, such as the appearance of resistant strains or alterations in the intestinal microbiome during treatment. Furthermore, conventional microbiological techniques take 48 to 72 hours to identify pathogens and determine their susceptibility. This is too long if empiric treatment is inappropriate. Objetives. The overall goal is the optimisation of the treatment of VAP caused by MDR-GNB, by defining a gold standard empiric therapy and reducing the period of time needed for the determination of the etiology and susceptibility of pathogens. Methods. MagicBullet proposes a randomized, open label, multicenter, clinical trial to compare the safety and efficacy of colistin vs. meropenem, both combined with levofloxacin, for empirical treatment of VAP. The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics of colistin will be determined. Evaluation of the impact of the both treatments in the intestinal microbiome of patients and in the Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is one of the most common and severe hospital-adquired infections, and multidrug-resistant gramnegative bacilli (MDR-GNB) constitute the main etiology in many countries. Inappropriate empiric antimicrobial treatment is associated with increased mortality. In this context, the empirical treatment of choice for VAP is unknown. Colistin, and old drug, is now the antimicrobial with greatest in vitro activity against MDR-GNB. However, no randomized clinical trial with colistin has been carried out. Additional aspects of colistin are also not well known, such as the appearance of resistant strains or alterations in the intestinal microbiome during treatment. Furthermore, conventional microbiological techniques take 48 to 72 hours to identify pathogens and determine their susceptibility. This is too long if empiric treatment is inappropriate.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-3.3-3 | Award Amount: 15.41M | Year: 2010

CHANCES aims at combining and integrating on-going cohort studies in order to produce evidence on ageing-related health characteristics and determinants in Europe, and their socio-economic implications. 15 cohorts participate, covering populations from 18 EU Member States, 4 associate countries, and 3 additional countries. The combination of these different studies would lead to an integrated approach to the study of health in the elderly. CHANCES will address 5 main types of health related characteristics: (i) incidence of chronic conditions, disabilities and mortality; (ii) prevalence of chronic conditions and disabilities; (iii) health-related determinants of chronic conditions and disabilities; (iv) ageing-related characteristics as determinants of chronic condition, disabilities and mortality; and (v) social and economic implications of chronic conditions, disabilities and mortality in the elderly. Analyses will be conducted in subjects aged 50-59, 60-69 and 70\ years. Health-related determinants comprise (i) socio-economic factors (e.g., education, income), (ii) environmental factors (e.g., occupational exposures), (iii) lifestyle factors (e.g., tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking), and (iv) nutritional factors (e.g., BMI, dietary patterns), in addition to biomakers and genetic factors. 4 major groups of chronic conditions and disabilities will be studied: (i) cancer; (ii) diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; (iii) fractures and osteoporosis; (iv) cognitive function and Alzheimer disease. Information on other conditions and disabilities (e.g., eye diseases, chronic respiratory conditions) will be also collected if available. Mortality will be assessed in terms of age-specific rates a well as DALYs. A health module will be developed, to be applied to other population surveys. Additionally, the study will generate a unique resource for additional studies on health and its determinants in the elderly. Provisions will be made to allow for this work to be extended.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IAPP | Award Amount: 2.24M | Year: 2012

NATPROTEC aims to discover and carry to the stage of development innovative products in the area of cosmeceuticals originating from European natural resources using emerging and environmentally friendly technologies. These objectives will be implemented through an extended and balanced scheme of researchers exchanges and recruitments, in both directions and via a mutual scientific project developed on the needs and interests of both Industry and Academia sectors. More specifically, NATPROTEC scientific concept involves the discovery of novel natural products (NPs) originating from the Mediterranean and Alpine biodiversity. Already existing chemical libraries will be exploited incorporating modern high throughput platforms (in silico & in vitro) for the rational and targeted selection of the optimum natural sources. Advanced analytical approaches and techniques will be applied for the efficient, accelerated and advantageous isolation and identification procedures of natural constituents as well as the quality assessment of the lead products. A broad spectrum of bioassays and novel analytical approaches will be incorporated for the evaluation of skin-protecting, anti-ageing and anti-hyperpigmenting activity of all derived products. Attention will be given to the selection of the optimum source of the biomaterial to ensure sustainability and into the development, optimisation and application of novel, green technologies for the production of the final lead products. Within this frame, core scientific knowledge and lead compounds for further development are expected to be produced creating valuable synergies. Expertise will be transferred by means of the seconded researchers training in environments with different dynamics and orientation where other skills are required. NATPROTEC aspires to comprise a successful model of an efficient, long-lasting collaboration between Industry and Academia for sustainable exploitation of existing know-how and produced knowledge.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IAPP | Award Amount: 2.19M | Year: 2013

MICROSMETICS aims to discover and carry to the stage of development innovative products in the area of cosmeceuticals originating from global biodiversity using emerging and state of the art technologies in the field of biotechnology, natural products chemistry and applied microbiology. These objectives will be implemented through an extended and balanced scheme of researchers exchanges and recruitments, in both directions and via a mutual scientific project developed on the needs and interests of both Industrial and Academic sectors, exploiting the existing complimentary expertise. More specifically, MICROSMETICS scientific concept involves the discovery of novel natural products originating from global microbial biodiversity. Already existing culture collections will be exploited incorporating modern high throughput platforms (in silico & in vitro) for the rational and targeted selection of the most promising strains. Advanced analytical approaches and techniques will be applied for the efficient, accelerated and advantageous isolation and identification of natural constituents as well as the quality assessment of the lead products. A broad spectrum of bioassays and novel analytical approaches will be incorporated for the evaluation of anti-ageing, more specifically anti-oxidant, skin-protecting, and skin-whitening activity of all derived products. Attention will be given to the selection and optimisation of fermentation technologies used for the production of final lead products to ensure sustainability. Within this frame, core scientific knowledge and lead compounds for further development are expected to be produced creating valuable synergies. Expertise will be transferred by means of the seconded researchers training in environments with different dynamics and orientation. MICROSMETICS aspires to comprise a successful model of long-lasting collaboration between Industry and Academia for sustainable exploitation of existing know-how and produced knowledge.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-10 | Award Amount: 16.21M | Year: 2009

Epidemiological and experimental evidence supports a link between chronic inflammation and cancer and indicates a role for inflammatory cells in the initiation, progression and metastasis of malignancy. The objective of the collaborative integrated project INFLA-CARE is to structure a European collective of scientific and technological excellence in the field of Inflammation & Cancer which will capitalise on the available expertise and develop effective anti-inflammatory strategies and novel agents for cancer prevention and treatment. The project will specifically seek to identify molecular and cellular targets for cancer therapy through the development and systematic study of state-of-the-art pre-clinical models of inflammation-driven cancer. By mobilising the outstanding research experience and technological capacities of the network participants, the program will accelerate the translation of knowledge obtained by basic research into new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies which will be used for the detection, prevention and improved management of several types of human cancer. INFLA-CARE will also ensure spreading of scientific excellence and dissemination of knowledge beyond the network, by encouraging innovation and transfer of knowledge and by raising public understanding of scientific and health issues. The impact of the program is therefore expected to be multi-dimensional, namely scientific, educational and innovation-related, enhancing European competitiveness and addressing major scientific issues and societal needs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2008.1.2.1.1. | Award Amount: 6.08M | Year: 2009

The rapid worldwide increase in mobile phone use in adolescents and, more recently, children has generated considerable interest in the possible health effects of exposure to radio frequency (RF) fields. The current project aims to assess the potential carcinogenic effects of childhood and adolescent exposure to RF and ELF from mobile telephones on tumours of the central nervous system. The study will include approximately 1,000 cases of malignant and benign brain tumours aged 10 to 24 years and their respective controls from 15 countries (7 of which have funding under this contract). The project will build upon the methodological experience (both in terms of exposure assessment and epidemiological design) collected within the INTERPHONE study. Particular attention will be paid to issues of: potential selection bias related to the very low response rates of population-based controls by selecting hospitalized controls with specific diagnoses, representative of the general population and unrelated to mobile phone use ; and potential recall errors by validating questionnaire responses with the help of network operators and repeat questionnaires. Improved exposure indices for RF will be derived taking into account spatial distribution of energy in the brain at different ages; ELF from the phones will also be considered, as well as other important sources of EMF in the general environment of young people. The proposed age range is the most cost efficient to answer the question (because of latency) of brain cancer risk from exposure in childhood and adolescence. The timing of the project is optimal (2010-2014) because of the increasing prevalence of heavy use among adolescents and, in the last 5-10 years, children, without hands-free kits, particularly in Southern European countries and Israel.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: ENV.2010.1.1.6-2 | Award Amount: 1.06M | Year: 2011

The projects aims are the development and evaluation of mitigation/adaptation (M/A) policy portfolios and the prioritization of research needs and gaps for twelve (12) countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine) characterized as emerging economies. The achievement of these aims is ensured through seven (7) work packages (WP) corresponding to the following projects main objectives, Evaluation of available data and information (WP1), Choice and implementation of models (WP2), Scenarios and policy portfolios (WP3), Evaluation of policy portfolios (WP4), Prioritization of research gaps and needs (WP5), Training Dissemination (WP6), Management (WP7). The overall strategy is based on Development (WP1, WP2, and WP3), Implementation (WP3), Evaluation (WP4) and Knowledge Transfer (WP6) towards scientists and decision makers of both public and private sectors from the aforementioned emerging economies; scientific research needs and gaps (WP5) will be identified and listed in an inventory as well. The knowledge transfer (training dissemination) includes a combination of training and of a continuous flow of information to decision makers of the public and private sectors of the participating emerging economies. Training includes tele-teaching and one case study seminar (in-situ) plus the provision of the necessary means (data base, software licenses plus the instruction material that will be developed during the relevant tasks of the project). Scientists and decision makers of both the public and private sector will be encouraged to participate in the training procedures and benefit from the projects dissemination activities. The dissemination activities include official presentations and deliberations with the governmental bodies of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) (Ministerial Meetings, Working Groups on Environment, Energy, Science and Technology, etc), the national competent authorities and relevant stakeholders, twelve (12) national workshops, a final international conference, a world wide disseminated newsletter, a main website with fifteen (15) linked websites, papers in scientific journals and conferences, editions. A close cooperation, at regional and national level with the BSEC Permanent Secretariat (PERMIS), the Business Council (BC-BSEC), the relevant ministries and local market forces (Industry, SMEs, banking sector, NGOs, etc) will enhance the socio-economic impact of the project. Additional efforts will be carried out for coordinated action with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other international programmes in the region. The projects duration is 36 months and the budget 961,455.00


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRA-2007-3.0-03 | Award Amount: 4.06M | Year: 2008

PESI provides standardised and authoritative taxonomic information by integrating and securing Europes taxonomically authoritative species name registers and nomenclators (name databases) that underpin the management of biodiversity in Europe.\nPESI defines and coordinates strategies to enhance the quality and reliability of European biodiversity information by integrating the infrastructural components of four major community networks on taxonomic indexing into a joint work programme. This will result in functional knowledge networks of taxonomic experts and regional focal points, which will collaborate on the establishment of standardised and authoritative taxonomic (meta-) data. In addition PESI will coordinate the integration and synchronisation of the European taxonomic information systems into a joint e-infrastructure and the set up of a common user-interface disseminating the pan-European checklists and associated user-services results\nThe organisation of national and regional focal point networks as projected not only assures the efficient access to local expertise, but is also important for the synergistic promotion of taxonomic standards throughout Europe, for instance to liaison with national governmental bodies on the implementation of European biodiversity legislations. In addition PESI will start with the geographic expansion of the European expertise networks to eventually cover the entire Palaearctic biogeographic region.\nPESI supports international efforts on the development of a Global Names Architecture by building a common intelligent name-matching device in consultation with the principal initiatives (GBIF, TDWG, EoL, SpeciesBase). PESI contributes the development of a unified cross-reference system and provides of high quality taxonomic standards. PESI will further involve the Europe-based nomenclatural services and link the planned joint European taxonomic e-infrastructures middle-layer to the global e-gateway.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.2.2. | Award Amount: 5.89M | Year: 2011

The ESPAS project will provide the e-Infrastructure necessary to support the access to observations, the modeling and prediction of the Near-Earth Space environment. This includes the plasma and energetic particle environments that surround our planet as well as the neutral atmosphere at altitudes above 60 km. These environments are an important target for future research in areas such as space weather and Sun-climate studies. The ESPAS interface will provide access to a diverse set of databases that have been developed for the needs of different users. Thus a primary goal is to facilitate user access to heterogeneous data from multiple providers, ranging from ground-based observations acquired with multiple instruments and techniques, to data from satellite experiments, using a mixture of in-situ and remotely sensed techniques. The results of searches will be delivered in a scientist-friendly manner based on existing standards and protocols. The infrastructure will also be used as a test-bed for development of methodologies and standards for validation of models of the near-Earth environment. This will lead to validated predictions of conditions in that environment, and thus promote the transfer of space environment science products into commercial and operational applications.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.1-3 | Award Amount: 2.76M | Year: 2009

There is a deficit in activity related to patient safety in primary care and the primary care/secondary care interface in Europe. This deficit relates to research, to sharing of information, to learning and to collaboration. This co-ordination action will specifically address issues addressed in the call through: (1)The development of a taxonomy of adverse events and errors. (2) Identifying best clinical practice and the way that it improves patient safety through an understanding of decision making and medication errors in primary care. (3) Achieve consensus on the measurement of safety culture and leadership in the primary care context and develop agreement on indicators which can be used to assess patient safety and improvements in safety culture. (4) Enhancing existing knowledge from quality improvement techniques which are widely used in the primary care setting and applying these to learning cycles for improvements in patient safety. (5) Develop a reporting system which can be used for identifying errors in primary care in countries where activities related to patient safety in primary care are in a nascent state and develop an accreditation framework for patient safety in these nascent organisations. (6) Identifying methods to involve patients in patient safety initiatives in primary care. (7) Identifying communication-related threats at the primary-secondary care interface and developing intervention strategies to overcome these. Building up an existing network of researchers into a pan European network, this co-ordination action will extend the current knowledge and experience from countries where the importance of patient safety is nationally recognised to countries where it is less developed, ensure that there is an appropriate focus on primary care and encourage co-operation and collaboration for future interventions through large scale trials. We aim to substantially increase the level of activity in relation to sharing information through workshops and seminars.


The AIDA project aims to answer the question of clinical effectiveness and optimal dosing of 5 off-patent antibiotics for infections caused by multiple drug resistant (MDR) bacteria in three randomized controlled clinical trials. In an era of increasing emergence of drug resistance (EDR) and lack of new antibiotics, old off- patent antibiotics are increasingly being prescribed to patients. However, many of these were developed in an age before the advent of a structured process for drug assessment and approval, and the establishment of clinical efficacy and effectiveness in randomized controlled trials in particular. In a multidisciplinary approach the exposure response relationships for each antibiotic will be elucidated by including pharmacokinetic (PK), pharmacodynamic (PD) and microbiological studies, including emergence of drug resistance (EDR). The project addresses the optimization of treatment of infections caused by MDR pathogens that impose a major burden of disease in Europe and the rest of the world by selecting 5 off-patent-antibiotics that are increasingly being used without clear evidence with respect to their effectiveness, duration of therapy and issues of EDR. In the first trial the efficacy of colistin alone is compared to colistin plus imipenem for severe infections caused by carbapenem-resistant bacteria. The second trial compares fosfomycin vs. nitrofurantoin for the treatment of lower urinary tract infection in women at high risk of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. In the third trial antimicrobial oral treatment with minocycline plus rifampicin is compared with oral treatment with linezolid for complicated skin and soft tissue infections (cSSTI) due to MRSA. Exposure response relationships, PK/PD and EDR issues will be addressed in a separate project component and is an essential element of the research project that will interrelate synergistically with the clinical studies. The results thereof will be used to refine exposure response relationships but also to study effects of exposure that are not readily observed in the trials. This will aid to delineate optimal exposures and drug dosing. This project addresses an urgent medical need that is critical both for individual patients and for society. An effective dissemination strategy is essential to effectively communicate project results to the target groups therefore supporting the project goal of preserving and strengthening the public health benefits of the studied off-patent antibiotics. The dissemination of project results to professional groups and the public in general, communication to policymakers, and implementation of results in national formularies is an important aspect.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 3.42M | Year: 2007

DRIVER is a multi-phase effort whose vision and primary objective is to establish a cohesive, pan-European infrastructure of Digital Repositories, offering sophisticated functionality services to both researchers and the general public. The present proposal (DRIVER Phase-II) aims to introduce key innovations compared to the original DRIVER project, while building on its results. The main novelties envisioned are: Establishment of a European Confederation of Digital Repositories as a strategic arm of DRIVER; Inclusion of Digital Repositories with non-textual or non-publication content, e.g., images, presentations, and possibly primary data; Construction of enhanced publications, which combine interrelated information objects into a logical whole, e.g., publications coupled with relevant presentations and associated datasets; Provision of advanced functionality to address the requirements raised by the above innovations or to serve varied modes of scientists research explorations. Additionally, DRIVER Phase-II moves from a test-bed to a production-quality infrastructure, expands the geographical coverage of Digital Repositories included in it, intensifies state-of-the-art and future-direction studies, and escalates dissemination, training, and community building activities. DRIVER Phase-II significantly broadens the horizons of the whole DRIVER endeavour regarding infrastructure operation, functionality innovation, and community relevance, and constitutes a major step on the way to the envisioned Knowledge Society.


This study was conducted following a previous discovery of multiple jet-driven winds in IC5063, which are linked to the supermassive black hole in its center (see The jet of a black hole drives multiple winds in a nearby galaxy). About 160 million years ago, charged particles (electrons/protons) that were inflowing toward the black hole were caught in magnetic field lines and ejected outward in the shape of a beam with high velocities. The beam of particles, also known as jet, propagated through the galaxy for more than 3000 light years. It went through a gas disk, driving strong winds at the points where it collided with interstellar clouds. The winds lasted for more than a half-million years, as indicated by ESO Very Large Telescope data. The scientists analyzed the ALMA data aiming to determine whether the gas in the winds has different properties than the gas in the rest of the clouds. For this purpose, they targeted emission lines of CO, originating from molecules in dense interstellar clouds, where the formation of new stars is often taking place, and where the temperature of the gas is typically ~10K. They showed that the molecular gas impacted by the black hole jet is heated, with temperatures often in the range 30K to 100K. The importance of this result lies in the impediments it poses for star formation—the increased thermal and turbulent motions of the gas delay its gravitational collapse. The gravitational collapse is further delayed by the dispersion of the clouds as the impact of the jet removes gas from dense clouds and disperses it into tenuous winds. The mass of the molecular gas in the winds is at least 2 million solar masses. Because of the energy deposited by the jet, the molecular gas is more highly excited in the winds than in the rest of the clouds. This result is encouraging for future studies in the field, as it indicates that the detection of molecular winds will be easier than previously thought for distant galaxies, which can only be observed in high excitation CO lines. Consequently, scientists can evaluate the role of the winds driven by black hole jets in the sizes of the observed galaxies over cosmological scales. This study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on November 1, 2016. Explore further: The jet of a black hole drives multiple winds in a nearby galaxy More information: K. M. Dasyra et al. ALMA reveals optically thin, highly excited CO gasin the jet-driven winds of the galaxy IC 5063, Astronomy & Astrophysics (2016). DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201629689 , On Arxiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/1609.03421 The team of the astrophysicists who worked on the study: Drs. K. Dasyra (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece), F. Combes (College de France, Observatory of Paris, France), T. Oosterloo, R. Morganti (ASTRON and the University of Groningen, The Netherlands), R. Oonk (ASTRON and Leiden University, The Netherlands), P. Salome (Observatory of Paris, France), and N. Vlahakis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.2-7 | Award Amount: 13.02M | Year: 2009

CHAIN is a large scale integrating project aimed to effectively and durably combat new and existing anti-HIV drug resistance in clinical settings, with a special emphasis on Eastern Europe and in heavily affected resource-poor regions in Africa. This will be achieved through our pan-European network of surveillance and basic research activities, the involvement of all main actors in the field of HIV and anti-HIV drug resistance, monitoring how resistances develop and evolve, improved understanding of mechanisms of resistance development, performing molecular epidemiology studies, providing improved and new strategies to evaluate and limit the emergence and transmission of HIV drug resistance, setting up training and dissemination activities and supporting evidence-based public health policy and action. CHAIN brings together Europes leading internationally recognised scientific expertise in basic science, molecular epidemiology, bioinformatics and surveillance of HIV and HIV resistance including the WHO, strong links to Eastern Europe through the existing FP6 funded cohort network Europe HIVresistance and strategic links to relevant pan-European cohort networks and national cohort networks (PENTA/ECS, CASCADE, EuroSIDA, COHERE, ICoNa, UK-CHIC, SHCS). Our balanced programme of work is informed by optimising the synergistic skills represented by the applicants, and also through harmonising with existing initiatives, that ensures lack of duplication, but rather maximises the impact of European activities. Thus, our African and Eastern European work will be linked to WHO policy, our European surveillance studies will be guided by ECDC (through our advisory board), and our clinical research will generate questions best addressed through the NEAT clinical trial network. Finally, our partnership with the key biotechnology companies in HIV resistance will ensure maximal impact of our basis research activities.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: OCEAN.2011-3 | Award Amount: 16.99M | Year: 2012

The overall scientific objectives of PERSEUS are to identify the interacting patterns of natural and human-derived pressures on the Mediterranean and Black Seas, assess their impact on marine ecosystems and, using the objectives and principles of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as a vehicle, to design an effective and innovative research governance framework based on sound scientific knowledge. Well-coordinated scientific research and socio-economic analysis will be applied at a wide-ranging scale, from basin to coastal. The new knowledge will advance our understanding on the selection and application of the appropriate descriptors and indicators of the MSFD. New tools will be developed in order to evaluate the current environmental status, by way of combining monitoring and modelling capabilities and existing observational systems will be upgraded and extended. Moreover, PERSEUS will develop a concept of an innovative, small research vessel, aiming to serve as a scientific survey tool, in very shallow areas, where the currently available research vessels are inadequate. In view of reaching Good Environmental Status (GES), a scenario-based framework of adaptive policies and management schemes will be developed. Scenarios of a suitable time frame and spatial scope will be used to explore interactions between projected anthropogenic and natural pressures. A feasible and realistic adaptation policy framework will be defined and ranked in relation to vulnerable marine sectors/groups/regions in order to design management schemes for marine governance. Finally, the project will promote the principles and objectives outlined in the MSFD across the SES. Leading research Institutes and SMEs from EU Member States, Associated States, Associated Candidate countries, non-EU Mediterranean and Black Sea countries, will join forces in a coordinated manner, in order to address common environmental pressures, and ultimately, take action in the challenge of achieving GES.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2007-1.2-03 | Award Amount: 49.02M | Year: 2008

A globally distributed computing Grid now plays an essential role for large-scale, data intensive science in many fields of research. The concept has been proven viable through the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE project (EGEE and EGEE-II, 2004-2008) and its related projects. EGEE-II is consolidating the operations and middleware of this Grid for use by a wide range of scientific communities, such as astrophysics, computational chemistry, earth and life sciences, fusion and particle physics. Strong quality assurance, training and outreach programmes contribute to the success of this production Grid infrastructure. \nBuilt on the pan-European network GANT2, EGEE has become a unique and powerful resource for European science, allowing researchers in all regions to collaborate on common challenges. Worldwide collaborations have extended its reach to the benefit of European science.\nThe proposed EGEE-III project has two clear objectives that are essential for European research infrastructures: to expand, optimize and simplify the use of Europes largest production Grid by continuous operation of the infrastructure, support for more user communities, and addition of further computational and data resources; to prepare the migration of the existing Grid from a project-based model to a sustainable federated infrastructure based on National Grid Initiatives. \nBy strengthening interoperable, open source middleware, EGEE-III will actively contribute to Grid standards, and work closely with businesses to ensure commercial uptake of the Grid, which is a key to sustainability. \nFederating its partners on a national or regional basis, EGEE-III will have a structuring effect on the European Research Area. In particular, EGEE-III will ensure that the European Grid does not fragment into incompatible infrastructures of varying maturity. EGEE-III will provide a world class, coherent and reliable European Grid, ensuring Europe remains at the forefront of scientific excellence.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.2.1 | Award Amount: 24.95M | Year: 2010

The European Middleware Initiative is a collaboration of the three major middleware providers in Europe, ARC, gLite and UNICORE, and other consortia. EMI aims to deliver a consolidated set of middleware components for deployment in EGI, PRACE and other DCIs; extend the interoperability between grids and other computing infrastructures; strengthen the reliability of the services; and establish a sustainable model to maintain and evolve the middleware, fulfilling the requirements of the user communities.\nEuropean scientific research has benefited recently from the increasing availability of computing and data infrastructures with unprecedented capabilities for large scale distributed initiatives. These infrastructures are largely defined by enabling middleware. After the necessary initial period of research and consolidation that has taken place in the past several years, the growing usage of these resources now requires the transformation of the computing infrastructures into a professionally managed and standardized service. It is of strategic importance for the establishment of permanent, sustainable research infrastructures to lower the technological barriers still preventing resource owners from federating the resources, and potential communities of tens of thousands of researchers from using grids as a commodity tool in their daily activities.\nThe EMI project will make the realization of this vision possible by addressing a number of problems that still prevent users from easily accessing and using the whole capacity of the existing computing infrastructures. It will focus on improving the usability and accessibility for scientific users and the interoperability and manageability for service providers. The sustainability of the grid services will be directly addressed by replacing wherever possible proprietary technology with off-the-shelf components, improving their standardization and implementing industry standard quality assurance methodologies.


Deligeoroglou E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Tsimaris P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Year: 2010

The most significant corporal change observed in adolescent girls is the onset of menstruation, which occurs between 12 and 13 years of age. In several cases, described with the term 'precocious puberty', pubertal development can begin at a significantly younger age. The term 'delayed puberty' refers to absence of pubertal development in a girl over the age of 14. Amenorrhoea can occur due to a broad spectrum of causes, such as anatomic deficiencies of the reproductive tract and hormonal disorders. Hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism, which implies a permanent malfunction in gonadotrophin secretion; hypergonadotrophic hypogonadism, which involves poor ovarian response in gonadotrophin stimulation; and hyperprolactinaemia can also lead to amenorrhoea. Significant amount of stress on the adolescent girl can cause hypothalamic dysfunction, leading to a situation called 'hypothalamic amenorrhoea'. Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), and especially the subtype of dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB), is the most urgent gynaecological problem during adolescence, while dysmenorrhoea (also referred to as painful menstruation) is the most frequent problem for which adolescents and their parents refer to a physician. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Lykouras L.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Psychiatrikē = Psychiatriki | Year: 2011

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental disorders in developed countries. On the other hand, obesity is recognized to be one of the greatest public health problems worldwide.The connection between body weight and mental disorders remains an open issue. Low body weight has been studied enough (anorexia nervosa is a typical example) but high body weight has not been addressed sufficiently. It is known that obesity has been related with depression. Although moderate level of evidence exists for a positive association between obesity and anxiety disorders, the exact association between these two conditions is not clear yet.The studies about this subject are quite few and they follow different methodology. Furthermore,anxiety disorders share some common elements such as anxiety, avoidance and chronicity, but they also present a great deal of differences in phenomenology, neurobiology, treatment response and prognosis. This factor makes general conclusions difficult to be drawn. Obesity has been associated with anxiety disorders as following: most of the studies show a positive relationship with panic disorder, mainly in women, with specific phobia and social phobia. Some authors have found a relationship with generalised anxiety disorder but a negative relationship has been also reported.Only few studies have found association between obesity and agoraphobia, panic attacks and posttraumatic stress disorder. There has not been reported a relationship between obesity and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The causal relationship from obesity to anxiety disorders and vice versa is still under investigation. Pharmacological factors used for obesity treatment, such as rimonabant,were associated with depression and anxiety. Questions still remain regarding the role of obesity severity and subtypes of anxiety disorders. Besides, it is well known that in the morbidly obese patients before undergoing surgical treatment, unusual prevalence of psychopathology, namely depression and anxiety disorders, is observed. Anxiety is also a common trait in personality disorders.There is no single personality type characteristic of the morbidly obese, they differ from the general population as their self-esteem and impulse control is lower. Obese patients present with passive-dependent and passive-aggressive personality traits, as well as a trend for somatization and problem denial. Their thinking is usually dichotomous and catastrophic. Obese patients also show low cooperativeness and fail to see the self as autonomous and integrated. When trying to participate in society roles they are subject to prejudice and discrimination and should be treated with concern to help alleviate their feelings of rejection and guilt.


Dimopoulos M.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Terpos E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Blood Reviews | Year: 2010

Lenalidomide is a novel immunomodulatory agent with a unique dual mechanism of action: its tumoricidal effect leads to direct tumor cell death, and its immunomodulatory effect keeps the tumor in remission. Phase III clinical trials have demonstrated that in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM), lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone offers high clinical response rates and improved time to disease progression, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) compared with dexamethasone alone. In patients with newly diagnosed MM, the combination of lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone prolonged survival compared with lenalidomide and standard high-dose dexamethasone. The benefits of lenalidomide-based treatment regimens can be optimized by initiating treatment early in the disease course, either as a frontline treatment or at first relapse. Lenalidomide is generally well tolerated; the primary adverse events are myelosuppression and venous thromboembolic complications. These adverse events emerge early in the course of treatment and can be managed using standard interventions such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, dose reduction, and thromboprophylaxis. The combination of lenalidomide and dexamethasone is effective and generally well tolerated in patients with renal impairment provided that creatinine clearance level and adverse events are carefully monitored and the starting dose of lenalidomide is adjusted appropriately. Early results from phase III trials indicate that in patients with newly diagnosed MM, continuous lenalidomide therapy is well tolerated and associated with significant improvements in PFS, offering a new treatment option for patients with MM - although no OS benefit has yet been seen in this setting. Lenalidomide-based treatment is effective across the spectrum of MM disease phases, allowing for the long-term management of myeloma. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Tsivgoulis G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Stroke | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE—: There are limited data on the potential association of adherence to Mediterranean diet (MeD) with incident stroke. We sought to assess the longitudinal association between greater adherence to MeD and risk of incident stroke.METHODS—: We prospectively evaluated a population-based cohort of 30 239 individuals enrolled in REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, after excluding participants with stroke history, missing demographic data or food frequency questionnaires, and unavailable follow-up information. Adherence to MeD was categorized using MeD score. Incident stroke was adjudicated by expert panel review of medical records during a mean follow-up period of 6.5 years.RESULTS—: Incident stroke was identified in 565 participants (2.8%; 497 and 68 cases of ischemic stroke [IS] and hemorrhagic stroke, respectively) of 20 197 individuals fulfilling the inclusion criteria. High adherence to MeD (MeD score, 5–9) was associated with lower risk of incident IS in unadjusted analyses (hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.70–1.00; P=0.046). The former association retained its significance (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% confidence interval, 0.65–0.96; P=0.016) after adjustment for demographics, vascular risk factors, blood pressure levels, and antihypertensive medications. When MeD was evaluated as a continuous variable, a 1-point increase in MeD score was independently associated with a 5% reduction in the risk of incident IS (95% confidence interval, 0–11%). We documented no association of adherence to MeD with incident hemorrhagic stroke. There was no interaction of race (P=0.37) on the association of adherence to MeD with incident IS.CONCLUSIONS—: High adherence to MeD seems to be associated with a lower risk of incident IS independent of potential confounders. Adherence to MeD is not related to the risk of incident hemorrhagic stroke. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.


Dalakas M.C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System | Year: 2012

The main chronic autoimmune neuropathies include chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN), and anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) demyelinating neuropathy. On the basis of randomized controlled studies, corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), and plasmapheresis provide short-term benefits in CIDP. MMN responds only to IVIg. Because in MMN and CIDP, IVIg infusions are required every 3-6 weeks to sustain benefits or long-term remissions, there is a need for "IVIg-sparing" agents. In CIDP, immunosuppressive drugs, such as azathioprine, cyclosporine, methotrexate, mycophenolate, and cyclophosphamide, are used, but controlled trials have not shown that they are effective. Controlled trials have also not shown benefit to any agents in anti-MAG neuropathy. However, clinicians use many immunosuppressive drugs in both settings, but all have potentially serious side effects and are only effective in some patients. Thus, there is a need for new therapies in the inflammatory and paraproteinemic neuropathies. New agents targeting T cells, B cells, and transmigration and transduction molecules are discussed as potential treatment options for new trials. The need for biomarkers that predict therapeutic responses or identify patients with active disease is emphasized, and the search for better scoring tools that capture meaningful changes after response to therapies is highlighted. © 2012 Peripheral Nerve Society.


Limnios D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kokotos C.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
RSC Advances | Year: 2013

An environmentally benign organocatalytic cross-aldol condensation of aldehydes under microwave irradiation in the absence of solvent is described. Using pyrrolidine as a catalyst, an efficient and sustainable atom economic method was developed for the cross-aldol condensation of various aldehydes with excellent results. Among the products, jasmine aldehyde, α-hexyl cinnamaldehyde and cyclamen aldehyde, three compounds of great industrial demand, were synthesised. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Bamias G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Jia L.-G.,Case Western Reserve University | Cominelli F.,Case Western Reserve University
Current Opinion in Gastroenterology | Year: 2013

Purpose of Review: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-like cytokine 1A (TL1A) associates with the death receptor 3 (DR3) on activated lymphocytes and induces proinflammatory signals. The decoy receptor 3 (DcR3) competes for TL1A binding and inhibits functional signaling. This review focuses on the role of the TL1A/DR3/DcR3 cytokine system in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). Recent Findings: TL1A may induce IFN-γ-mediated and IL-17-mediated proinflammatory pathways in IBDs by acting on DR3-expressing, CD4CD161 lymphocytes, which are substantially enriched at the inflamed intestinal mucosa. In addition, TL1A/DR3 signaling results in expansion of the Treg pool with concomitant and transient inhibition of their suppressive function. Constitutive expression of TL1A in transgenic mice was associated with small intestinal inflammation, which was accompanied by colonic fibrosis both spontaneously and under colitogenic conditions. Recent human studies demonstrated that soluble TL1A and DcR3 are present in the systemic circulation in patients with active IBD and decline after successful anti-inflammatory treatment. Summary: TL1A/DR3 interactions may participate in the pathogenesis of chronic intestinal inflammation and offer novel therapeutic targets for patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Chouvardas S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Slavakis K.,University of Peloponnese | Theodoridis S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing | Year: 2011

In this paper, the problem of adaptive distributed learning in diffusion networks is considered. The algorithms are developed within the convex set theoretic framework. More specifically, they are based on computationally simple geometric projections onto closed convex sets. The paper suggests a novel combine-project-adapt protocol for cooperation among the nodes of the network; such a protocol fits naturally with the philosophy that underlies the projection-based rationale. Moreover, the possibility that some of the nodes may fail is also considered and it is addressed by employing robust statistics loss functions. Such loss functions can easily be accommodated in the adopted algorithmic framework; all that is required from a loss function is convexity. Under some mild assumptions, the proposed algorithms enjoy monotonicity, asymptotic optimality, asymptotic consensus, strong convergence and linear complexity with respect to the number of unknown parameters. Finally, experiments in the context of the system-identification task verify the validity of the proposed algorithmic schemes, which are compared to other recent algorithms that have been developed for adaptive distributed learning. © 2011 IEEE.


Malecki P.H.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Vorgias C.E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Petoukhov M.V.,German Electron Synchrotron | Svergun D.I.,German Electron Synchrotron | Rypniewski W.,Polish Academy of Sciences
Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography | Year: 2014

The four-domain structure of chitinase 60 from Moritella marina (MmChi60) is outstanding in its complexity. Many glycoside hydrolases, such as chitinases and cellulases, have multi-domain structures, but only a few have been solved. The flexibility of the hinge regions between the domains apparently makes these proteins difficult to crystallize. The analysis of an active-site mutant of MmChi60 in an unliganded form and in complex with the substrates NAG4 and NAG5 revealed significant differences in the substrate-binding site compared with the previously determined complexes of most studied chitinases. A SAXS experiment demonstrated that in addition to the elongated state found in the crystal, the protein can adapt other conformations in solution ranging from fully extended to compact. © 2014 International Union of Crystallography.


Terrovitis J.V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Smith R.R.,Cedars Sinai Medical Center | Marban E.,Cedars Sinai Medical Center
Circulation Research | Year: 2010

Myocardial regeneration using stem and progenitor cell transplantation in the injured heart has recently become a major goal in the treatment of cardiac disease. Experimental studies and clinical applications have generally been encouraging, although the functional benefits that have been attained clinically are modest and inconsistent. Low cell retention and engraftment after myocardial delivery is a key factor limiting the successful application of cell therapy, irrespective of the type of cell or the delivery method. To improve engraftment, accurate methods for tracking cell fate and quantifying cell survival need to be applied. Several laboratory techniques (histological methods, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, radiolabeling) have provided invaluable information about cell engraftment. In vivo imaging (nuclear medicine modalities, bioluminescence, and MRI) has the potential to provide quantitative information noninvasively, enabling longitudinal assessment of cell fate. In the present review, we present several available methods for assessing cell engraftment, and we critically discuss their strengths and limitations. In addition to providing insights about the mechanisms mediating cell loss after transplantation, these methods can evaluate techniques for augmenting engraftment, such as tissue engineering approaches, preconditioning, and genetic modification, allowing optimization of cell therapies. © 2010 American Heart Association, Inc.


Synnefa A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Santamouris M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Energy and Buildings | Year: 2012

Cool roof technology is an energy efficient, financially viable and sustainable solution for mitigating heat islands and reducing building energy consumption for cooling. An EU supported project called Cool Roofs has achieved to promote this technology in the EU by the implementation of an Action Plan. The work is developed in four axes, technical, market, policy and end-users. The Action Plan is steered by the development of the European Cool Roof Council that brings together all related stakeholders. The main results of the project include the creation of the European Cool Roof Council (ECRC), five cool roof pilot studies, a database of cool roofing materials, a handbook and a toolkit to assist the better understanding of the technical aspects of the technology, a market promotion plan, a proposal for a successful strategy to overcome possible policy barriers and engage with key stakeholders who could support and accelerate the creation of an EU policy and regulatory friendly environment to cool roofs, the organization of workshops and seminars and other actions of dissemination. This paper presents the main achievements at EU level regarding the establishment of cool roofs as heat island mitigation strategy and a measure for reducing cooling loads. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Synnefa A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Saliari M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Santamouris M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Energy and Buildings | Year: 2012

This paper describes an effort to estimate the impact of a cool roof (characterised by increased solar reflectance compared to the initial roof and high infrared emittance) on the energy performance and thermal behaviour of a non-cooled school building in Athens, Greece. An experimental monitoring campaign has been carried out before and after the application of a white elastomeric coating with a solar reflectance of 0.89 on the roof of the building. The air and surface temperature of the building have been measured and a set of meteorological parameters have been collected. An infrared camera has been used to depict the differences in the surface temperature before and after the cool roof application. The monitoring results are complemented and supported by building simulation. The building has been modelled into TRNSYS software and the model has been calibrated and validated using the experimental data. Simulation results show a decrease in the air temperature in the classes that reaches 2.8 °C and a decrease in the annual cooling load by 40%. The corresponding heating penalty (i.e. the increase of heating load) is 10%. Additionally, the impact of the cool roof on thermal comfort, peak power and surface temperature has been assessed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Ntikoudi E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kiagia M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Boura P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Syrigos K.N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Cancer Treatment Reviews | Year: 2014

Introduction: Adipose tissue secretes numerous bioactive peptides, collectively termed "adipocytokines" or "adipokines". Adipokines act in a paracrine, autocrine, or endocrine manner and regulate several physiological and pathological processes. Increasing evidence indicates that adipokines are implicated also in several malignancies, including lung cancer as well. Aim: The aim of this study is to summarize data concerning adipokines in lung cancer pathogenesis, prognosis and survival; the role of adipokines in lung cancer cachexia is also examined. Materials and Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in the electronic database of Medline. Several studies and review articles met the inclusion criteria. Results: Leptin and adiponectin are the best studied adipokines. The majority of the relevant studies has investigated the potential correlations mainly between leptin, adiponectin, and sometimes also resistin, and nutritional status, systemic inflammation of lung cancer or lung cancer cachexia and have also assessed their prognostic significance. Few other studies have studied genetic variations in leptin, leptin receptor and adiponectin genes and their association with lung cancer susceptibility and prognosis. The ongoing list of adipokines associated with lung cancer also includes resistin, chemerin, and visfatin. Conclusions: Increasing evidence points to the involvement of certain adipocytokines in lung cancer development, progression and prognosis. No conclusive evidence exists so far with regards to the role of adipocytokines in lung cancer cachexia. Future, longitudinal studies are warranted in order to clarify the role of adipocytokines in lung cancer and also uncover adipocytokines as novel therapeutic targets. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Papatheodoridis G.V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Tsochatzis E.,University College London | Hardtke S.,Hannover Medical School | Wedemeyer H.,Hannover Medical School
Liver International | Year: 2014

Background & Aims: Despite the availability of effective therapies for hepatitis B (HBV) and C virus (HCV), only a minority of these patients receive treatment. We systematically reviewed published data on barriers to management for chronic HBV/HCV patients in Europe. Methods: Literature search to identify studies including adult patients with chronic HBV/HCV infection from European countries and data on barriers to treatment. Results: Twenty-five studies including 6253 chronic HBV and 19 014 HCV patients were identified, of which only two were from Eastern Europe. The mean rate of no treatment in HBV patients was 42% being higher in North-Western European countries than Italy (56% vs. 39%, P < 0.001). Immigrants represented the most common barrier to HBV treatment. The mean rate of no treatment in HCV RNA-positive patients was 57%, being highest in Romania (89%), intermediate in France (79%) and lower though still high in other European countries (52%, P < 0.001). The predominant barriers to HCV treatment were lack of financial resources in Romania and direct/indirect limitations of interferon-alfa and/or parenteral drug and alcohol abuse in other countries. The mean rate of no treatment was highest in HCV RNA-positive parenteral drug users (72%) and intermediate in those with HCV-HIV co-infection (64%). Conclusions: A substantial proportion of diagnosed chronic HBV and the majority of diagnosed HCV patients remain untreated. The rates and most importantly the reasons of barriers to treatment in chronic HBV/HCV patients vary widely among European countries supporting the need for country-specific national strategies, resource allocation and implementation of global management policies. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Reynoso M.M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Reynoso M.M.,CONICET
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2014

Context. Gamma-ray bursts (GRB) are the most powerful events in the universe. They are capable of accelerating particles to very high energies, so are strong candidates as sources of detectable astrophysical neutrinos. Aims. We study the effects of particle acceleration and escape by implementing a two-zone model in order to assess the production of high-energy neutrinos in GRBs associated with their prompt emission. Methods. Both primary relativistic electrons and protons are injected in a zone where an acceleration mechanism operates and dominates over the losses. The escaping particles are re-injected in a cooling zone that propagates downstream. The synchrotron photons emitted by the accelerated electrons are taken as targets for pγ interactions, which generate pions along with the pp collisions with cold protons in the flow. The distribution of these secondary pions and the decaying muons are also computed in both zones, from which the neutrino output is obtained. Results. We find that for escape rates lower than the acceleration rate, the synchrotron emission from electrons in the acceleration zone can account for the GRB emission, and the production of neutrinos via pγ interactions in this zone becomes dominant for Eν > 105 GeV. For illustration, we compute the corresponding diffuse neutrino flux under different assumptions and show that it can reach the level of the signal recently detected by IceCube. © 2014 ESO.


Bakas N.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Ioannou P.J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

In this Letter, we use a nonequilibrium statistical theory, the stochastic structural stability theory (SSST), to show that an extended version of this theory can make predictions for the formation of nonzonal as well as zonal structures (lattice and stripe patterns) in forced homogeneous turbulence on a barotropic β plane. Comparison of the theory with nonlinear simulations demonstrates that SSST predicts the parameter values for the emergence of coherent structures and their characteristics (scale, amplitude, phase speed) as they emerge and at finite amplitude. It is shown that nonzonal structures (lattice states or zonons) emerge at lower energy input rates of the stirring compared to zonal flows (stripe states) and their emergence affects the dynamics of jet formation. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Pappas G.,International School for Advanced Studies | Pappas G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Apostolatos T.A.,International School for Advanced Studies | Apostolatos T.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

Recently, it was shown that slowly rotating neutron stars exhibit an interesting correlation between their moment of inertia I, their quadrupole moment Q, and their tidal deformation Love number λ (the I-Love-Q relations), independently of the equation of state of the compact object. In the present Letter a similar, more general, universality is shown to hold true for all rotating neutron stars within general relativity; the first four multipole moments of the neutron star are related in a way independent of the nuclear matter equation of state we assume. By exploiting this relation, we can describe quite accurately the geometry around a neutron star with fewer parameters, even if we don't know precisely the equation of state. Furthermore, this universal behavior displayed by neutron stars could promote them to a more promising class of candidates (next to black holes) for testing theories of gravity. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Terpos E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2012

Bisphosphonates inhibit osteoclast-mediated bone resorption and have been used extensively to prevent skeletal-related events in patients with bone lesions from multiple myeloma (MM). In addition, in vitro and in vivo preclinical data suggest that bisphosphonates also have antimyeloma properties that may induce myeloma cell apoptosis, activate an anticancer immune response, inhibit angiogenesis, and reduce tumor burden, supporting an expanded role for bisphosphonates. Signals for improved survival in the clinic first emerged in retrospective analyses of MM patient subgroups in larger clinical trials. Recently, improved progression-free survival and overall survival with bisphosphonates have been reported in the overall populations of large-scale randomized clinical trials. Several ongoing clinical trials will help further define the role of bisphosphonates during antimyeloma therapy. Overall, bisphosphonates appear to be well tolerated in patients with MM; the most common adverse events are mild and can be easily managed. However, emphasis on renal monitoring and preventive dentistry are necessary to reduce the risk of potential adverse events, and have become the standard of care for patients with MM. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.


Krypotou E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Diallinas G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Fungal Genetics and Biology | Year: 2014

Transport assays allow the direct kinetic analysis of a specific transporter by measuring apparent Km and Vmax values, and permit the characterization of substrate specificity profiles through competition assays. In this protocol we describe a rapid and easy method for performing uptake assays in the model filamentous ascomycete Aspergillus nidulans. Our method makes use of A. nidulans germinating conidiospores at a defined morphological stage in which most transporters show maximal expression, avoiding technical difficulties associated with the use of mycelia. In combination with the ease of construction of genetic null mutants in A. nidulans, our method allows the rigorous characterization of any transporter in genetic backgrounds that are devoid of other transporters of similar specificity. Here, we use this method to characterize the kinetic parameters and the specificity profile of UapC, a uric acid-xanthine transporter present in all ascomycetes and member of the ubiquitous Nucleobase-Ascorbate Transporter family, in specific genetic backgrounds lacking other relevant transporters. © 2014.


Giataganas D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Soltanpanahi H.,Jagiellonian University | Soltanpanahi H.,University of Witwatersrand
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We study the Langevin diffusion of a relativistic heavy quark in anisotropic strongly coupled theories in the local limit. Firstly, we use the axion space-dependent deformed anisotropic ℕ = 4 sYM, where the geometry anisotropy is always prolate, while the pressure anisotropy may be prolate or oblate. For motion along the anisotropic direction we find that the effective temperature for the quark can be larger than the heat bath temperature, in contrast to what happens in the isotropic theory. The longitudinal and transverse Langevin diffusion coefficients depend strongly on the anisotropy, the direction of motion and the transverse direction considered. We analyze the anisotropy effects to the coefficients and compare them to each other and to them of the isotropic theory. To examine the dependence of the coefficients on the type of the geometry, we consider another bottom-up anisotropic model. Changing the geometry from prolate to oblate, certain diffusion coefficients interchange their behaviors. In both anisotropic backgrounds we find cases that the transverse diffusion coefficient is larger than the longitudinal, but we find no negative excess noise. © 2014 The Author(s).


Achilleos V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Frantzeskakis D.J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kevrekidis P.G.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Pelinovsky D.E.,McMaster University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We study matter-wave bright solitons in spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensates with attractive interactions. We use a multiscale expansion method to identify solution families for chemical potentials in the semi-infinite gap of the linear energy spectrum. Depending on the linear and spin-orbit coupling strengths, the solitons may present either a sech2-shaped or a modulated density profile reminiscent of the stripe phase of spin-orbit coupled repulsive Bose-Einstein condensates. Our numerical results are in excellent agreement with our analytical findings and demonstrate the potential robustness of solitons for experimentally relevant conditions. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Vassilakopoulos T.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Johnson P.W.M.,University of Southampton
Seminars in Hematology | Year: 2016

There is now good evidence that the escalated BEACOPP regimen (bleomycin, etoposide, adriamycin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, prednisone) is more effective in controlling advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) than the widely used ABVD regimen (adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine), but the extra efficacy comes at the expense of both short- and long-term toxicity, and there is debate as to whether overall survival is affected. Baseline prognostic factors have proven of limited utility for determining which patients require more intensive therapy and recent studies have sought to use interim fluoro-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) evaluation as a means to guide the modulation of treatment, both upwards and downwards in intensity. These suggest that if treatment starts with ABVD then patients remaining PET-positive after 2 months can be salvaged with escalated BEACOPP in around 65% of cases, but those becoming PET-negative may still experience recurrences in 15%–20%, an event that is more common in those with more advanced disease at presentation. There are early data to suggest that starting with escalated BEACOPP may reduce the rate of recurrence after a negative interim PET to less than 10%. This may be an attractive approach for those with very high-risk features at presentation, but risks overtreating many patients if applied nonselectively. New regimens incorporating antibody–drug conjugates may shift the balance of efficacy and toxicity once again, and further studies are underway to evaluate this. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.


Stavropoulos V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Alexandraki K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Motti-Stefanidi F.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Adolescence | Year: 2013

This study aims: a) to estimate the prevalence of internet addiction among adolescents of urban and rural areas in Greece, b) to examine whether the Internet Addiction Test cut-off point is applicable to them and c) to investigate the phenomenon's association with academic achievement. Participants were 2090 adolescents (mean age 16, 1036 males, 1050 females). Young's (1998) Internet Addiction Test and her Diagnostic Questionnaire were applied. School records' grades were retrieved. A 3.1% prevalence revealed, while boys {. F(1,1642)=6.207, p<.05}, urban residents {. F (1, 1642)=5.53, p>.05} and academic track high school students {. F (1, 1642)=5.30, p<.05} were at higher risk. An Internet Addiction Test score of 51 points (sample's mean=27.69, SD=17.38) was proposed as the optimal cut-off point combining high sensitivity (98%) and specificity (91%). Finally, findings illustrated the syndrome's relation to worse academic achievement {. F (1, 1725)=0.93, p>.05}. © 2013 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents.


Gialamas V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Nikolopoulou K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Computers and Education | Year: 2010

This paper regards a comparative study which investigates in-service and pre-service Greek early childhood teachers' views and intentions about integrating and using computers in early childhood settings. Views and intentions were investigated via a questionnaire administered to 240 in-service and 428 pre-service early childhood teachers. Confirmatory Factor Analysis showed that the one-factor structure of the questionnaire holds in both populations. Measurement partial invariance between the two populations was confirmed. Comparing the two populations with regard to the degree of adopting positive views-intentions and the level of computer self-efficacy, teachers expressed more positive views-intentions and students reported higher computer self-efficacy. Implications for teacher training are discussed. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Lianidou E.S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Mavroudis D.,University of Crete | Georgoulias V.,University of Crete
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2013

Blood testing for circulating tumour cells (CTC) has emerged as one of the hottest fields in cancer research. CTC detection and enumeration can serve as a 'liquid biopsy' and an early marker of response to systemic therapy, whereas their molecular characterisation has a strong potential to be translated to individualised targeted treatments and spare breast cancer (BC) patients unnecessary and ineffective therapies. Different analytical systems for CTC detection and isolation have been developed and new areas of research are directed towards developing novel assays for CTC molecular characterisation. Molecular characterisation of single CTC holds considerable promise for predictive biomarker assessment and to explore CTC heterogeneity. The application of extremely powerful next-generation sequencing technologies in the area of CTC molecular characterisation in combination with reliable single CTC isolation opens new frontiers for the management of patients in the near future. This review is mainly focused on the clinical potential of the molecular characterisation of CTC in BC. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.


Duntas L.H.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Brenta G.,Dr Cesar Milstein Hospital
Medical Clinics of North America | Year: 2012

Thyroid hormones regulate cholesterol and lipoprotein metabolism, whereas thyroid disorders, including overt and subclinical hypothyroidism, considerably alter lipid profile and promote cardiovascular disease. Good evidence shows that high thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is associated with a nonfavorable lipid profile, although TSH has no cutoff threshold for its association with lipids. Thyromimetics represent a new class of hypolipidemic drugs: their imminent application in patients with severe dyslipidemias, combined or not with statins, will improve the lipid profile, potentially accelerate energy expenditure and, as a consequence, vitally lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Santamouris M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Santamouris M.,Cyprus Institute
Energy and Buildings | Year: 2014

Urban heat island and global warming increase ambient temperature and modify the energy budget of buildings. The magnitude of the modification has been evaluated in a large number of articles, under different climatic and building boundary conditions. This paper collects, analyzes and classifies existing knowledge regarding the energy impact of urban heating to buildings and calculates preliminary indicators and impact figures. Based on the analysis of the impact studies, it is found that in average the cooling load of typical urban buildings is by 13% higher compared to similar buildings in rural areas. Four specific energy impact indicators, the global energy penalty per m2, the global energy penalty per m2 and degree of UHI, the global energy penalty per person and the global energy penalty per person and per degree of the UHI are defined and calculated. The variability of the heating and cooling loads of typical buildings is evaluated for the period 1970-2010. The average increase of the cooling demand is 23% while the corresponding average reduction of the heating is 19%. In total, the average energy consumption of typical buildings for heating and cooling purposes increased by 11% for the same period. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Pervanidou P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Chrousos G.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
International Journal of Pediatric Obesity | Year: 2011

Chronic distress contributes to the development of obesity and comorbid states. Stress is the disturbance of the complex dynamic equilibrium that all organisms must maintain, and is associated with activation of the Stress system comprising of the hypothalamicpituitaryadrenal axis and the arousal/sympathetic nervous systems. The stress system functions in a baseline circadian fashion and interacts with other systems of the organism to regulate a variety of behavioral, endocrine, metabolic, immune and cardiovascular functions. The experience of perceived or real uncontrollable intense and/or chronic stress (distress) may lead to several psychopathologic conditions, including anxiety, depressive and psychosomatic disorders, substance abuse, obesity and the metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, as well as impaired reproductive and immune functions. Developing children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the effects of chronic stress. Both behavioral and biological pathways are involved in the connection between chronic stress and obesity in adults and children. Emotional "comfort" eating, lack of sleep, impulsive behaviours and selection of specific foods often characterize stressed individuals. In addition to specific behaviours, dysregulation of the stress system through increased secretion of cortisol and catecholamines, especially in the evening hours, and in concert with concurrently elevated insulin concentrations, leads to development of central obesity, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. In children, chronic alterations in cortisol secretion may have additional effects on cognitive and emotional development, timing of puberty and final stature. Obese children and adolescents are frequently entangled in a vicious cycle between distress, impairing self-image and distorted self-image, maintaining and worsening distress. © 2011 Informa Healthcare.


Kokkinos C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Economou A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Talanta | Year: 2011

This work is a study of the analytical utility of Nafion-modified microfabricated bismuth film electrodes (BiFEs) for the determination of Pb(II) and Cd(II) by anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV) in the presence of surfactants. Micro-fabricated BiFEs were prepared by depositing a thin film of bismuth on the surface of a silicon substrate by sputtering while the two-dimensional geometry of the final sensors was defined by photolithography. The BiFEs were further drop-coated with a Nafion film. These devices were applied to the determination of Pb(II) and Cd(II) by square wave ASV (SWASV) in the presence of Triton X-100 (a non-ionic surfactant), cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) (a cationic surfactant) and sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) (an anionic surfactant). It was found that the presence of Nafion afforded an increase in sensitivity and the tolerance against surfactants but these properties were severely influenced by both the thickness of the Nafion film and the nature of the interfering surfactant. Using a Nafion of 0.4 μm thickness and 120 s of preconcentration, the repeatability (expressed as the % relative standard deviation on the same sensor (n = 8)) at the 20 μg l-1 level was 3.8% for Pb(II) and 3.1% for Cd(II) and the limits of detection were 0.5 μg l-1 for Cd(II) and Pb(II). The sensors were applied to Cd(II) and Pb(II) determination in a certified lake-water sample. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


Moustakas A.L.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory - Proceedings | Year: 2011

Linear MMSE reception offers a low complexity option for multi-antenna communication systems. Understanding the outage behavior of the corresponding signal-to-interference-and-noise ratio (SINR) and per-antenna throughput r is important in a quasistatic mobile environment. In this paper we introduce a large deviations method, valid nominally for large antenna numbers N, which calculates the probability density of the SINR and r of Gaussian channel MIMO MMSE receivers, with arbitrary transmission power profiles and in the presence of transmitter antenna correlations. This approach extends the Gaussian approximation of the SINR, valid only very close to the center of the distribution, demonstrating the non-Gaussian tails of the distribution. Our methodology allows us to calculate the correct leading order (O(N)) of the SINR distribution and showcase the deviations from approximations that have appeared in the literature (e.g. the Gaussian or the generalized Gamma distribution). We are also able to calculate next-to-leading order corrections to the distribution, thereby making the approximation quite accurate even for the smallest antenna arrays (2 × 2). © 2011 IEEE.


Markopoulos C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Van De Water W.,Leiden University
Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology | Year: 2012

Breast cancer is the most frequent malignant tumor in women worldwide and as breast cancer incidence increases with increasing age, over 40% of new cases are diagnosed in women older than 65 years of age. However, older patients are not treated to the same extent as younger patients and increasing age at diagnosis predicts deviation from guidelines for all treatment modalities. Evidence-based medicine in older patients is lacking as they are usually excluded from clinical trials often because of existing comorbidities and limited life expectancy. Accordingly, there is a higher competing risk of death from other causes than breast cancer compared with younger patients and this may have led to the false interpretation that prognosis of breast cancer in older patients is relatively good. However, every treatment modality should be evaluated during treatment decision making. Multimodal therapy should not be routinely withheld as data show that disease-specific mortality increases with age, probably due to undertreatment. Prognostic markers, fitness and comorbidities rather than chronological age should determine optimal, individualized therapy. It is recommended that treatment decisions should be discussed in a multidisciplinary setting, ideally in combination with any form of geriatric assessment, to improve breast cancer outcome in the older population. © The Author(s), 2012.


Dimitrakopoulos G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
2011 11th International Conference on ITS Telecommunications, ITST 2011 | Year: 2011

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) rapidly migrate towards the Future Internet (FI) era, which is characterized, among others, by powerful and complex network infrastructures and innovative applications, services and content. An application area that attracts immense research interest is transportation. In particular, traffic congestions, emergencies and accidents reveal inefficiencies in transportation infrastructures, which can be overcome through the exploitation of ICT findings, in designing systems that are targeted at traffic / emergency management, namely Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). This paper considers the potential connection of vehicles to form vehicular networks that communicate with each other at an IP-based level, exchange information either directly or indirectly (e.g. through social networking applications and web communities) and contribute to a more efficient and green future world of transportation. In particular, the paper presents the basic research areas that are associated with the concept of Internet of Vehicles (IoV) and outlines the fundamental research challenges that arise there from. © 2011 IEEE.


Mavragani C.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Moutsopoulos H.M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Autoimmunity Reviews | Year: 2010

Sjogren's syndrome (SS) is a slowly progressing autoimmune disease, affecting predominantly middle-aged women, with a female to male ratio reaching 9:1. It is characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of the exocrine glands, mainly the lacrimal and salivary glands, resulting in reduced secretory functions and oral and ocular dryness. The syndrome can present alone as primary SS (pSS) or in the context of underlying connective tissue disease as secondary SS (sSS). While the pathogenesis of the disease remains elusive, environmental, genetic and hormonal contributors seem to be involved. Over the last years, compelling evidence has suggested a pivotal role of the epithelium in orchestrating the immune response in the histopathological lesion of Sjogren's syndrome and the term "autoimmune epithelitis" has been proposed as an etiological term. Although the clinical manifestations of pSS patients are mainly those of an autoimmune exocrinopathy, almost half of patients develop extraglandular disease, which may be manifested either by epithelial lymphocytic invasion of lung, liver, or kidney (resulting in interstitial nephritis) or by skin vasculitis, peripheral neuropathy, glomerulonephritis, and low C4 levels. The latter reflect immune-complex mediated disease and confer increased risk for lymphoma development. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Papathanassopoulos S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
International Journal of Digital Television | Year: 2014

This article aims to provide an overview of the current state of digital television in Greece. By examining the latest digital developments in the middle of financial crisis, it suggests that the Greek government adopted a purely market-driven approach leaving the private forces to take up digital terrestrial television. The closure of the public broadcaster, ERT, has accelerated the neo-liberal market-driven policy and Greece has ended up as one of the countries that have left the development of digital terrestrial television entirely to the private sector. © 2014 Intellect Ltd.


Sfetsos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Thompson D.C.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We present a family of (formula presented) =1 supersymmetric backgrounds in type-IIA super-gravity and their lifts to eleven-dimensional supergravity. These are of the form AdS5 × X5 and are characterised by an SU(2) structure. The internal space, X5, is obtained from the known Sasaki-Einstein manifolds, Yp, q, via an application of non-Abelian T-duality. © The Author(s).


Sfetsos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Thompson D.C.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

Abstract: We examine a recently proposed class of integrable deformations to two-dimensional conformal field theories. These λ-deformations interpolate between a WZW model and the non-Abelian T-dual of a Principal Chiral Model on a group G or, between a G/H gauged WZW model and the non-Abelian T-dual of the geometric coset G/H. λ-deformations have been conjectured to represent quantum group q-deformations for the case where the deformation parameter is a root of unity. In this work we show how such deformations can be given an embedding as full string backgrounds whose target spaces satisfy the equations of type-II supergravity. One illustrative example is a deformation of the (Formula presented.) black-hole CFT. A further example interpolates between the (Formula presented.) gauged WZW model and the non-Abelian T-dual of AdS3 × S3 × T4 supported with Ramond flux. © 2014, The Author(s).


Zervas I.M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Theleritis C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Soldatos C.R.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
World Journal of Biological Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Objectives. Despite the fact that many studies have addressed the use of ECT in schizophrenia questions on clinical use remain poorly answered and clinical application is largely based on data originating from depressed patients. Methods. We review data on the use of ECT in schizophrenic patients drawn from original studies indicated by a Pubmed search and referenced in recent and older expert reviews with a specific focus on four issues: symptom response, technical application, continuation/maintenance ECT and combination with medication. Results. Catatonic patients are the most responsive. Positive symptoms such paranoid delusions and affective symptoms follow. There are indications that ECT may improve responsivity to medication. No particular technical features stand out in studies except lengthier courses, but not for catatonia. Combination with medication appears to be preferable over either treatment alone and effective combination particularly with clozapine is supported by data. Use of continuation and maintenance treatments in responders appears beneficial. Conclusion. Certain schizophrenic patients may benefit significantly from the use of ECT. More specific research is required to address particular questions. © 2012 Informa Healthcare.


Papadakis P.,Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications | Pratikakis I.,Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications | Theoharis T.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Perantonis S.,Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications
International Journal of Computer Vision | Year: 2010

We present a novel 3D shape descriptor that uses a set of panoramic views of a 3D object which describe the position and orientation of the object's surface in 3D space. We obtain a panoramic view of a 3D object by projecting it to the lateral surface of a cylinder parallel to one of its three principal axes and centered at the centroid of the object. The object is projected to three perpendicular cylinders, each one aligned with one of its principal axes in order to capture the global shape of the object. For each projection we compute the corresponding 2D Discrete Fourier Transform as well as 2D Discrete Wavelet Transform. We further increase the retrieval performance by employing a local (unsupervised) relevance feedback technique that shifts the descriptor of an object closer to its cluster centroid in feature space. The effectiveness of the proposed 3D object retrieval methodology is demonstrated via an extensive consistent evaluation in standard benchmarks that clearly shows better performance against state-of-the-art 3D object retrieval methods. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Dimopoulos M.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
American Journal of Hematology | Year: 2011

The treatment of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) has changed over the last decades, mainly because of the introduction of nucleoside analogues and of rituximab while novel agents such as bortezomib have been recently introduced. We performed an analysis to investigate whether the outcome of patients with WM has improved over the last years, compared to that of patients who started treatment before new drugs became widely available, especially as part of the frontline treatment. We analyzed 345 symptomatic patients with WM: 130 who initiated treatment before and 215 who started treatment after January 1, 2000. Patients who started treatment in the latter group were older and had more often elevated beta2-microglobulin but the other characteristics were similar between the two groups. Most patients who started treatment before January 1, 2000 were treated upfront with alkylating agent-based regimens and most patients who started treatment after January 1, 2000 received rituximab-based regimens as initial treatment. Objective response (63 and 59%, respectively) and median overall survival, OS, (106.5 months for Group A and is estimated at 94 months for Group B, P = 0.327) were similar. There was also no difference regarding OS or cause specific survival (CSS) in each risk group according to IPSSWM. Our observation may be explained by the indolent course of WM in several patients and by the lack of profound cytoreduction in patients with high-risk disease. Possible differences in the 15- or 20-year survival rate between the two groups may be detected with further follow-up of these patients. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Stefanaki I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Skin therapy letter | Year: 2010

Seborrheic dermatitis is a recurrent, usually mild, skin disorder with typical clinical manifestations. As it most frequently involves exposed areas, such as the face and scalp, patients seek advice from a dermatologist in order to control their disease. This article will review the available treatments for this common dermatologic problem.


Peppas K.P.,Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications | Datsikas C.K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Optical Communications and Networking | Year: 2010

Using an accurate exponential bound for the Gaussian Q-function, we derive simple approximate closed-form expressions for the average symbol error probability (ASEP) of a free-space optical communication link using subcarrier intensity modulation (SIM) with general-order rectangular quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) over atmospheric turbulence channels. To model the atmospheric turbulence conditions, the log-normal and the gamma-gamma distribution are used. Extensive numerical and computer simulation results are presented in order to verify the accuracy of the proposed mathematical analysis. © 2010 Optical Society of America.


Papatheodoridis G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Hatzakis A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology | Year: 2012

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of liver disease worldwide, as 130-170 million individuals are chronically infected and 350,000 patients die every year from HCV infection. The HCV prevalence varies widely among countries being highest in several African and Eastern Mediterranean countries. The incidence of new HCV infections may be declining in developed countries, but there is still a large reservoir of chronic infections. The most important mode of HCV transmission has been injecting drug use in developed countries with low prevalence and unsafe therapeutic injections in developing countries with moderate-high prevalence. Since there are no systematic screening policies, most patients remain undiagnosed. Even among diagnosed patients, a minority receives treatment due to several barriers to therapy. Given the high efficacy of treatment, public health authorities should recognise the importance of HCV and make resources available for the implementation of effective primary prevention, screening and management policies. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Background: Organisms are constantly exposed to physiological and environmental stresses and therefore require an efficient surveillance of genome and proteome quality in order to prevent disruption of homeostasis. Central to the intra- and extracellular proteome surveillance system are the molecular chaperones that contribute to both proteome maintenance and clearance. The conventional protein product of the apolipoprotein J/clusterin (CLU) gene is a heterodimeric secreted glycoprotein (also termed as sCLU) with a ubiquitous expression in human tissues. CLU exerts a small heat shock protein-like stress-induced chaperone activity and has been functionally implicated in numerous physiological processes as well as in ageing and most age-related diseases including tumorigenesis, neurodegeneration, and cardiovascular and metabolic syndromes. Objective: The CLU gene is differentially regulated by a wide variety of stimuli due to the combined presence of many distinct regulatory elements in its promoter that make it an extremely sensitive cellular biosensor of environmental and/or oxidative stress. Downstream to CLU gene induction, the CLU protein seems to actively intervene in pathological states of increased oxidative injury due to its chaperone-related property to inhibit protein aggregation and precipitation (a main feature of oxidant injury), as well as due to its reported distribution in both extra- and, most likely, intracellular compartments. Conclusion: On the basis of these findings, CLU has emerged as a unique regulator of cellular proteostasis. Nevertheless, it seemingly exerts a dual function in pathology. For instance, in normal cells and during early phases of carcinogenesis, CLU may inhibit tumor progression as it contributes to suppression of proteotoxic stress. In advanced neoplasia, however, it may offer a significant survival advantage in the tumor by suppressing many therapeutic stressors and enhancing metastasis. This review will critically present a synopsis of recent novel findings that relate to the function of this amazing molecule and support the notion that CLU is a biosensor of oxidative injury; a common link between ageing and all pathologies where CLU has been implicated. Potential future perspectives, implications and opportunities for translational research and the development of new therapies will be discussed. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Markomichelakis N.,Genimatas General Hospital | Delicha E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Masselos S.,Genimatas General Hospital | Sfikakis P.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
American Journal of Ophthalmology | Year: 2012

Purpose: To assess the safety and to conduct a preliminary assessment of efficacy of intravitreal infliximab, an anti-tumor necrosis factor antibody, for sight-threatening relapsing uveitis in Behçet disease. Design: Prospective, noncomparative, interventional pilot study. Methods: A single intravitreal injection of infliximab (1 mg/0.05 mL) was given to 15 patients with relapsing posterior uveitis at the onset of a unilateral attack. Best-corrected visual acuity, anterior chamber cells, vitreous haze, and posterior eye segment inflammation were assessed at baseline and at 1, 7, 14, and 30 days after treatment. Results: Ocular or extra-ocular side effects were not observed. Baseline best-corrected visual acuity (mean logarithm of minimal angle of resolution, 0.74; range, 0.15 to 1.7) improved significantly by day 7 and continued to improve through day 30 after infliximab (mean, 0.30; P <.0001). Profound decreases in anterior chamber cells and vitreous haze (both P <.0001), as well as beneficial effects in retinal vasculitis (P =.0001) and retinitis (P =.001) were evident through day 30. Cystoid macular edema persisted in 9 of 11 eyes affected, but central macular thickness decreased from a baseline mean of 434 to 309 mm at the end of follow-up (P <.0001). Lack of systemic treatment at baseline in 4 patients or background immunosuppressive medications, which remained unchanged during follow-up, did not influence significantly these responses; additional treatment was not required. Conclusions: These findings suggest that intraocularly produced or acting tumor necrosis factor, or both, is crucial in Behçet disease-associated relapsing uveitis and that intravitreal infliximab should be considered when systemic administration is not feasible or contraindicated. Further studies may identify patients for whom intravitreal infliximab is preferable to systemic treatment. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Papaioannou K.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The International journal of oral & maxillofacial implants | Year: 2011

To compare in vitro the attachment and proliferation of human osteoblast-like cells (MG63) on tissue culture plates and guided bone regeneration (GBR) membranes in the absence or presence of nicotine. Membrane samples were fixed to wells and the cell number (CN) was counted after 24 hours (attachment assay) or 5 days (proliferation assay). The ratio of cell count (RCC) (CN at 5 days/CN at 24 hours) was calculated. The study had three parts: First, five different resorbable GBR membranes were compared (Resolut Adapt LT [RALT], Biocollagen [BC], Bio-Gide [BG], OsseoGuard [OG], and Demokritos Human Tissue Bank [DEM]). Next, cells were cultured on tissue culture plates with five different concentrations of nicotine. Finally, cells were cultured on the membrane that had demonstrated the highest RCC and CN in part 1 with four different concentrations of nicotine. At 24 hours, BG showed the highest CN and OG showed the lowest CN. At 5 days, BG showed the highest CN. The order of RCC was BG > OG > DEM > RALT ~ BC. At 24 hours, lower nicotine concentrations (0.3 and 3 μg/mL) showed higher CNs versus the control, whereas CNs for high nicotine concentrations (30 and 300 μg/mL) were lower than for the control. CN at 5 days and RCC were lowest with 300 μg/mL nicotine. At 24 hours and 5 days, all differences among wells with membrane were statistically insignificant. Nevertheless, CN at 5 days and RCC were highest with the lowest nicotine concentration (3 μg/mL) and lowest with high concentrations. Membrane materials influence attachment and proliferation of bone cells and, therefore, could affect the outcomes of GBR. On both tissue culture plates and membranes, there is a tendency toward a biphasic effect of nicotine, with stimulatory effects at low concentrations and inhibitory effects at high concentrations.


Kokotos C.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Organic Chemistry | Year: 2012

A systematic study to evaluate the ability of various organocatalysts to catalyze the aldol reaction between acetone and 2,2,2-trifluoromethyl-1- phenylethanone was undertaken. Benchmark organocatalysts failed to catalyzethis reaction. However, a prolinamide-thiourea consisting of (S)-prolinamide, (1S,2S)-diphenylethylenediamine, and (S)-di-tert butyl aspartate proved to be an efficient catalyst, providing tertiary alcohols as the products of the reaction between ketones and perfluoroalkyl ketones in high to quantitative yields and high enantioselectivities (up 81% ee) at a catalyst loading of 2 mol %. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Jackson T.L.,King's College London | Paraskevopoulos T.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Georgalas I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Survey of Ophthalmology | Year: 2014

We review a total of 342 cases of endogenous bacterial endophthalmitis reported between 1986 and 2012. Predisposing conditions were present in 60%, most commonly diabetes, intravenous drug use, and malignancy. The most common sources of infection were liver, lung, endocardium, urinary tract, and meninges. Systemic features such as fever were present in 74%, hypopyon in 35%, and an absent fundal view in 40%. Diagnostic delay occurred in 26%. Blood cultures were positive in 56%, and at least one intraocular sample was positive in 58% (comprising 26% anterior chamber samples, 59% vitreous taps, and 41% vitrectomy specimens). Worldwide, Gram negative infections (55%) were more frequent than Gram positive (45%) infections, particularly in Asia. Over the last decade, 11% of eyes were treated with systemic antibiotics alone, 10% intravitreal antibiotics alone, 36% systemic plus intravitreal antibiotics, and 20% systemic plus intravitreal antibiotics plus pars plana vitrectomy. The most commonly used intravitreal antibiotics were vancomycin (for Gram positive infection) and ceftazidime (Gram negative). The median final visual acuity was 20/100, with 44% worse than 20/200. Among all cases, 24% required evisceration or enucleation, and mortality was 4%. Both intravitreal dexamethasone and vitrectomy were each associated with a significantly greater chance of retaining 20/200 or better and significantly fewer eviscerations or enucleations-these warrant further study. For most patients, treatment should include a thorough systemic evaluation and prompt intravitreal and systemic antibiotics. © 2014.


Matralis A.N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kourounakis A.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2014

Because atherosclerosis is an inflammatory process involving a series of pathological events such as dyslipidemia, oxidative stress, and blood clotting mechanisms, we hereby report the synthesis and evaluation of novel compounds in which antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and squalene synthase (SQS) inhibitory/hypolipidemic activities are combined in simple molecules through design. The coupling of two different pharmacophores afforded compounds 1-12, whose biological profile was markedly improved compared to those of parent lead structures (i.e., the hypolipidemic 2-hydroxy-2-aryl-(benzo)oxa(or thia)zine and the antioxidant phenothiazine). Most derivatives strongly inhibited in vitro microsomal lipid and LDL peroxidation, exhibiting potent free-radical scavenging activity. They further significantly inhibited SQS activity and showed remarkable antidyslipidemic activity in vivo in animal models of acute and high-fat-induced hyperlipidemia. Finally, several compounds showed anti-inflammatory activity in vitro, inhibiting cycloxygenase (COX-1/2) activity. The multimodal properties of the new compounds and especially their combined antioxidant/SQS/COX inhibitory activity render them interesting lead compounds for further evaluation against atherosclerosis. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Duntas L.H.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Biondi B.,University of Naples Federico II
Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis | Year: 2011

Subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) is a frequent condition affecting millions of people around the world. Defined by increased thyrotropin-stimulating hormone (TSH) and accompanied by normal thyroid hormone levels, SH reflects a mild tissue hypothyroidism that has been associated with metabolic derangements andalthough this issue is still contentiouspossibly with increased cardiovascular risk. Depending on the degree of TSH elevation, SH has accordingly been associated with hyperlipidemia, arterial hypertension, and cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as, increasingly, newly emerging CVD risk factors such as serum C-reactive protein and retinol binding protein 4 levels. There have also been reports of abnormalities in glucose metabolism and of hemostatic parameters, mainly underscored by the increased activity of factor VII. This review discusses the results of the latest studies on the various parameters affected by SH while highlighting the need for timely treatment with levothyroxine. © 2011 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.


Daikos G.L.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Markogiannakis A.,Laikon General Hospital
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2011

Infections caused by carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (CPKP) are increasing in frequency worldwide. CPKP isolates exhibit extensive drug resistance phenotypes, complicate therapy, and limit treatment options. Although CPKP isolates are often highly resistant to carbapenems, a proportion of these have relatively low MICs for carbapenems, raising the question of whether this class of agents has any therapeutic potential against CPKP infections. Results from animal studies and patient outcome data indicate that carbapenems retain meaningful in vitro activity against CPKP isolates with carbapenem MICs of ≤4mg/L. Accumulating clinical experience also suggests that the therapeutic efficacy of carbapenems against CPKP isolates with MICs of ≤4mg/L is enhanced when these agents are administered in combination with another active antibiotic. The results of human pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies are in line with the above observations; it is highly probable that a high-dose/prolonged-infusion regimen of a carbapenem would attain a time above the MIC value of 50% for CPKP isolates with MICs up to 4mg/L, ensuring acceptable drug exposure and favourable treatment outcome. The analyses summarized in this review support the notion that carbapenems have their place in the treatment of CPKP infections and that the currently proposed EUCAST clinical breakpoints could direct physicians in making treatment decisions. © 2011 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.


Archontis V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Archontis V.,University of St. Andrews | Hood A.W.,University of St. Andrews | Tsinganos K.,National Observatory of Athens
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2014

We report on three-dimensional MHD simulations of recurrent mini coronal mass ejection (CME)-like eruptions in a small active region (AR), which is formed by the dynamical emergence of a twisted (not kink unstable) flux tube from the solar interior. The eruptions develop as a result of the repeated formation and expulsion of new flux ropes due to continuous emergence and reconnection of sheared field lines along the polarity inversion line of the AR. The acceleration of the eruptions is triggered by tether-cutting reconnection at the current sheet underneath the erupting field. We find that each explosive eruption is followed by reformation of a sigmoidal structure and a subsequent "sigmoid-to-flare arcade" transformation in the AR. These results might have implications for recurrent CMEs and eruptive sigmoids/flares observations and theoretical studies. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Panopoulos S.T.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Sfikakis P.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine | Year: 2011

Purpose of Review: There is no specific therapy for interstitial lung disease associated with connective tissue diseases (CTDs-ILD), a potentially fatal condition for some of these patients. This article reviews currently available information on the effects on CTDs-ILD of biological treatments that are increasingly used with considerable success in various systemic diseases. Recent Findings: A beneficial effect of antitumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents on CTDs-ILD has been described in sporadic patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic sclerosis (SSc) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, and despite the fact that there was no clear evidence of pulmonary toxicity of these agents in randomized-controlled trials comprising thousands of patients with RA and spondylarthropathies, new onset or exacerbation of preexisting ILD with high mortality rates has so far been observed in 144 RA patients following anti-TNF treatment in clinical practice. Likewise, administration of the B-cell depleting anti-CD20 antibody rituximab was beneficial for ILD in SSc patients but associated with new-onset ILD in isolated patients with RA and SLE. Pertinent information on other biological treatments is currently lacking. Summary: Data on the therapeutic role of biological agents in CTDs-ILD is preliminary and controversial. Although preexisting ILD is not a contraindication for these agents, until more information is available their administration should be stopped when new pulmonary symptoms occur. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Duntas L.H.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2010

Context: The recent recognition that the essential trace element selenium is incorporated as selenocysteine in all three deiodinases has decisively confirmed the clear-cut link between selenium and thyroid function. It has additionally been established that the thyroid contains more selenium than any other tissue and that selenium deficiency aggravates the manifestation of endemic myxedematous cretinism and autoimmune thyroid disease. Evidence Acquisition: Clinical reports as well as a large number of biochemical articles linking selenium to thyroid have been considered. Interventional, prospective, randomized, controlled studies, including large observational studies, supplementing selenium in autoimmune thyroid disease, together with review articles published in Medline and Pubmed have undergone scrutiny. The methodological differences and variety of results emerging from these trials have been analyzed. Evidence Synthesis: Evidence in support of selenium supplementation in thyroid autoimmune disease is evaluated, the results herein presented demonstrating the potential effectiveness of selenium in reducing the antithyroid peroxidase titer and improving the echostructure in the ultrasound examination. However, considerable discord remains as to who should comprise target groups for selenium treatment, who will most benefit from such treatment, the precise impact of the basal antithyroid peroxidase level, and the effect of disease duration on the treatment outcome. Clearly, further in-depth studies and evaluation are required concerning the mechanism of action of selenium as well as the choice of supplements or dietary intake. Conclusions: Maintenance of "selenostasis" via optimal intake not only aids preservation of general health but also contributes substantially to the prevention of thyroid disease. Copyright © 2010 by The Endocrine Society.


Stathopoulos G.T.,University of Patras | Kalomenidis I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2012

Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) poses a significant clinical problem. Current nonetiologic management is suboptimal in terms of efficacy and safety. In light of recent research progress, we propose herein a new view of MPE development, which may rapidly translate into meaningful changes in therapeutics. In addition to tumor-induced impairment of pleural fluid drainage, pertinent findings point toward another pathway to MPE formation: a vicious loop of interactions between pleural-based tumor cells and the host vasculature and immune system that results in increased net fluid production via enhanced plasma extravasation into the pleural space. The ability of tumor cells to trigger this cascade likely rests on a specific and distinct transcriptional repertoire, which results in important vasoactive events in the pleural space. Although the characterization of tumor-derived factors responsible for MPE development is in the making, an additional, indirect path to MPE was recently demonstrated: tumor cells recruit and co-opt host cells and mediators, which, in turn, amplify tumor cell-primed fluid leakage and impact tumor cell functions. Importantly, recent evidence suggests that the biologic events that culminate in clinical MPE are likely amenable to therapeutic inhibition and even prevention. In this perspective, the scientific basis for an update of current concepts of MPE formation is highlighted. Key questions for future research are posed. Finally, a vision for novel, effective, safe, and convenient treatment modalities that can be offered to outpatients with MPE is set forth. Copyright © 2012 by the American Thoracic Society.


Vassilopoulos D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Calabrese L.H.,Cleveland Clinic
Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year: 2012

Despite the major advances towards better prevention and treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, these two chronic infections still account for ĝ̂1/4500 million infected people and 1 million deaths per year worldwide. Rheumatologists are frequently encountering patients with rheumatic disease who have co-existing HBV or HCV infection in daily clinical practice. Moreover, over the past decade, a number of studies have shown an increased risk of HBV reactivation and liver-related complications in HBV-infected patients treated with biologic agents (especially anti-TNF therapies). In this Review, the basic viral characteristics of HBV and HCV, as well as the natural course of chronic HBV and HCV infection, are outlined. Furthermore, a rational clinical approach for diagnosis and treatment of these comorbid conditions in the context of rheumatic disease is presented. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Alexopoulou A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Karayiannis P.,University of Nicosia
Annals of Gastroenterology | Year: 2015

The development of protease inhibitors (PIs) such as telaprevir and boceprevir constitutes a milestone in chronic hepatitis C antiviral treatment since it has achieved sustained virological response (SVR) rates of up to 75% in naïve and 29-88% in treatment-experienced patients with genotype 1 infection. Both require combination treatment with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) plus ribavirin (RBV) as PI monotherapy results in resistant mutations. New direct acting antiviral agents (DAAs) have recently been approved or their approval is imminent. Simeprevir administered orally as one pill per day in combination with PEG-IFN/RBV will be the next PI to be approved. The SVR rates at about 72-80% for treatment-naïve patients are not a major improvement over telaprevir or boceprevir. However, this treble combination has fewer side effects and drug-drug interactions and most patients undergo shorter treatment duration (24 months) due to earlier treatment responses. Sofosbuvir is the first available once-daily NS5B polymerase inhibitor which has been approved in combination with PEG-IFN/RBV for just 12 weeks with 89% SVR in treatment-naïve patients with genotype 1 infection and 83-100% in treatment-experienced patients with genotypes 2/3. The current review focuses on the recent rapid and continuous developments in the management of chronic HCV infection with DAAs in combination with PEG-IFN/RBV. © 2015 Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology.


Nastos P.T.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Politi N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kapsomenakis J.,Academy of Athens
Atmospheric Research | Year: 2013

The objective of this paper is to study the spatial and temporal variability of the Aridity Index (AI) in Greece, per decade, during the 50-year period (1951-2000). Besides, the projected changes in ensemble mean AI between the period 1961-1990 (reference period) and the periods 2021-2050 (near future) and 2071-2100 (far future) along with the inter-model standard deviations were presented, based on the simulation results, derived from a number of Regional Climatic Models (RCMs), within the ENSEMBLE European Project. The projection of the future climate was done under SRES A1B.The climatic data used, concern monthly precipitation totals and air temperature from 28 meteorological stations (22 stations from the Hellenic National Meteorological Service and 6 stations from neighboring countries, taken from the Monthly Climatic Data for the World). The estimation of the AI was carried out based on the potential evapotranspiration (PET) defined by Thornthwaite (1948). The data processing was done by the application of the statistical package R-project and the Geographical Information Systems (GIS).The results of the analysis showed that, within the examined period (1951-2000), a progressive shift from the "humid" class, which characterized the wider area of Greece, towards the "sub-humid" and "semi-arid" classes appeared in the eastern Crete Island, the Cyclades complex, the Evia and Attica, that is mainly the eastern Greece. The most significant change appears during the period 1991-2000. The future projections at the end of twentieth century, using ensemble mean simulations from 8 RCMs, show that drier conditions are expected to establish in regions of Greece (Attica, eastern continental Greece, Cyclades, Dodecanese, eastern Crete Island and northern Aegean). The inter-model standard deviation over these regions ranges from 0.02 to 0.05 against high values (0.09-0.15) illustrated in western mountainous continental Greece, during 2021-2050. Higher values of inter-model standard deviation appear in the 2071-2100 ranging from 0.02 to 0.10 reaching even 0.50 over mountainous regions of the country. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Varotsos C.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Theoretical and Applied Climatology | Year: 2013

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-like variability of various parameters and indices (e.g. sea surface temperature (SST)) is explored, by employing the last six decades of data on a global scale. We found that the ENSO signal in the SST field extends over tropics and subtropics, becoming maximum around 30° N and 30° S. The pronounced ENSO signal in the SST is observed over the southern tropics and subtropics. Additionally, the investigation of regional links between the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and SST revealed a new regional link, which extends in the tropical southern Pacific Ocean, where the effects of a long-lived pattern of SST are taking place. Furthermore, very strong SST-like surface temperature behaviour is observed over the equatorial Indian Ocean, being a new input to the assessment of "dangerous anthropogenic interference". The above-mentioned findings could be employed to the advanced modelling development to improve climate change projections. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Wien.


Cholongitas E.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Papatheodoridis G.V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2013

The progress in treatment against hepatitis B virus (HBV) with the development of effective and well tolerated nucleotide analogues (NAs) has improved the outcome of patients with HBV decompensated cirrhosis and has prevented post-transplant HBV recurrence. This review summarizes updated issues related to the management of patients with HBV infection before and after liver transplantation (LT). A literature search using the PubMed/Medline databases and consensus documents was performed. Pre-transplant therapy has been initially based on lamivudine, but entecavir and tenofovir represent the currently recommended first-line NAs for the treatment of patients with HBV decompensated cirrhosis. After LT, the combination of HBV immunoglobulin (HBIG) and NA is considered as the standard of care for prophylaxis against HBV recurrence. The combination of HBIG and lamivudine is related to higher rates of HBV recurrence, compared to the HBIG and entecavir or tenofovir combination. In HBIG-free prophylactic regimens, entecavir and tenofovir should be the first-line options. The choice of treatment for HBV recurrence depends on prior prophylactic therapy, but entecavir and tenofovir seem to be the most attractive options. Finally, liver grafts from hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) positive donors can be safely used in hepatitis B surface antigen negative, preferentially anti-HBc/anti-hepatitis B surface antibody positive recipients. © 2013 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.


Vlachogiannakos J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Papatheodoridis G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2013

Patients with chronic hepatitis B are at increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), while the inhibition of viral replication can represent a reasonable target for HCC prevention. Interferon-α therapy results in decreased HCC risk, which is more evident in patients with high baseline HCC risk. The majority of chronic hepatitis B patients are treated with a nucleos(t)ide analogue (NA) for several reasons including the non-sustained response after interferon-α. The effect of the first licensed and low genetic barrier NA, lamivu-dine, on HCC incidence, has been repeatedly evaluated. Lamivudine, compared to no treatment, reduces the HCC incidence, which may increase again in cases with lamivudine resistance. Emerging data with the currently first-line NAs, entecavir and tenofovir, suggest that they also reduce the HCC incidence. The treatment beneft in reduction of the HCC incidence is always greater in patients with high baseline HCC risk, particularly cirrhotics, and without virological remission under entecavir/tenofovir. However, the HCC risk is not eliminated even in the vast majority of patients who remain in virological remission under entecavir/te-nofovir. Therefore, patients at increased baseline HCCrisk should continue to undergo HCC surveillance even if they have achieved complete long-term inhibition of viral replication and improvements in liver histology. © 2013 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.


Papageorgiou A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Voulgarelis M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Tzioufas A.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Autoimmunity Reviews | Year: 2015

The intrinsic and complex nature of primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) makes it difficult to identify risk factors that can predict the development and outcome of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), yet patients at high risk for such complication seem to bear certain clinic-serological characteristics that render them a unique profile. In the last decade, research focusing on B-cell hyperactivity as the hallmark of pSS-related lymphoproliferation has shed light on certain biological and molecular factors that participate in disease evolution and lymphoma development, thus indicating possible predictors of lymphoma development and outcome. In this review, we explore all the available data concerning the clinical picture, risk prognostication and outcome of pSS-associated NHLs. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Gupta J.,Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine | delBarcoBarrantes I.,Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine | Igea A.,Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine | Sakellariou S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | And 5 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2014

Colorectal cancer is frequently associated with chronic inflammation, with the intestinal epithelial barrier playing an important protective role against the infections and injuries that cause colitis. The p38α pathway regulates inflammatory responses but can also suppress tumor initiation in epithelial cells. We have found that p38α signaling has a dual function in colorectal tumorigenesis. On one side, p38α protects intestinal epithelial cells against colitis-associated colon cancer by regulating intestinal epithelial barrier function. Accordingly, p38α downregulation results in enhanced colitis-induced epithelial damage and inflammation, which potentiates colon tumor formation. Surprisingly, inhibition of p38α in transformed colon epithelial cells reduces tumor burden. Thus, p38α suppresses inflammation-associated epithelial damage and tumorigenesis but contributes to the proliferation and survival of tumor cells. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Bouboulis P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Slavakis K.,University of Peloponnese | Theodoridis S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
IEEE Transactions on Image Processing | Year: 2010

The main contribution of this paper is the development of a novel approach, based on the theory of Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces (RKHS), for the problem of noise removal in the spatial domain. The proposed methodology has the advantage that it is able to remove any kind of additive noise (impulse, gaussian, uniform, etc.) from any digital image, in contrast to the most commonly used denoising techniques, which are noise dependent. The problem is cast as an optimization task in a RKHS, by taking advantage of the celebrated Representer Theorem in its semi-parametric formulation. The semi-parametric formulation, although known in theory, has so far found limited, to our knowledge, application. However, in the image denoising problem, its use is dictated by the nature of the problem itself. The need for edge preservation naturally leads to such a modeling. Examples verify that in the presence of gaussian noise the proposed methodology performs well compared to wavelet based technics and outperforms them significantly in the presence of impulse or mixed noise. © 2010 IEEE.


Tentolouris N.K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Nature Reviews Endocrinology | Year: 2011

Painful diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes mellitus. Based on strong evidence, recently published guidelines suggest that pregabalin should be offered as first-line therapy in patients with painful symptoms. Nevertheless, other agents and nonpharmacological therapies may also be effective for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Petrakis T.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Transcription | Year: 2012

Research in the last decade revealed an additional role for the Replication Licensing Factor Cdc6 in transcriptional regulation. This novel function has been linked to human cancer development. Here, we summarize all the findings arguing over a role of Cdc6 as a transcriptional repressor and shed light toward new research directions for this field.


Tong Z.,Chalmers University of Technology | Bogris A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Karlsson M.,Chalmers University of Technology | Andrekson P.A.,Chalmers University of Technology
Optics Express | Year: 2010

For the first time, four different noise sources, which are amplified quantum noise, Raman phonon seeded excess noise, pump transferred noise (PTN), and pump residual noise, are considered simultaneously to model the wavelength-dependent noise figure in a singlepumped fiber optical parametric amplifier. An asymmetric signal NF spectrum induced by both Raman phonon seeded excess noise and Raman gain modified PTN is measured in the electrical domain. Theoretical results agree very well with the experimental data. The idler NF spectrum is also analyzed and measured, which shows a more symmetric profile. ©2010 Optical Society of America.


Bogdanis G.C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Frontiers in Physiology | Year: 2012

The aim of this review was to examine the mechanisms by which physical activity and inactivity modify muscle fatigue. It is well known that acute or chronic increases in physical activity result in structural, metabolic, hormonal, neural, and molecular adaptations that increase the level of force or power that can be sustained by a muscle. These adaptations depend on the type, intensity, and volume of the exercise stimulus, but recent studies have highlighted the role of high intensity, short-duration exercise as a time-efficient method to achieve both anaerobic and aerobic/endurance type adaptations.The factors that determine the fatigue profile of a muscle during intense exercise include muscle fiber composition, neuromuscular characteristics, high energy metabolite stores, buffering capacity, ionic regulation, capillarization, and mitochondrial density. Muscle fiber-type transformation during exercise training is usually toward the intermediate type IIA at the expense of both type I and IIx myosin heavy-chain isoforms. High-intensity training results in increases of both glycolytic and oxidative enzymes, muscle capillarization, improved phosphocreatine resynthesis and regulation of K +, H +, and lactate ions. Decreases of the habitual activity level due to injury or sedentary lifestyle result in partial or even compete reversal of the adaptations due to previous training, manifested by reductions in fiber cross-sectional area, decreased oxidative capacity, and capillarization. Complete immobilization due to injury results in markedly decreased force output and fatigue resistance. Muscle unloading reduces electromyographic activity and causes muscle atrophy and significant decreases in capillarization and oxidative enzymes activity. The last part of the review discusses the beneficial effects of intermittent high-intensity exercise training in patients with different health conditions to demonstrate the powerful effect of exercise on health and well being. © 2012 Bogdanis.


Laoutidis Z.G.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Kioulos K.T.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Psychopharmacology | Year: 2014

Rationale: The primary antipsychotic-induced creatine kinase elevation (i.e., not due to neuroleptic malignant syndrome, extrapyramidal symptoms, etc.) is a poorly studied condition. Objectives: The aims of the present study were to provide an overview of published cases with antipsychotic-induced creatine kinase elevation and give recommendations for the clinical practice. Methods: PubMed and EMBASE were searched for eligible trials, case series, and case reports. We set a threshold at ten times the upper normal limit of the creatine kinase value in order to define an elevation as significant. Results: The prevalence of significant creatine kinase elevation ranged between 2 and 7 %. We found a total of 42 eligible cases. Men were overrepresented in our sample (81 %). Patients with myoglobinuria were more likely to be symptomatic (Fisher's exact test, p∈=∈0.006), whereas neither myoglobinuria (Mann-Whitney test, p∈>∈0.10) nor symptoms (Mann-Whitney test, p∈=∈0.64) were related to the magnitude of the creatine kinase (CK) elevation. In the majority of the cases, the antipsychotic medication was discontinued (86 %). Forced diuresis was given in 36 % of the patients. Eighty-three percent of the patients had no further complications. Only one case was found with a de novo acute renal failure. Conclusions: The discontinuation of the antipsychotic medication was a sufficient measure for the CK elevation to subside in the majority of the cases. Cases with myoglobinuria should eventually be treated more aggressively. Further recommendations for the clinical practice are presented. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Rampias T.,Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens | Vgenopoulou P.,Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens | Avgeris M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Polyzos A.,Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens | And 4 more authors.
Nature Medicine | Year: 2014

The Notch signaling pathway controls cell fates through interactions between neighboring cells by positively or negatively affecting the processes of proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis in a context-dependent manner. This pathway has been implicated in human cancer as both an oncogene and a tumor suppressor. Here we report new inactivating mutations in Notch pathway components in over 40% of human bladder cancers examined. Bladder cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed malignancy in the male population of the United States. Thus far, driver mutations in fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) and, less commonly, in RAS proteins have been identified. We show that Notch activation in bladder cancer cells suppresses proliferation both in vitro and in vivo by directly upregulating dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs), thus reducing the phosphorylation of ERK1 and ERK2 (ERK1/2). In mouse models, genetic inactivation of Notch signaling leads to Erk1/2 phosphorylation, resulting in tumorigenesis in the urinary tract. Collectively our findings show that loss of Notch activity is a driving event in urothelial cancer. © 2014 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Tsakos M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Elsegood M.R.J.,Loughborough University | Kokotos C.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Chemical Communications | Year: 2013

The first organocatalytic asymmetric reaction between 1,4-cyclohexanedione and nitroalkenes has been studied, affording bicyclo[3.2.1]octane derivatives containing four continuous stereogenic centres. The products were obtained through a domino Michael-Henry process as a single diastereoisomer with excellent enantioselectivities. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Stamatelopoulos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Nature Medicine | Year: 2016

Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing, which is catalyzed by a family of adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes, is important in the epitranscriptomic regulation of RNA metabolism. However, the role of A-to-I RNA editing in vascular disease is unknown. Here we show that cathepsin S mRNA (CTSS), which encodes a cysteine protease associated with angiogenesis and atherosclerosis, is highly edited in human endothelial cells. The 3′ untranslated region (3′ UTR) of the CTSS transcript contains two inverted repeats, the AluJo and AluSx+ regions, which form a long stem–loop structure that is recognized by ADAR1 as a substrate for editing. RNA editing enables the recruitment of the stabilizing RNA-binding protein human antigen R (HuR; encoded by ELAVL1) to the 3′ UTR of the CTSS transcript, thereby controlling CTSS mRNA stability and expression. In endothelial cells, ADAR1 overexpression or treatment of cells with hypoxia or with the inflammatory cytokines interferon-γ and tumor-necrosis-factor-α induces CTSS RNA editing and consequently increases cathepsin S expression. ADAR1 levels and the extent of CTSS RNA editing are associated with changes in cathepsin S levels in patients with atherosclerotic vascular diseases, including subclinical atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, aortic aneurysms and advanced carotid atherosclerotic disease. These results reveal a previously unrecognized role of RNA editing in gene expression in human atherosclerotic vascular diseases. © 2016 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.


Papathanassoglou E.D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Nursing in critical care | Year: 2010

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To critically review evidence on the hypothesis that the multitude of cognitive and psychological stressors perceived by critically ill individuals may contribute to the development of pathophysiologic sequlae through modulation of the levels of stress neuropeptides. BACKGROUND: Critically ill individuals experience high levels of stress and intense adverse emotions. Although psychological stress has long been recognized as a factor in disease, and despite the nursing tenet on the importance of patients' psychological responses, in critical care, the potential physiologic effects of stress have received little attention. DESIGN, METHODS: Narrative critical review. Databases searched included Medline, CINAHL, PubMed and the Cochrane Library. Evidence on the role of stress neuropeptides and pertinent findings in critically ill individuals are reviewed. RESULTS: Limbic and extra-limbic brain structures along with specific stress neuropeptides [corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH), adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH), neuropeptide Y , vasopressin, prolactin, oxytocin, substance P, cholecystokinin, endorphins, enkephalins, somatostatin, noradrenaline, melatonin] are involved in emotional and stress responses. Research evidence indicates that stress neuropeptide levels may be altered in critical illness. Moreover, they mediate processes such as immunity, endothelial response and oxidative stress. A framework for future research and practice is presented. CONCLUSIONS: It is probable that, in critical illness, psychological stress accentuates pathophysiological sequlae, through release of neuropeptides. The role of neuropeptides is suggested as an important field of investigation for critical care nursing. However, currently available data are insufficient to draw firm conclusions. Focussed studies on the physiologic correlates of psychological stress in the critically ill are needed. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: If this hypothesis is corroborated, bedside quantification of selected neuropeptides may contribute to the assessment of stress and of the effectiveness of psychological support interventions in the future. Moreover, psychosocial and, probably, pharmacological support interventions may be effective adjuncts to the care of the critically ill.


Kino T.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Hurt D.E.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Ichijo T.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Nader N.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Chrousos G.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Science Signaling | Year: 2010

The availability of nutrients influences cellular growth and survival by affecting gene transcription. Glucocorticoids also influence gene transcription and have diverse activities on cell growth, energy expenditure, and survival. We found that the growth arrest-specific 5 (Gas5) noncoding RNA, which is abundant in cells whose growth has been arrested because of lack of nutrients or growth factors, sensitized cells to apoptosis by suppressing glucocorticoid-mediated induction of several responsive genes, including the one encoding cellular inhibitor of apoptosis 2. Gas5 bound to the DNA-binding domain of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) by acting as a decoy glucocorticoid response element (GRE), thus competing with DNA GREs for binding to the GR. We conclude that Gas5 is a "riborepressor" of the GR, influencing cell survival and metabolic activities during starvation by modulating the transcriptional activity of the GR. Copyright 2008 the American Association for the Advancement of Science; all rights reserved.


Trifonidou M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kokotos C.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
European Journal of Organic Chemistry | Year: 2012

The enantioselective α-alkylation reaction of cyclic ketones is described. Our catalyst, based on a "privileged" pyrrolidine ring bearing a chiral thioxotetrahydropyrimidinone ring, is a highly reactive catalyst for cyclic ketones. When this catalyst was coupled with in situ generated carbocations derived from alcohols, the corresponding α-alkylated adducts were obtained in moderate to quantitative yields and low to high enantioselectivities (up to 80% ee). The catalyst loading can be efficiently reduced to 10%, which is the lowest value reported in the literature for such an organocatalytic transformation. © 2012 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Paliathanasis A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Tsamparlis M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
International Journal of Geometric Methods in Modern Physics | Year: 2014

We determine the Lie point symmetries of the Schrödinger and the Klein-Gordon equations in a general Riemannian space. It is shown that these symmetries are related with the homothetic and the conformal algebra of the metric of the space, respectively. We consider the kinematic metric defined by the classical Lagrangian and show how the Lie point symmetries of the Schrödinger equation and the Klein-Gordon equation are related with the Noether point symmetries of this Lagrangian. The general results are applied to two practical problems: (a) The classification of all two-and three-dimensional potentials in a Euclidean space for which the Schrödinger equation and the Klein-Gordon equation admit Lie point symmetries; and (b) The application of Lie point symmetries of the Klein-Gordon equation in the exterior Schwarzschild spacetime and the determination of the metric by means of conformally related Lagrangians. © 2014 World Scientific Publishing Company.


Voudouris P.C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Mineralogy and Petrology | Year: 2011

The Mavrokoryfi Cu-Ag-Au-Te prospect, northeastern Greece, consists of atypical, high-sulfidation mineralization where precious metals were introduced contemporaneously with advanced argillic alteration from magmatic vapors. It occurs as veins of massive sulfides in zones of silicic and advanced argillic alteration spatially associated with an andesitic lava dome and hyaloclastites. Mineralogical data demonstrate an unusual ore and gangue mineralogy that is compatible with formation under very oxidizing conditions (logfO2 values of >-31.8) at temperatures of 200°C to 250°C. Oxidizing conditions favored the formation of hypogene lead sulfates (anglesite and barian celestite) instead of galena. Selenian acanthite, cadmian freibergite, and argentian goldfieldite are the main carriers of silver in the deposit and are reported in Greece for the first time. They were deposited at logfS2 of -9 to -7 and logfTe2 values of -9 to -12.5 (250°C). Ag-poor goldfieldite at Mavrokoryfi has up to 3.7 apfu Te and is the most Te-rich goldfieldite yet reported. The mineralization is accompanied by aluminum-phosphate-sulfate minerals of magmatic-hydrothermal origin and an unusual Pb-enrichment. Ore-forming components were likely derived from andesite porphyries. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Touris A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Hadjichristidis N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Macromolecules | Year: 2011

An α,ω-heterotelechelic block copolymer of polystyrene (PS) and polyisoprene (PI), α-acetylene-ω-azido-PS-b-PI, with Mn = 18 900 and PDI = 1.05, was synthesized by (a) sequential anionic polymerization of styrene and isoprene with 5-triethylsilyl-4-pentynyllithium (TESPLi) as initiator to afford α-(TES-acetylene)-ω-lithium-PS-b-PI, (b) reaction of the living heterofunctionalized copolymer with 1,4-dibromobutane and sodium azide to give α-(TES-acetylene)-ω- azido-PS-b-PI, and (c) deprotection of the acetylene group to afford the final product α-acetylene-ω-azido-PS-b-PI. This α,ω- heterotelechelic block copolymer with "clickable" groups, in the presence of CuBr and N,N,N′,N′′,N′′- pentamethyldiethylenetriamine, led to cyclic block copolymer in dilute solution (lower than the equilibrium concentration <6 × 10-5 g/mL), whereas in concentrated solutions (5.3 × 10-2 g/mL) gave multiblock copolymers. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Papaioannou G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kitsara G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Athanasatos S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres | Year: 2011

In this study, the consistency of trends in radiation and temperature records and their implications for the hydrological cycle and especially the trends in reference evapotranspiration are examined during the period 1950-2001. The new reference evapotranspiration model for complex terrains (REMCT), with monthly time step, is used for estimating trends of reference evapotranspiration in Greece. REMCT is applied after developing a methodology for calibrating its parameter values with Penman-Monteith estimates. The calibrated REMCT estimates are independently validated against available pan evaporation measurements. The evolution of available sunshine duration anomalies measured in Athens during the period 1951-2001 are used for highlighting global dimming or brightening periods in Greece. The sign of trends in the modeled reference evapotranspiration and precipitation are examined according to the dimming or brightening periods 1950-1983 and 1958-1983 (for 16 and 22 stations, respectively) or 1983-2001 (for 16, 22, and 29 stations). The trends of REMCT estimates, precipitation, number of rainy days, and mean, maximum, and minimum air temperature for all sets of stations considered "as a whole" are evaluated during the same periods. The results show that the annual calibrated reference evapotranspiration trend shows a decline from 1950 until the early 1980s, followed by an upward trend until 2001, while the annual precipitation and rainy days indicate a downward trend during the whole period 1950-2001. The trends of mean, maximum, and minimum air temperature are found almost negligible during the dimming period and rather increased during the brightening period. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.


Katakis I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Information Systems | Year: 2015

Modern cities are flooded with data. New information sources like public transport and wearable devices provide opportunities for novel applications that will improve citizens' quality of life. From a data science perspective, data emerging from smart cities give rise to a lot of challenges that constitute a new inter-disciplinary field of research. This article introduces the first part of a special issue on the topic 'Mining Urban Data' published in the journal Information Systems. © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Diamanti-Kandarakis E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Diamanti-Kandarakis E.,Northwestern University | Dunaif A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Dunaif A.,Northwestern University
Endocrine Reviews | Year: 2012

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is now recognized as an important metabolic as well as reproductive disorder conferring substantially increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Affected women have marked insulin resistance, independent of obesity. This article summarizes the state of the science since we last reviewed the field in the Endocrine Reviews in 1997. There is general agreement that obese women with PCOS are insulin resistant, but some groups of lean affected women may have normal insulin sensitivity. There is a post-binding defect in receptor signaling likely due to increased receptor and insulin receptor substrate-1 serine phosphorylation that selectively affects metabolic but not mitogenic pathways in classic insulin target tissues and in the ovary. Constitutive activation of serine kinases in the MAPK-ERK pathway may contribute to resistance to insulin's metabolic actions in skeletal muscle. Insulin functions as a co-gonadotropin through its cognate receptor to modulate ovarian steroidogenesis. Genetic disruption of insulin signaling in the brain has indicated that this pathway is important for ovulation and body weight regulation. These insights have been directly translated into a novel therapy for PCOS with insulin-sensitizing drugs. Furthermore, androgens contribute to insulin resistance in PCOS. PCOS may also have developmental origins due to androgen exposure at critical periods or to intrauterine growth restriction. PCOS is a complex genetic disease, and first-degree relatives have reproductive and metabolic phenotypes. Several PCOS genetic susceptibility loci have been mapped and replicated. Some of the same susceptibility genes contribute to disease risk in Chinese and European PCOS populations, suggesting that PCOS is an ancient trait. © 2012 by The Endocrine Society.


Pinaka A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Vougioukalakis G.C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Coordination Chemistry Reviews | Year: 2015

Homogeneous transition metal catalysis is one of the most promising methodologies for the transformation of CO2 into value-added chemicals and secondary energy carriers. However, most of the transition metal catalysts used for this purpose are currently based on rare, expensive, and often toxic metals such as ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, or iridium. Copper and iron, two of the most abundant metals in earth's upper crust and both characterized by low toxicity, constitute highly promising alternatives for the monetization of CO2 in the context of sustainable catalysis. The present work gives a comprehensive overview of all CO2 activation transformations catalyzed by copper- and iron-based transition metal complexes. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Mavrommatis C.I.,General Hospital of Athens Evaggelismos | Argyra E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Vadalouka A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Vasilakos D.G.,University Hospital of Thessaloniki
Pain | Year: 2012

The efficacy of acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy to pharmacological treatment of chronic pain due to knee osteoarthritis was studied with a 3-armed, single-blind, randomized, sham-controlled trial; it compared acupuncture combined with pharmacological treatment, sham acupuncture including pharmacological treatment, and pharmacological treatment alone. A total of 120 patients with knee osteoarthritis were randomly allocated to 3 groups: group I was treated with acupuncture and etoricoxib, group II with sham acupuncture and etoricoxib, and group III with etoricoxib. The primary efficacy variable was the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) index and its subscales at the end of treatment at week 8. Secondary efficacy variables included the WOMAC index at the end of weeks 4 and 12, a visual analogue scale (VAS) at the end of weeks 4, 8, and 12, and the Short Form 36 version 2 (SF-36v2) health survey at the end of week 8. An algometer was used to determine changes in a predetermined unique fixed trigger point for every patient at the end of weeks 4, 8, and 12. Group I exhibited statistically significant improvements in primary and secondary outcome measures, except for Short Form mental component, compared with the other treatment groups. We conclude that acupuncture with etoricoxib is more effective than sham acupuncture with etoricoxib, or etoricoxib alone for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. © 2012 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Grammatikakis I.E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine | Year: 2011

Minoan Civilization (3000-1150 BC) was the first European civilization on the GREEK island of Crete. Fabulous architectonical constructions like great palaces, wonderful frescoes, and pottery as well as jewellery characterize this amazing civilization. According to all existing descriptions from ancient Greek historians and philosophers like Plato, Thucydides, Strabon but also from all the archaeological findings men and women lived freely and peacefully participating equal in all daily activities, sports, and games. The women were predominating. Minoan women enjoyed a higher social status than other women in later civilizations. Methods. Investigation of all the existing data concerning the Minoan culture. Archaeological databases, as well as data from the National University of Athens and other Greek historical institutions were collected and analyzed in order to present the Minoan culture. Conclusion. The Minoic civilization represents a paradigm of a well being society in which the woman played a dominant role. She was the 'mother' but also the 'active woman', who participated in all city activities. Four thousand years later a prototype of a society in which the role of the mother was recognized in an admirably way remains a magnificent paradigm. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.


Rampias T.,Yale University | Sasaki C.,Yale University | Psyrri A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Oral Oncology | Year: 2014

A growing subgroup of oropharyngeal cancers is initiated by infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs). In parallel to mounting epidemiological evidence, solid experimental data support a causal association between HPV and a subset of oropharyngeal cancers. This Review summarizes the main events of the HPV life cycle, the functions of the viral oncoproteins, and the implications of HPV infection on their hosts, with an emphasis on carcinogenic mechanisms in oropharyngeal cancer. The demonstration that HPVs have a role in head and neck carcinogenesis has fuelled the expectation that HPV-targeted therapeutic strategies may prove curative in these cancers. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Horikis T.P.,University of Ioannina | Frantzeskakis D.J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Romanian Journal of Physics | Year: 2014

The link between the perturbed defocusing nonlinear Schrödinger (NLS) equation and the perturbed Korteweg-de Vries (KdV) equation is established using a multiple scales expansion method. Unlike previous studies, we use the idea of a background function, and a simple change in the independent variables, to transform the perturbed NLS in a way such that multiple scales can be directly applied. Different perturbations are examined to include any possible case for the background function.


Dimitrakoudis S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Petropoulou M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Mastichiadis A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Astroparticle Physics | Year: 2014

We examine the neutrino and cosmic ray spectra resulting from two models of fitting the spectral energy distribution (SED) of the blazar Mrk 421 using a self-consistent leptohadronic code. The γ-ray emission is attributed to either synchrotron radiation of ultra-high energy protons (LHs model) or to synchrotron radiation from electrons that result from photopion interactions of lower energy protons (LHπ model). Although both models succeed in fitting satisfactorily the SED, the parameter values that they use result in significantly different neutrino and cosmic-ray spectra. For the LHπ model, which requires high proton energy density, we find that the neutrino spectrum peaks at an energy Eν,peak=3.3 PeV which falls well within the energy range of recent neutrino observations. While at the same time its peak flux is just under the sensitivity limit of IC-40 observations, it cannot produce ultra-high energy cosmic rays. In the LHs model, on the other hand, neutrinos are far from being detectable because of their low flux and peak energy at Eν,peakâ‰100 PeV. However, the propagation of protons produced by the decay of escaping neutrons results in an ultra-high energy cosmic ray flux close to that observed by Pierre Augere, HiRes and Telescope Array at energies Epâ‰30 EeV. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.


Tsakos M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kokotos C.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
European Journal of Organic Chemistry | Year: 2012

The primary amine-thiourea based on di-tert-butyl (S)-aspartate and (1R,2R)-1,2-diphenylethylene-1,2-diamine has been successfully employed in the "difficult" Michael reaction between aromatic ketones or acetone with nitrodienes. The high stability and reactivity of the catalyst led to improved reaction conditions. Thus, the desired products were obtained in high to excellent yields (up to 100%) and excellent enantioselectivities (up to 99%) even at elevated temperatures. The combination of (1R,2R)-1,2-diphenylethylene- 1,2-diamine and di-tert-butyl (S)-aspartate provided an excellent thiourea organocatalyst for the "difficult" Michael reaction between methyl ketones and nitrodienes. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Spengos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Vemmos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
European Journal of Neurology | Year: 2010

Background and purpose: Data regarding stroke in young adults from Greece is scarce. We aimed to evaluate risk factors, etiology, and outcome in a hospital-based prospective observational study.Methods: Data from a series of 253 first-ever ischemic stroke patients aged 15-45 were collected over 10 years. Stroke etiology was classified according to the Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment criteria. Comparisons were done between groups stratified by gender and age. The probability of death or composite vascular events during follow-up was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. We used Multivariate Cox proportional hazard analyses to determine the effect of different factors on mortality and occurrence of composite cardiovascular events.Results: Although male patients predominate in our cohort (ratio 1.3:1), females outnumber males significantly at ages under 30. Smoking (59.3%) and dyslipidemia (41.1%) were the most frequent risk factors. Small vessel disease was identified as cause of stroke in 17.4%, whereas cardioembolism caused 13.4% of all strokes. No definite etiology was found in 33.6%, whereas other causes of stroke, including dissection (6.7%), were documented in 26.5%. The probability of 10-year survival was 86.3% (95%CI: 79.1-93.6). The corresponding probability of composite vascular events was 30.4% (95%CI: 19.6-41.2). Stroke severity and heart failure were the main predictors of mortality. At the end of the follow-up period, most patients (92.7% of survivors) were independent.Conclusion: There are gender- and age-related differences regarding risk factors and causes of ischemic stroke in young patients. Survival and long-term outcome is generally favorable. © 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2010 EFNS.


Lambrinoudaki I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Current diabetes reviews | Year: 2010

Constant advances in gene mapping technology have allowed research to focus from rare monogenic disorders on common complex diseases involving multiple susceptibility genes-environment interactions. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a heterogeneous pathogenic condition affecting 2-5% of all pregnant women during pregnancy. GDM is considered to result when genetic predisposition is triggered by increased insulin resistance during pregnancy leading to what seems to be one of the primary characteristics of GDM, the pancreatic b-cell impairment. Genetic predisposition to GDM has been suggested given the occurrence of the disease within family members. Furthermore, GDM is reported to be often present in women with maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) gene mutations. In addition, candidate susceptibility gene variants have been suggested to increase the risk of GDM. These genes include glucokinase (GCK), HLA antigens, insulin receptor (INSR), insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF2), HNF4A, insulin gene (INS-VNTR), plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), potassium inwardly rectifying channel subfamily J, member 11 (KCNJ11), hepatocyte nuclear factor-4a (HNF4A). Identification of the possible underlying genetic factors of GDM would eventually enrich our knowledge on the pathophysiologic mechanism of the disease and contribute to the individualization of both prevention and treatment of complications for the mother and fetus. However, so far, little is known about the genetic basis of GDM and its potential clinical significance. This review focuses on possible gestational diabetes mellitus susceptibility genes and their association with the disease incidence and severity as well as the pregnancy outcome and the response to treatment.


Alevizaki M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Thyroid Research | Year: 2013

Hyperparathyroidism occurs in 20-30% of MEN2A syndrome patients. It is usually associated with mild disease and is frequently asymptomatic, especially in younger age. There is genotype/phenotype association and PHP is usually associated with codon 634 mutations; however association with more rare mutations has also been reported. The pathology of the parathyroid glands includes hyperplasia, adenoma or a combination of the two. The optimal surgical management of this entity has not been defined yet. © 2013Alevizaki; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Duntas L.H.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Thyroid Research | Year: 2013

Background: The American Thyroid Association (ATA) and more recently the European Thyroid Association (ETA) Guidelines on diagnosis and treatment of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) have provided an excellent tool which was formerly lacking in the field of management of MTC. However, some relevant clinical questions, as the use of somatostatin analogues in the treatment of MTC and the management of pregnant patients with MTC, which were recommended in the guidelines, have been lately extensively revised. Moreover the current issue whether GLP-1 (a glucagon-like peptide-1) analogue is associated with MTC has only superficially been analyzed. Methods. Publications have been retrieved in MEDLINE at Pubmed (there is no fix date retrospectively) up to October 2012 using the terms medullary thyroid carcinoma, somatostatin, pregnancy and incretins. The recommendations made by ATA and ETA were considered. Conclusions: There are no data supporting the application of somatostatin analogues in the treatment of MTC, while thyroid cancer during or after pregnancy has no impact on the prognosis of disease or on the outcome of pregnancy. However, women with MEN 2 should be carefully controlled before any planned or during any unplanned pregnancy. In contrast to animal studies, there are no consistent human data supporting a stimulatory effect of GLP-1 receptor activation by liraglutide, an incretin mimetic, on calcitonin levels, though establishment of a registry and further studies are required to exclude any association between GLP-1 analogue and MTC. © 2013 Duntas; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Panagiotopoulos D.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Open Sports Sciences Journal | Year: 2016

The physical movement and the athletic movement and, furthermore, the whole of the physical activity, are distinct from other activities due to the organization on the basis of which it is practiced, to the way it is conducted and implemented and to the objectives which it involves. The legal entities in general and the ones of the sports sector in particular have been constituted so as to cover specific social needs, in accordance with the provisions of the applicable regulations and the ones of the Constitution. In Physical Education and Sport there are many interesting legal entities, some governed by Private Law and some by Public Law. This athletic action and particularly the sports contest can be achieved only within a specific framework of rules governing the contest and of rules of law, so as for all the above mentioned issues to be regulated. The physical and the athletic activity, as sports’ manifestations, regulated by legal rules, constitute a specific cognitive field for both the sports science and the legal one. Sports rules are established in order to cover public and private interest in sport in the context of national and international sport activity. Sports rules, as the rules of the game, prevail over ordinary rules of law since they have been specially enacted for specific sports activities. The rules of ordinary law apply in sports for many issues. They may apply directly due to the lack of special sports rules or indirectly by absorption with analogous adaptation and implementation where appropriate. © Dimitrios P. Panagiotopoulos; Licensee Bentham Open.


Dalakas M.C.,Thomas Jefferson University | Dalakas M.C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Autoimmunity Reviews | Year: 2013

Background: Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease caused by complement-fixing antibodies against the acetylcholine receptors (AChR). Antigen-specific CD4. + T cells, Tregs and Th17. + are also necessary. Consequently, antibodies, B cells, molecules associated with signalling pathways on T helper cells, cytokines and complement are targets for more specific treatment options. Objectives: Because available immunosuppressive therapies cause unacceptable side effects after long-term use or are not always effective in inducing remission, novel biological agents directed against the following targets might be options for future therapies in MG: 1) T cell Intracellular Signaling Pathways associated with T cell activation, such as monoclonal antibodies against CD52, Interleukin 2-receptor (IL-2 R), co-stimulatory molecules or compounds inhibiting Janus tyrosine kinases JAK1, JAK3; 2) B cells, against key B cell-surface molecules or trophic factors B cell activation factor (BAFF) and a proliferating inducing ligand (APRIL); 3) Complement, against C3 or C5 that intercept membranolytic attack complex formation; 4) Cytokines and cytokine receptors, including IL-6, IL-17, the p40 subunit of IL12/1L-23, and GM-CSF; and 5) Lymphocyte migration molecules. Construction of recombinant AChR antibodies that block the binding of the pathogenic antibodies, can be a future molecular tool. Conclusion: New biological agents are in the offing for future therapies in MG. Their efficacy needs to be secured with vigorously controlled clinical trials and weighted against excessive cost and rare complications. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Karagounis P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Foot & ankle specialist | Year: 2011

Plantar fasciitis (PF) commonly causes inferior heel pain and occurs in up to 10% of the US population. Treatment protocols in most studies include the use of ice therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and stretching and strengthening protocols. The aim of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of 2 different therapeutic approaches on the treatment of PF in recreational athletes using the Pain and Disability Scale for the evaluation. A total of 38 participants with PF were randomly allocated to 2 different groups of 19 male participants in each group. Group 1 was treated with ice, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and a stretching and a strengthening program. Group 2 received the same therapeutic procedures as group 1, reinforced by acupuncture treatment. The primary outcomes, nominated a priori, were pain description and mobility-function at 1 and 2 months. Outcomes were measured with the pain scale for PF. The mean total score of the acupuncture group at the third measurement was statistically minor compared with the mean total score of the first group. Acupuncture should be considered as a major therapeutic instrument for the decrease of heel pain, combined with traditional medical approaches.


Xilouri M.,Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens | Stefanis L.,Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens | Stefanis L.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience | Year: 2015

One of the main pathways of lysosomal proteolysis is chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), which represents a selective mechanism for the degradation of specific soluble proteins within lysosomes. Along with the other two lysosomal pathways, macro- and micro-autophagy, CMA contributes to cellular quality control through the removal of damaged or malfunctioning proteins. The two intrinsic characteristics of CMA are the selective targeting and the direct translocation of substrate proteins into the lysosomal lumen, in a fine-tuned manner through the orchestrated action of a chaperone/co-chaperone complex localized both at the cytosol and the lysosomes. Even though CMA was originally identified as a stress-induced pathway, basal CMA activity is detectable in most cell types analyzed so far, including neurons. Additionally, CMA activity declines with age and this may become a major aggravating factor contributing to neurodegeneration. More specifically, it has been suggested that CMA impairment may underlie the accumulation of misfolded/aggregated proteins, such as alpha-synuclein or LRRK2, whose levels or conformations are critical to Parkinson's disease pathogenesis. On the other hand, CMA induction might accelerate clearance of pathogenic proteins and promote cell survival, suggesting that CMA represents a viable therapeutic target for the treatment of various proteinopathies. In the current review, we provide an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding the role of CMA under physiological and pathological conditions of the nervous system and discuss the implications of these findings for therapeutic interventions for Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. This article is part of Special Issue entitled "Neuronal Protein". © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Vasileiadis G.I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Orthopedics | Year: 2011

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may prevent heterotopic ossification after total hip arthroplasty (THA). Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors may minimize side effects. The goal of this review was to compare the effectiveness and side effects of the perioperative use of selective COX-2 inhibitors with those of conventional NSAIDs in patients undergoing THA. We followed the systematic reviews' updated methods of the Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group and searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. We identified all randomized controlled trials until April 2009 enrolling THA patients and comparing COX-2 inhibitors to NSAIDs. We assessed their methodological quality and extracted data. Five randomized controlled trials were included. Prevention of heterotopic ossification and side effects with COX-2 inhibitors were significant in 2 studies. Discontinuation for side effects was not significant. COX-2 inhibitors do not prevent heterotopic ossification after THA significantly better than conventional NSAIDs, while they are advantageous regarding side effects. Copyright 2011, SLACK Incorporated.


Sfikakis P.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Current Directions in Autoimmunity | Year: 2010

Results from clinical trials of biologic anti-TNF drugs performed in the late 1990s confirmed the biological relevance of TNF function in the pathogenesis of chronic noninfectious inflammation of joints, skin and gut, which collectively affects 2-3% of the population. Up to April 2009, more than two million patients worldwide have received the first marketed drugs, namely the monoclonal anti-TNF antibodies infliximab and adalimumab and the soluble TNF receptor etanercept. All three are equally effective in rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, but, for not clearly defined reasons, only the monoclonal antibodies are effective in inflammatory bowel disease. About 60% of patients who do not benefit from standard nonbiologic treatments for these diseases respond to TNF antagonists. Less than half of responding patients achieve complete remission of disease. Importantly, some of those patients with rheumatoid arthritis in whom long-term anti-TNF therapy induced disease remission remain disease-free after discontinuation of any kind of treatment. There are not yet reliable predictors of which patients will or will not respond on anti-TNF therapy, whereas subsequent loss of an initial clinical response occurs frequently. The spectrum of efficacy anti-TNF therapies widens to include diseases such as systemic vasculitis and sight-threatening uveitis. While paradoxical new adverse effects are recognized, i.e. exacerbation or development of new onset psoriasis, reactivation of latent tuberculosis remains the most important safety issue of anti-TNF therapies. Clinical practice guidelines and consensus statements on the criteria of introduction, duration of treatment and cessation of TNF antagonists, including safety issues, are under constant revision as data from longer periods of patient exposure accumulate. It is hoped that more efficacious drugs that will ideally target the deleterious proinflammatory properties of TNF without compromising its protective role in host defense and (auto)immunity will be available in the near future. © 2010 S. Karger AG.


Negrini S.,University of Geneva | Gorgoulis V.G.,University of Geneva | Halazonetis T.D.,University of Geneva | Halazonetis T.D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Year: 2010

Genomic instability is a characteristic of most cancers. In hereditary cancers, genomic instability results from mutations in DNA repair genes and drives cancer development, as predicted by the mutator hypothesis. In sporadic (non-hereditary) cancers the molecular basis of genomic instability remains unclear, but recent high-throughput sequencing studies suggest that mutations in DNA repair genes are infrequent before therapy, arguing against the mutator hypothesis for these cancers. Instead, the mutation patterns of the tumour suppressor TP53 (which encodes p53), ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A; which encodes p16INK4A and p14ARF) support the oncogene-induced DNA replication stress model, which attributes genomic instability and TP53 and ATM mutations to oncogene-induced DNA damage. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Efstathiou E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Efstathiou E.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Logothetis C.J.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2010

Efficacy equivalent to that reported in other common adult solid tumors considered to be chemotherapy-sensitive has been reported with Docetaxel in patients with castrate-resistant prostate cancer. However, in contrast to other cancers, the expected increase in efficacy with the use of chemotherapy in earlier disease states has not been reported to date in prostate cancer. On the basis of these observations, we speculated that the therapy development paradigm used successfully in other cancers may not apply to the majority of prostate cancers. Several lines of supporting clinical and experimental observations implicate the tumor microenvironment in prostate carcinogenesis and resistance to therapy. We conclude that a foundation to guide the development of therapy for prostate cancer is required. The therapy paradigm we propose accounts for the central role of the tumor microenvironment in bone and, if correct, will lead to microenvironmenttargeted therapy. ©2010 AACR.


Routsias J.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Tzioufas A.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
European Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2010

Background: Primary Sjogren's syndrome (pSS) is characterized by the presence of autoantibodies targeting mainly the Ro/La ribonucleoprotein complex. It is now appreciated that the production of autoantibodies is an antigen-driven immune response. Design: In this review, candidate mechanisms for autoantigen presentation and perpetuation of the autoimmune response within the autoimmune tissue lesion of pSS are discussed. Results: Several studies have shown that the epithelial cell in labial salivary glands of patients with Sjogren's syndrome is activated, bearing characteristics of an antigen-presenting cell, as suggested by inappropriate expression of class II HLA and co-stimulatory molecules. Other studies have confirmed that in salivary glands, there is an increased autoantigen presentation via apoptotic blebs and bodies, exosomes and heat shock protein-mediated cross-priming. There is also an increased expression of interferon (IFN)-induced genes, such as the autoantigen Ro52, which provide negative feedback regulation in inflammation. Ro60 and La autoantigens also appear to play a major role in the local autoimmune response in Sjogren's syndrome. In this regard, La and Ro60 the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression is upregulated in the affected salivary glands with different isoforms of La autoantigen mRNA to be expressed in patients with pSS. At the protein level, La/SSB in pSS salivary glands is found to be post-translationally modified. Conclusions: Autoantigen alterations in a microenvironment of local inflammation with increased in situ apoptosis, Toll-like receptor (TLR) signalling and antigen presentation may drive the autoimmune response and local autoantibody production in pSS. © 2010 The Authors. European Journal of Clinical Investigation © 2010 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation.


Papanikolaou N.,Institute of Microelectronics, Greece | Psarobas I.E.,Institute of Microelectronics, Greece | Stefanou N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2010

By means of full electrodynamic and elastodynamic multiple-scattering calculations we study the optical and acoustic properties of three-dimensional lattices of metallic nanospheres implanted in a dielectric host. Our results show that such structures exhibit omnidirectional spectral gaps for both telecom infrared light and hypersound, with relatively low absorptive losses. This class of dual (phoxonic) band-gap materials is an essential step toward the hypersonic modulation of light and could lead to the development of efficient acousto-optical devices. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.


Papavassiliou K.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Papavassiliou A.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Trends in Molecular Medicine | Year: 2014

Intense interest in the complex biology of the bromodomain (BRD) protein modules has fueled the development of novel small molecule inhibitors that target the acetyl-lysine (KAc) binding pocket of the BRD. BRD inhibition has revealed exciting opportunities for treating a variety of maladies such as cancer, inflammation, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders. With five BRD inhibitors already in clinical trials, the BRD field seems to be rising to success. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Vlachantoni I.T.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Sleep medicine reviews | Year: 2013

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with increased arterial stiffness, a cumulative indicator of arterial health. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the gold standard treatment for OSA. We conducted a meta-analysis of the available literature investigating the effect of CPAP on arterial stiffness in patients with OSA. Fifteen articles (n = 615 patients) assessing indices of arterial stiffness were identified. Five different meta-analyses were performed assessing: a) all indices of arterial stiffness, b) augmentation index (AIx), c) all pulse wave velocities (PWV), d) brachial-ankle PWV and e) carotid-femoral PWV. Pooled standardized mean differences (SMDs) and weighted mean differences (WMDs) were appropriately calculated through fixed or random effects models after assessing between-study heterogeneity. A significant improvement of all indices of arterial stiffness was observed after CPAP treatment (SMD = -0.74; 95%CI: -1.08 to -0.41). AIx and PWVs were also significantly improved (WMD = -4.86; 95%CI: -7.31 to -2.41 and WMD = -0.87; 95%CI: -0.98 to -0.77, respectively), as well as brachial-ankle PWV and carotid-femoral PWV (WMD = -0.86; 95%CI: -0.97 to -0.75 and WMD = -1.21; 95%CI:-1.92 to -0.50, respectively). Neither the proportion of compliant patients nor the duration of CPAP use altered the effect of arterial stiffness reduction after CPAP treatment. In conclusion, our meta-analyses showed significant improvements in all indices of arterial stiffness after CPAP treatment in patients with OSA. As clinical use of arterial stiffness is growing in popularity, the efficacy of this useful tool in assessing cardiovascular risk reduction among patients with OSA treated with CPAP needs to be further explored. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Kaditis A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kheirandish-Gozal L.,University of Chicago | Gozal D.,University of Chicago
Sleep Medicine Reviews | Year: 2016

Overnight polysomnography is the gold standard tool for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) in habitually snoring children, but it is expensive and not always available. Nocturnal oximetry has been proposed as an abbreviated and low-cost testing modality for the diagnosis of OSAS. In this systematic review, 25 original articles were evaluated to: (i) summarize reference values of nocturnal oximetry parameters in healthy children; (ii) identify abnormal oximetry patterns that predict OSAS in habitually snoring children; (iii) delineate abnormalities in oximetry that can predict responses to treatment interventions for OSAS and potential complications. Nocturnal SpO2 drops <90%, more than two clusters of desaturation events (≥4%) and oxyhemoglobin desaturation (≥4%) index (ODI4) >2.2 episodes/h are unusual in children without OSAS. At least three clusters of desaturation events, and at least three SpO2 drops below 90% in a nocturnal oximetry recording are indicative of moderate-to-severe OSAS. An ODI4 >2 episodes/h combined with OSAS symptoms also exhibits high positive predictive value for apnea-hypopnea index >1 episode/h. Children without clusters of desaturation events have low risk of major respiratory complications following adenotonsillectomy. Thus, nocturnal oximetry emerges as a valuable tool that can facilitate treatment decisions when polysomnography is not available. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Mitropoulos D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Artibani W.,University of Verona | Graefen M.,University of Hamburg | Remzi M.,Landesklinikum Korneuburg | And 2 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2012

Context: The incidence of postoperative complications is still the most frequently used surrogate marker of quality in surgery, but no standard guidelines or criteria exist for reporting surgical complications in the area of urology. Objective: To review the available reporting systems used for urologic surgical complications, to establish a possible change in attitude towards reporting of complications using standardised systems, to assess systematically the Clavien-Dindo system when used for the reporting of complications related to urologic surgical procedures, to identify shortcomings in reporting complications, and to propose recommendations for the development and implementation of future reporting systems that are focused on patient-centred outcomes. Evidence acquisition: Standardised systems for reporting and classification of surgical complications were identified through a systematic review of the literature. To establish a possible change in attitude towards reporting of complications related to urologic procedures, we performed a systematic literature search of all papers reporting complications after urologic surgery published in European Urology, Journal of Urology, Urology, BJU International, and World Journal of Urology in 1999-2000 and 2009-2010. Data identification for the systematic assessment of the Clavien-Dindo system currently used for the reporting of complications related to urologic surgical interventions involved a Medline/Embase search and the search engines of individual urologic journals and publishers using Clavien, urology, and complications as keywords. All selected papers were full-text retrieved and assessed; analysis was done based on structured forms. Evidence synthesis: The systematic review of the literature for standardised systems used for reporting and classification of surgical complications revealed five such systems. As far as the attitude of urologists towards reporting of complications, a shift could be seen in the number of studies using most of the Martin criteria, as well as in the number of studies using either standardised criteria or the Clavien-Dindo system. The latter system was not properly used in 72 papers (35.3%). Conclusions: Uniformed reporting of complications after urologic procedures will aid all those involved in patient care and scientific publishing (authors, reviewers, and editors). It will also contribute to the improvement of the scientific quality of papers published in the field of urologic surgery. When reporting the outcomes of urologic procedures, the committee proposes a series of quality criteria. © 2011 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Braoudaki M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Tzortzatou-Stathopoulou F.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia | Year: 2012

Pediatric acute leukemias are generally characterized by recurrent numerical and structural chromosomal abnormalities, which are thought to be specifically associated with diagnosis and prognosis of both childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The identification of those chromosomal aberrations is clinically important because they are considered significant risk-stratifying markers. However there have been several instances in which they remain undetectable, possibly due to the low resolution of most genetic screening tools used. In the present review, the clinical significance of most chromosomal aberrations associated with pediatric ALL and AML as well as the current technology used for their identification is discussed. © 2012 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Bliziotis I.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Destounis A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Stergiou G.S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2012

Objective: Studies have shown that ambulatory blood pressure (BP) is more closely related to preclinical target organ damage than office measurements. A review and meta-analysis of studies investigating the association of home BP measurements with target organ damage was performed. Methods: A PubMed and Cochrane Library search (1950-2011) revealed 23 studies reporting comparative data of home BP versus ambulatory and/or office measurements in terms of their association with several indices of target organ damage. Correlation coefficients were pooled by random-effects model meta-analysis. Results: Fourteen studies (n = 2485) assessing echocardiographic left ventricular mass index (LVMI) showed similar correlations with home (coefficients r = 0.46/0.28, systolic/diastolic) as with ambulatory BP (0.37/0.26, P = NS for difference versus home BP), and superior to office measurements (r = 0.23/0.19, P < 0.001/0.009 for difference versus home BP). Four methodologically heterogeneous studies assessing the glomerular filtration rate (n = 609) could not be pooled or lead to a concrete result. Four studies assessing carotid intima-media thickness (n = 1222), three assessing pulse wave velocity (n = 720) and two assessing urinary protein excretion (n = 156) showed no difference in pooled correlation coefficients with home versus office BP measurements. With all the measurement methods SBP was more closely associated with target organ damage than DBP. Conclusion: These data suggest that home BP is as good as ambulatory monitoring and superior to office measurements in regard to their association with preclinical organ damage assessed by echocardiographic LVMI. More research is required to evaluate the relationship of home BP with other indices of target organ damage. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Skiada A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Skinmed | Year: 2013

Mucormycosis is an invasive fungal infection caused by fungi of the order Mucorales, mainly affecting immunocompromised patients. Cutaneous mucormycosis is the third most common clinical form of the disease, after pulmonary and rhino-cerebral. The usual factors predisposing to this infection are hematological malignancies and diabetes mellitus, but a significant proportion of patients are immunocompetent. The agents of mucormycosis are ubiquitous in nature and are transmitted to the skin by direct inoculation, as a result of various types of trauma. These include needle sticks, stings and bites by animals, motor vehicle accidents, natural disasters, and burn injuries. The typical presentation of mucormycosis is the necrotic eschar, but it can present with various other signs. The infection can be locally invasive and penetrate into the adjacent fat, muscle, fascia, and bone, or become disseminated. Diagnosis is difficult because of the nonspecific findings of mucormycosis. Biopsy and culture should be performed. The treatment of mucormycosis is multimodal and consists of surgical debridement, use of antifungal drugs (amphotericin B and posaconazole), and reversal of underlying risk factors, when possible. Mortality rates, although lower than in other forms of the disease, are significant, ranging from 4% to 10% when the infection is localized.


This paper investigates the politeness strategies and mitigation devices used by native and non-native speakers (advanced learners) of Greek when refusing an invitation from an intimate and their consequences for the expression of politeness. Furthermore, it examines whether length of residence or intensity of interaction with native speakers affect non-native speakers' performance. The data are drawn from role plays performed by native speakers and non-native speakers of two different groups: one with extended length of residence but limited opportunities for social interaction with native speakers and one with less extended length of residence but considerably more frequent opportunities for social interaction. On the basis of these data, it is argued that with regard to the speech act of declining an invitation from a friend, length of residence can be an insufficient measure whereas intensity of interaction can guarantee better results as regards pragmatic appropriateness and politeness. The significant deviations observed between native speakers and non-native speakers with limited opportunities for intimate interaction are attributed to the fact that the latter being economic migrants, who suffer from social seclusion, cannot rely on length of residence alone, in order to acquire sociocultural norms and develop pragmatic ability in the use of speech acts like the one investigated here. This fact combined with the finding that both groups of non-native speakers displayed an underdeveloped pragmatic ability in relation to mitigation devices, such as lexical/phrasal downgraders highlights the need for pedagogical intervention which aims at providing learners with metapragmatic information and meaningful opportunities for interaction that may promote their pragmatic development. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Obeso J.A.,University of Navarra | Obeso J.A.,CIBER ISCIII | Rodriguez-Oroz M.C.,CIBER ISCIII | Rodriguez-Oroz M.C.,University Hospital Donostia | And 4 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2014

Summary The basal ganglia were originally thought to be associated purely with motor control. However, dysfunction and pathology of different regions and circuits are now known to give rise to many clinical manifestations beyond the association of basal ganglia dysfunction with movement disorders. Moreover, disorders that were thought to be caused by dysfunction of the basal ganglia only, such as Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, have diverse abnormalities distributed not only in the brain but also in the peripheral and autonomic nervous systems; this knowledge poses new questions and challenges. We discuss advances and the unanswered questions, and ways in which progress might be made. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Niforou K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Cheimonidou C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Trougakos I.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Redox Biology | Year: 2014

Free radicals originate from both exogenous environmental sources and as by-products of the respiratory chain and cellular oxygen metabolism. Sustained accumulation of free radicals, beyond a physiological level, induces oxidative stress that is harmful for the cellular homeodynamics as it promotes the oxidative damage and stochastic modification of all cellular biomolecules including proteins. In relation to proteome stability and maintenance, the increased concentration of oxidants disrupts the functionality of cellular protein machines resulting eventually in proteotoxic stress and the deregulation of the proteostasis (homeostasis of the proteome) network (PN). PN curates the proteome in the various cellular compartments and the extracellular milieu by modulating protein synthesis and protein machines assembly, protein recycling and stress responses, as well as refolding or degradation of damaged proteins. Molecular chaperones are key players of the PN since they facilitate folding of nascent polypeptides, as well as holding, folding, and/or degradation of unfolded, misfolded, or non-native proteins. Therefore, the expression and the activity of the molecular chaperones are tightly regulated at both the transcriptional and post-translational level at organismal states of increased oxidative and, consequently, proteotoxic stress, including ageing and various age-related diseases (e.g. degenerative diseases and cancer). In the current review we present a synopsis of the various classes of intra- and extracellular chaperones, the effects of oxidants on cellular homeodynamics and diseases and the redox regulation of chaperones. © 2014 The Authors.


Mavragani C.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Crow M.K.,Hospital for Special Surgery
Journal of Autoimmunity | Year: 2010

Sjogren's syndrome (SS), a chronic autoimmune systemic disease affecting middle aged women, is characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of the salivary and lachrymal glands resulting in dry eyes and dry mouth. Recent advances have revealed a major role for activation of the type I interferon (IFN) pathway in the pathogenesis of the syndrome, as evidenced by the increased circulating type I IFN activity and an IFN "signature" in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and minor salivary gland (MSG) biopsies from these patients. Polymorphisms in genes involved in the IFNα pathway, such as IRF5 and STAT4, have been found to be associated with disease susceptibility. While the initial triggers of the innate immune response in SS remain elusive, preliminary evidence supports the role of inappropriately expressed endogenous LINE-1 (L1) retroelements as potential triggers of type I IFN activation in SS, possibly through Toll-like receptor (TLR) dependent or independent pathways. Proteins of the methylation machinery and the APOBEC family of cytidine deaminases are coordinately overexpressed, suggesting that those proteins might contribute to regulation of the inappropriately expressed L1 endogenous retroelements in SS. Given the apparent central role of IFNα in the pathogenesis of SS, blockade of this cytokine may be a rational therapeutic approach. In the current review we summarize the current evidence regarding the potential triggers of type I IFN activation as well as the data supporting genetic and epigenetic regulation of the type I IFN system in SS. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Chadio S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kotsampasi B.,Animal Research Institute
Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease | Year: 2014

Accumulating evidence suggest that the concept of programming can also be applied to reproductive development and function, representing an ever expanding research area. Recently issues such as peri-or even preconceptional nutrition, transgenerational effects and underlying mechanisms have received considerable attention. The present chapter presents the existed evidence and reviews the available data from numerous animal and human studies on the effects of early life nutritional environment on adult reproductive function. Specific outcomes depend on the severity, duration and stage of development when nutritional perturbations are imposed, while sex-specific effects are also manifested. Apart from undernutrition, effects of relative overnutrition as well as the complex interactions between pre-and postnatal nutrition is of high importance, especially in the context of our days obesity epidemic. Mechanisms underlying reproductive programming are yet unclear, but may include a role for epigenetic modifications. Epigenetic modulation of critical genes involved in the control of reproductive function and potential intergenerational effects represent an exciting area of interdisciplinary research toward the development of new nutritional approaches during pre-and postnatal periods to ensure reproductive health in later life.


Papadogeorgakis N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery | Year: 2011

We present our experience of 156 patients with parotid pleomorphic adenomas who were treated from 1995 to 2009 by partial superficial parotidectomy. In each case the main trunk of the facial nerve was identified and dissected. Only the division of the nerve adjacent to the tumour was dissected, and only the parotid tissue surrounding the tumour was excised. The results were satisfactory, as no patient developed permanent partial or total facial nerve paralysis, and transient paresis was noticed in only 23 patients (15%). Only one tumour recurred, and Frey syndrome developed in only 6 patients (4%). Enucleation was required in 55 patients (35%) because the tumour was so close to the branches of the facial nerve. Partial superficial parotidectomy is a safe treatment for parotid pleomorphic adenomas with relatively few postoperative complications. When it is done by experienced surgeons no permanent deficits are likely, it has low rates of recurrence, and gives excellent aesthetic results. © 2010 British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.


Tsamparlis M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Paliathanasis A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
General Relativity and Gravitation | Year: 2010

The Lie symmetries of the geodesic equations in a Riemannian space are computed in terms of the special projective group and its degenerates (affine vectors, homothetic vector and Killing vectors) of the metric. The Noether symmetries of the same equations are given in terms of the homothetic and the Killing vectors of the metric. It is shown that the geodesic equations in a Riemannian space admit three linear first integrals and two quadratic first integrals. We apply the results in the case of Einstein spaces, the Schwarzschild spacetime and the Friedman Robertson Walker spacetime. In each case the Lie and the Noether symmetries are computed explicitly together with the corresponding linear and quadratic first integrals. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Sapountzis K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Vlahakis N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

Relativistic jets associated with long/soft gamma-ray bursts are formed and initially propagate in the interior of the progenitor star. Because of the subsequent loss of their external pressure support after they cross the stellar surface, these flows can be modelled as moving around a corner. A strong steady-state rarefaction wave is formed, and the sideways expansion is accompanied by a rarefaction acceleration. We investigate the efficiency and the general characteristics of this mechanism by integrating the steady-state, special relativistic, magnetohydrodynamic equations, using a special set of partial exact solutions in planar geometry (r self-similar with respect to the 'corner'). We also derive analytical approximate scalings in the ultrarelativistic cold/magnetized, and hydrodynamic limits. The mechanism is more effective in magnetized than in purely hydrodynamic flows. It substantially increases the Lorentz factor without much affecting the opening of the jet; the resulting values of their product can be much greater than unity, allowing for possible breaks in the afterglow light curves. These findings are similar to the ones from numerical simulations of axisymmetric jets by Komissarov et al. and Tchekhovskoy et al., although in our approach we describe the rarefaction as a steady-state simple wave and self-consistently calculate the opening of the jet that corresponds to zero external pressure. ©2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Mastichiadis A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Petropoulou M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Dimitrakoudis S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

We investigate the origin of high-energy emission in blazars within the context of the leptohadronic one-zone model. We find that γ-ray emission can be attributed to synchrotron radiation either from protons or from secondary leptons produced via photohadronic processes. These possibilities imply differences not only in the spectral energy distribution (SED) but also in the variability signatures, especially in the X- and γ-ray regime. Thus, the temporal behaviour of each leptohadronic scenario can be used to probe the particle population responsible for the high-energy emission as it can give extra information not available by spectral fits. In this work, we apply these ideas to the non-thermal emission of Mrk 421, which is one of the best monitored TeV blazars. We focus on the observations of 2001 March, since during that period Mrk 421 showed multiple flares that have been observed in detail both in X-rays and γ-rays. First, we obtain pre-flaring fits to the SED using the different types of leptohadronic scenarios. Then, we introduce random-walk-type, small-amplitude variations on the injection compactness or on the maximum energy of radiating particles and follow the subsequent response of the radiated photon spectrum. For each leptohadronic scenario, we calculate the X-ray and γ-ray fluxes and investigate their possible correlation. Whenever the 'input' variations lead, apart from flux variability, also to spectral variability, we present the resulting relations between the spectral index and the flux, both in X-rays and γ-rays. We find that proton synchrotron models are favoured energetically but require fine tuning between electron and proton parameters to reproduce the observed quadratic behaviour between X-rays and TeV γ-rays. On the other hand, models based on pion decay can reproduce this behaviour in a much more natural way. © 2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Kontos C.K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Scorilas A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2012

Early diagnosis of cancer and early detection of relapse following surgery are critical for the effective treatment of the disease and for a positive clinical outcome. Identification of novel diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers will contribute utmost to clinical decision-making. The human tissue kallikrein and kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs), encoded by the largest contiguous cluster of protease genes in the human genome, are secreted serine proteases with diverse expression patterns and physiological roles. The aberrant expression of KLK s in various malignancies as well as their involvement in many cancer-related processes, such as cell growth regulation, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis, has prompted scientists to investigate their potential as cancer biomarkers. Expression of distinct KLKs is associated with clinicopathological parameters of cancer patients. Moreover, several KLKs possess significant favorable or unfavorable prognostic value in various malignancies, with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) being the most widely used biomarker in clinical practice, today. KLKs are also considered as very promising biomarkers for cancer personalized medicine, especially for prediction and monitoring of patients ' response to chemotherapy, therefore opening up new horizons towards effective patient monitoring post-treatment. This review describes the current status of KLKs as tumor biomarkers. © 2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.


Piperi C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Adamopoulos C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Dalagiorgou G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Diamanti-Kandarakis E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Papavassiliou A.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2012

Context: Advanced glycation, the major posttranslational modification of proteins, DNA, and lipids, is accelerated under conditions of increased oxidative stress, hyperglycemia, and hypoxia contributing to a variety of metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, inflammation, polycystic ovarian syndrome, ischemic cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disorders. The potential role of advanced glycation in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis is largely unknown. Evidence Acquisition: Basic and clinical peer-reviewed articles on advanced glycation and ER stress related to metabolic regulation were searched in PubMed from 2000-2011. The resulting articles as well as relevant cited references were reviewed. Evidence Synthesis: Recent evidence indicates that hyperglycemia, hypoxia, and oxidative stress, apart of triggering advanced glycation, can also adversely affect ER function, leading to pathogenic ER stress, followed by the unfolded protein response. The concomitant presence of advanced glycation in the same conditions with ER stress suggests their crosstalk in the progression of diseases associated with hypoxic and oxidative stress. Conclusion: Current data support the direct or indirect induction of ER stress response by advanced glycation end products or advanced glycation end product precursors in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases. Inhibitors of advanced glycation acting as potent ER stress modulators with beneficial effects in restoring ER homeostasis and adjusting physiological unfolded protein response level present an emerging therapeutic approach with significant applications, especially in the context of metabolic dysfunction. Copyright © 2012 by The Endocrine Society.


Nikolaou V.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Stratigos A.J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Flaherty K.T.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Tsao H.,Massachusetts General Hospital
Journal of Investigative Dermatology | Year: 2012

Metastatic melanoma has historically been considered as one of the most therapeutically challenging malignancies. However, for the first time after decades of basic research and clinical investigation, new drugs have produced major clinical responses. The discovery of BRAF mutations in melanoma created the first opportunity to develop oncogene-directed therapy in this disease and led to the development of compounds that inhibit aberrant BRAF activity. A decade later, vemurafenib, an orally available and well-tolerated selective BRAF inhibitor, ushered in a new era of molecular treatments for advanced disease. Additional targets have been identified, and novel agents that impact on various signaling pathways or modulate the immune system hold the promise of a whole new therapeutic landscape for patients with metastatic melanoma. One of the major thrusts in melanoma therapy is now focused on understanding and targeting the network of signal transduction pathways and on attacking elements that underlie the tumor's propensity for growth and chemoresistance. In this article, we review the novel targeted anticancer approaches that are under consideration in melanoma treatment. © 2012 The Society for Investigative Dermatology.


Alexandraki K.I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kaltsas G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Endocrine | Year: 2012

Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) are relatively rare and heterogenous malignancies. Recent advances in histopathological classification according to the anatomical site of origin, proliferation rate, and extend of the disease have created a valid and powerful tool for the prognostic stratification of GEP-NETs. Chromogranin A is still the best available marker used for the biochemical confirmation of these tumors, but new more sensitive markers are urgently required. Although scintigraphy with 111In-octreotide has widely been applied for the localization and staging of GEP-NETs, newer imaging modalities based on the functional characteristics of these tumors are evolving aiming not only to facilitate the diagnosis but also prognosis and evaluation of treatment. Somatostatin receptors are the primary therapeutic targets through somatostatin analogs and peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) producing symptomatic, biochemical and to a lesser extent antiproliferative effects. Due to the relatively limited and erratic response to chemotherapy, new molecular targeted therapies exploiting some of the biological properties of GEP-NETs such as increased vascularity and inhibition of pathways involved in downstream signal transduction have evolved. Some of these therapies, the mTOR inhibitor everolimus and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib, have been recently validated in phase III studies producing practice changing outcomes. In addition, two oral chemotherapeutic agents temozolomide and capecitabine, show promising effects and may replace streptozotocinbased regimens whereas combination therapies with the angiogenesis inhibitor bevacizumab are being investigated. Although progression free survival is used as a feasible primary end point due to the long survival of patients even in the presence of extensive disease prolongation of overall survival following the introduction of new therapies needs to be established. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.


Itsios G.,University of Patras | Sfetsos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Siampos K.,University of Mons
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We analyze the renormalization group flow in a recently constructed class of integrable σ-models which interpolate between WZW current algebra models and the non-Abelian T-duals of PCM for a simple group G. They are characterized by the integer level k of the current algebra, a deformation parameter λ and they exhibit a remarkable invariance involving the inversion of λ. We compute the β-function for λ to leading order in 1k. Based on agreement with previous results for the exact β-function of the non-Abelian bosonized Thirring model and matching global symmetries, we state that our integrable models are the resummed version (capturing all counterterms in perturbation theory) of the non-Abelian bosonized Thirring model for a simple group G. Finally, we present an analogous treatment in a simple example of a closely related class of models interpolating between gauged WZW coset CFTs and the non-Abelian T-duals of PCM for the coset G/H. © 2014 The Authors.


Ifantidou E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Pragmatics | Year: 2011

How genres can be used to enhance pragmatic competence is an issue not adequately explored. Pragmatic competence is defined in this paper as a twofold ability relying on two types of competence: (a) pragmatic awareness, i.e. the ability to correctly identify pragmatically inferred effects in the form of implicated conclusions, e.g. irony, humour, contempt, respect, favouring, or incriminating attitudes conveyed by different text-types, and (b) metapragmatic awareness, the ability to meta-represent and explicate the link between relevant linguistic indexes and pragmatic effects retrieved by readers. Results from non-native university learners of English indicate that explicit genre-based instruction has significant positive effects on the development of genre-focused, convention-specific discourse but not on the development of pragmatic competence in low-level language proficiency learners. A positive correlation between language proficiency and pragmatic competence is further consolidated by the data. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Sfetsos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Siampos K.,University of Mons
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2014

We study what we call the all-loop anisotropic bosonized Thirring σ-model. This interpolates between the WZW model and the non-Abelian T-dual of the principal chiral model for a simple group. It has an invariance involving the inversion of the matrix parameterizing the coupling constants. We compute the general renormalization group flow equations which assume a remarkably simple form and derive its properties. For symmetric couplings, they consistently truncate to previous results in the literature. One of the examples we provide gives rise to a first order system of differential equations interpolating between the Lagrange and the Darboux-Halphen integrable systems. © 2014 The Authors.


Royden L.H.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Papanikolaou D.J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems | Year: 2011

The Hellenic subduction zone displays well-defined temporal and spatial variations in subduction rate and offers an excellent natural laboratory for studying the interaction among slab buoyancy, subduction rate, and tectonic deformation. In space, the active Hellenic subduction front is dextrally offset by 100-120 km across the Kephalonia Transform Zone, coinciding with the junction of a slowly subducting Adriatic continental lithosphere in the north (5-10 mm/yr) and a rapidly subducting Ionian oceanic lithosphere in the south (∼35 mm/yr). Subduction rates can be shown to have decreased from late Eocene time onward, reaching 5-12 mm/yr by late Miocene time, before increasing again along the southern portion of the subduction system. Geodynamic modeling demonstrates that the differing rates of subduction and the resultant trench offset arise naturally from subduction of oceanic (Pindos) lithosphere until late Eocene time, followed by subduction of a broad tract of continental or transitional lithosphere (Hellenic external carbonate platform) and then by Miocene entry of high-density oceanic (Ionian) lithosphere into the southern Hellenic trench. Model results yield an initiation age for the Kephalonia Transform of 6-8 Ma, in good agreement with observations. Consistency between geodynamic model results and geologic observations suggest that the middle Miocene and younger deformation of the Hellenic upper plate, including formation of the Central Hellenic Shear Zone, can be quantitatively understood as the result of spatial variations in the buoyancy of the subducting slab. Using this assumption, we make late Eocene, middle Miocene, and Pliocene reconstructions of the Hellenic system that include quantitative constraints from subduction modeling and geologic constraints on the timing and mode of upper plate deformation. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.


Bisticha A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Triandafillidi I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kokotos C.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Tetrahedron Asymmetry | Year: 2015

Enantioselective aldol reactions between ketones and aldehydes were shown to be catalysed by a variety of tert-butyl esters of peptides. Amongst the peptides tested, Pro-Glu(OtBu)-OtBu proved to be the best, affording the product in good to excellent yields, diastereoselectivities and enantioselectivities. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Saridakis E.N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2010

We investigate quintom evolution in power-law potentials. We extract the early-time, tracker solutions, under the assumption of matter domination. Additionally, we derive analytical solutions at intermediate times, that is at low redshifts, which is the period during the transition from matter to dark-energy domination. A comparison with exact evolution reveals that the tracker solutions are valid within 98% for z ≳ 1.5, while the intermediate ones are accurate within 98% up to z ≈ 0.5. Using these expressions we extract two new w-parametrizations, one in terms of the redshift and one in terms of the dark-energy density-parameter, and we present various quintom evolution sub-classes, including quintessence-like or phantom-like cases, realization of the -1-crossing, and non-monotonic w-evolution. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Barbayianni E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kaffe E.,Biomedical science Research Center Alexander Fleming | Aidinis V.,Biomedical science Research Center Alexander Fleming | Kokotos G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Progress in Lipid Research | Year: 2015

Autotaxin (ATX) is a member of the nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase family of ectoenzymes that hydrolyzes phosphodiester bonds of various nucleotides. It possesses lysophospholipase D activity, catalyzing the hydrolysis of lysophosphatidylcholine into lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), and it is considered the major LPA-producing enzyme in the circulation. LPA is a bioactive phospholipid with diverse functions in almost every mammalian cell type, which exerts its action through binding to specific G protein-coupled receptors and stimulates various cellular functions, including migration, proliferation and survival. As a consequence, both ATX and LPA have attracted the interest of researchers, in an effort to understand their roles in physiology and pathophysiology. The present review article aims to summarize the existing knowledge as to the implications of ATX in chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer and to highlight the low molecular weight compounds, which have been developed as leads for the discovery of novel medicines to treat inflammatory diseases and cancer. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Gaitanis G.,University of Ioannina | Magiatis P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Hantschke M.,Dermatopathologie Friedrichshafen | Bassukas I.D.,University of Ioannina | Velegraki A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Clinical Microbiology Reviews | Year: 2012

In the last 15 years, the genus Malassezia has been a topic of intense basic research on taxonomy, physiology, biochemistry, ecology, immunology, and metabolomics. Currently, the genus encompasses 14 species. The 1996 revision of the genus resulted in seven accepted taxa: M. furfur, M. pachydermatis, M. sympodialis, M. globosa, M. obtusa, M. restricta, and M. slooffiae. In the last decade, seven new taxa isolated from healthy and lesional human and animal skin have been accepted: M. dermatis, M. japonica, M. yamatoensis, M. nana, M. caprae, M. equina, and M. cuniculi. However, forthcoming multidisciplinary research is expected to show the etiopathological relationships between these new species and skin diseases. Hitherto, basic and clinical research has established etiological links between Malassezia yeasts, pityriasis versicolor, and sepsis of neonates and immunocompromised individuals. Their role in aggravating seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, folliculitis, and onychomycosis, though often supported by histopathological evidence and favorable antifungal therapeutic outcomes, remains under investigation. A close association between skin and Malassezia IgE binding allergens in atopic eczema has been shown, while laboratory data support a role in psoriasis exacerbations. Finally, metabolomic research resulted in the proposal of a hypothesis on the contribution of Malassezia-synthesized aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) ligands to basal cell carcinoma through UV radiation-induced carcinogenesis. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Tousoulis D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kampoli A.-M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Stefanadis C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Current Vascular Pharmacology | Year: 2012

Patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) have a high prevalence of coronary artery disease (CAD), as diabetes is implicated in the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. Endothelial dysfunction is one of the precursor key steps in the development of atherosclerosis in diabetic subjects. Decreased nitric oxide (NO) production, increased oxidative stress and impaired function of endothelial progenitor cells are the main mechanisms involved in the accelerated atherosclerotic process observed in type 2 DM patients. Therapeutic approaches including classic agents such as statins, angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), antioxidants and novel agents such as tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and homocysteine (tHcy), have been implicated in order to ameliorate endothelial function of diabetic patients. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.


Karaliopoulos M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Rohner C.,Uppsala University
Proceedings - IEEE INFOCOM | Year: 2012

The paper proposes an innovative method for the performance analysis of opportunistic forwarding protocols over files logging mobile node encounters (contact traces). The method is modular and evolves in three steps. It first carries out contact filtering to isolate contacts that constitute message forwarding opportunities for givenmessage coordinates and forwarding rules. It then draws on graph expansion techniques to capture these forwarding contacts into sparse space-time graph constructs. Finally, it runs standard shortest path algorithms over these constructs and derives typical performance metrics such as message delivery delay and path hopcount. The method is flexible in that it can easily assess the protocol operation under various expressions of imperfect node cooperation. We describe it in detail, analyze its complexity, and evaluate it against discrete event simulations for three representative randomized forwarding schemes. The match with the simulation results is excellent and obtained with run times up to three orders of size smaller than the duration of the simulations, thus rendering our method a valuable tool for the performance analysis of opportunistic forwarding schemes. © 2012 IEEE.


Stavropoulou M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences | Year: 2014

The discontinuity spacing density function is theoretically found by applying the first principles of the Maximum Entropy Theory. It is shown that this function is the negative exponential probability density function. Then, the analytical relation between RQD and discontinuity frequency that may be derived, provided that discontinuity sets follow the negative exponential model, is validated against simulation data. It is also found that if the discontinuity spacings follow the negative exponential distribution, then the number of fractures per length measured along scanlines or drilled cores follow quite well the two-parameter Weibull distribution function. Subsequently, following the methodology proposed originally by Hudson and Priest, the closed-form expression of block volume distribution in a rock mass transected by three mutually orthogonal discontinuity sets is found. Also, the left-truncated block volume proportion above a certain block volume size is found analytically. The theoretical results referring to discontinuity frequency and block volume distributions are finally successfully validated against measurements carried out on drill cores and exposed walls, in a dolomitic marble quarry. The methodology presented herein can be applied to rock engineering applications that necessitate the characterization of rock mass discontinuities and discontinuity spacings are reasonably well represented by the negative exponential probability density function. The proposed method for the prediction of marble block volume distribution was applied to data from a quarry from drill cores and scanlines on exposed quarry walls.© 2013 .


Leon G.,Santa Clara University | Saridakis E.N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2010

We investigate several varying-mass dark matter particle models in the framework of phantom cosmology. We examine whether there exist late-time cosmological solutions, corresponding to an accelerating universe and possessing dark energy and dark matter densities of the same order. Imposing exponential or power-law potentials and exponential or power-law mass dependence, we conclude that the coincidence problem cannot be solved or even alleviated. Thus, if dark energy is attributed to the phantom paradigm, varying-mass dark matter models cannot fulfill the basic requirement that led to their construction. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Evelpidou N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Vassilopoulos A.,GeoEnvironmental Institute | Pirazzoli P.A.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Geomorphology | Year: 2012

Detailed mapping along the coasts of Skyros Island (Aegean Sea) provided new evidence concerning the rates and the modality of subsidence in the area. The results are provided through the study of the shape and the dimensions of the two submerged notches detected around the carbonate coasts of the island.It is apparent that the island has been submerged not only due to the global sea-level rise during the last two centuries (1.8 ± 0.3. mm/year between 1950 and 2000), but also because of tectonic events testified by the type of the submerged notches. Some of these tectonic events seem to be of gradual and some of co-seismic origin. The transition of MSL from the retreat point of the lower notch to the retreat point of the upper notch seems to have been produced by co-seismic subsidence of about 55. cm at slightly less than 850. years BP. © 2011 Elsevier B.V..


Frantzeskakis D.J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical | Year: 2010

This review paper presents an overview of the theoretical and experimental progress on the study of matter-wave dark solitons in atomic Bose-Einstein condensates. Upon introducing the general framework, we discuss the statics and dynamics of single and multiple matter-wave dark solitons in the quasi one-dimensional setting, in higher dimensional settings, as well as in the dimensionality crossover regime. Special attention is paid to the connection between theoretical results, obtained by various analytical approaches, and relevant experimental observations. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Methenitis S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise | Year: 2016

PURPOSE: Aim of the study was to explore the relationship between muscle fiber conduction velocity (MFCV), fiber type composition and power performance in participants with different training background. METHODS: 38 young males with different training background participated: sedentary (n=10), endurance runners (n=9), power-trained (n=10), strength-trained (n=9). They performed maximal countermovement jumps and maximal isometric leg press for the measurement of the rate of force development (RFD). Resting vastus lateralis (VL) MFCV was measured with intramuscular microelectrodes on a different occasion, while muscle fiber type and cross sectional area (CSA) of VL were evaluated through muscle biopsies one week later. RESULTS: MFCV, countermovement jump power, RFD, % cross sectional area (% CSA) of type II and IIx fibers were higher for the power-trained group (p<0.001). No difference was found between sedentary participants and endurance runners in these variables but both of these groups performed worse than strength/power participants. Close correlations were found between MFCV and fiber CSA as well as the %CSA of all fiber types as well as with RFD and countermovement jump power (r=0.712-0.943, p<0.005). Partial correlations revealed that the %CSA of IIx fibers dictates a large part of the correlation between MFCV and RFD, power performance. Significant models for the prediction of the %CSA of type IIa, II as well as the CSA of all muscle fibers based upon MFCV, RFD and CMJ were revealed (p=0.000). CONCLUSION: MFCV is closely associated with muscle fiber % CSA. RFD and jumping power are associated with the propagation of the action potentials along the muscle fibers. This link is regulated by the size and the distribution of type II, and especially type IIx muscle fibers. © 2016 American College of Sports Medicine


Triantafyllou K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2016

INTRODUCTION: Since its introduction, small bowel video capsule endoscopy (VCE) use has evolved considerably. AIM: Evaluation of the temporal changes of small bowel VCE utilization in three tertiary centers in Greece in Era 1 (2002–2009) and Era 2 (2010–2014) and the development a forecast model for future VCE use during 2015–2017. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data from all small bowel VCE examinations were retrieved and analyzed in terms of the annual number of the performed examinations, their indications and the significance of their findings. RESULTS: Overall, we evaluated 3724 VCE examinations. The number of studies peaked in 2009 (n=595) and then decreased to reach 225 in 2014. Overall, more (53.8 vs. 51.4%) patients with iron-deficiency anemia and obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (IDA/OGIB) and fewer (10.7 vs. 14%) patients with chronic diarrhea were evaluated in Era 2 compared with Era 1 (P=0.046). In Era 2, there were more nondiagnostic examinations (39.5 vs. 29.3%, P<0.001), whereas the rate of cases with relevant findings decreased from 47.8 to 40.9%. According to the time trend analysis, we developed a forecast model with two scenarios: the pessimistic and the optimistic. Validation of the model with 2015 data showed that reality was close to the pessimistic scenario: the number of exams further decreased to 190, studies carried out for IDA/OGIB increased to 67%, and there were more negative than positive exams (40.7 vs. 39.2%). CONCLUSION: The number of VCE studies carried out after the emergence of the financial crisis decreased significantly and VCE indications were optimized. Our forecast model predicts lower numbers of VCE studies, with IDA/OGIB being the dominant indication. However, the predicted increase of negative exams requires further evaluation. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Rallis K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Glaucoma | Year: 2016

OBJECTIVE:: To determine subtle changes of Heidelberg retina tomography (HRT) stereometric parameters and blue-on-yellow (B/Y) perimetry global indices for the early diagnosis of glaucoma in suspected subjects. PATIENTS AND METHODS:: Cross-sectional data on 174 eyes of 87 subjects from a larger cohort, attending the Glaucoma Department of the “G. Gennimatas” General Hospital of Athens from January 2004 to February 2014, were used in the study. Subjects were assigned to 3 groups: (a) “normals” not requiring treatment throughout the study (group 1), (b) suspects who developed glaucoma and required treatment during the study (group 2), and (c) patients with incipient glaucoma (group 3). Specific HRT and B/Y perimetry variables were compared among the 3 groups. RESULTS:: Significant differences were established for the following HRT parameters: “reference height” differed significantly between groups 1 and 2 and groups 1 and 3; “cup shape measure” differed significantly between groups 1 and 2 and groups 2 and 3. B/Y perimetry global index “mean deviation” significantly distinguished group 2 from groups 1 and 3. CONCLUSIONS:: The results of the present study suggest the predictive value of the HRT stereometric parameters “reference height” and “cup shape measure” and of the B/Y perimetry global index “mean deviation” in glaucoma-suspected subjects; further corroboration through longitudinal studies is warranted. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Spyridopoulos T.N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Medical ultrasonography | Year: 2010

Renal artery stenosis (RAS) is the most common underlying medical condition in secondary hypertension among adults, representing about 5% of all cases of hypertension. Early diagnosis of RAS is an important clinical objective since interventional therapy may improve or cure hypertension and preserve renal function. Contrast angiography is the currently reference standard for the diagnosis of RAS; however, its invasive nature renders it unsuitable for screening purposes. Among screening tests used for the detection of RAS (computed tomography angiography, magnetic resonance angiography, radionuclide scanning), multiple studies have shown that color Doppler ultrasound (CDUS), although highly operator-dependent, can be an effective tool in the diagnosis of RAS. CDUS imaging is a simple, safe (noninvasive) and widely available technique; in addition, the procedure is painless and well tolerated by patients. In this concrete review we will underline the established color Doppler ultrasound criteria used for the detection of RAS, highlight their limitations and see how their combination may improve the diagnostic accuracy of this method.


Mavridis I.N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Neurosurgery | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND:: The ambiguous term precuneal artery (PA) has several synonyms and anatomic definitions. OBJECTIVE:: To examine the arteries of the precuneus and describe the PA and its branching pattern. We defined the PA as the principal arterial supplier of the precuneus. METHODS:: Twenty formalin-fixed, colored latex–injected cadaveric heads were studied with the aid of an operating microscope and microsurgical instrumentation. After removal of the cerebrum from the cranial vault, we examined this vesselʼs anatomy. Anatomic features of the PA were investigated and assessed in relation to demographic and anthropometric variables. RESULTS:: The PA was always a pericallosal artery branch and, more specifically, the superior internal parietal artery (SIPA) in 86.84%, the inferior internal parietal artery in 2.63%, and their common stem in 10.53% of specimens. Anastomosing interhemispheric branches between the PAs were present in 20% of cases. Compared with the right PA, the left anastomosed nearly 3 times more often with the ipsilateral posterior cerebral artery. The average distance of the PAʼs origin from the posterior limit of the splenium was shown to be 9.4 mm longer in elderly individuals compared with younger ones. CONCLUSION:: The term PA complex (rather than PA) can better describe the principal arterial supplier of the precuneus, and the SIPA, inferior internal parietal artery, and their common stem were shown as the 3 contributing arteries, with the SIPA predominating. The average distance of the PA complex origin from the spleniumʼs posterior limit shows significant variation with respect to age. ABBREVIATIONS:: a, anastomoses of precuneal branches with the contralateral hemisphere parameterACA, anterior cerebral arteryACoA, anterior communicating arteryARCS, ascending ramus of the cingulate sulcusb, precuneal branches anastomosing with the ipsilateral posterior cerebral artery parameter; posterior cerebral arteryBMI, body mass indexc, precuneal branches at the medial hemispheric surface parameterCC, corpus callosumd, length of the ascending ramus of the cingulate sulcus parametere, distance of the precuneal artery origin from the posterior limit of the corpus callosum parameterIIPA, inferior internal parietal arteryPA, precuneal arteryPCA, posterior cerebral arteryPcA, pericallosal arterySIPA, superior internal parietal artery Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons


Bogdanos C.,University Paris - Sud | Saridakis E.N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Classical and Quantum Gravity | Year: 2010

We investigate the scalar and tensor perturbations in Hoava gravity, with and without detailed balance, around a flat background. Once both types of perturbations are taken into account, it is revealed that the theory is plagued by ghost-like scalar instabilities in the range of parameters which would render it power-counting renormalizable, that cannot be overcome by simple tricks such as analytic continuation. Implementing a consistent flow between the UV and IR limits seems thus more challenging than initially presumed, regardless of whether the theory approaches general relativity at low energies or not. Even in the phenomenologically viable parameter space, the tensor sector leads to additional potential problems, such as fine-tunings and super-luminal propagation. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Basilakos S.,Academy of Athens | Stavrinos P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

We perform a detailed comparison between the Finsler-Randers cosmological model and the Dvali, Gabadadze, and Porrati (DGP) braneworld model. If we assume that the spatial curvature is strictly equal to zero then we prove the following interesting proposition: despite the fact that the current cosmological models have a completely different geometrical origin, they share exactly the same Hubble expansion. This implies that the Finsler-Randers model is cosmologically equivalent with that of the DGP model as far as the cosmic expansion is concerned. At the perturbative level we find that the Finsler-Randers growth index of matter perturbations is γFR 9/14, which is somewhat lower than that of DGP gravity (γDGP 11/16), implying that the growth factor of the Finsler-Randers model is slightly different (∼0.1-2%) from the one provided by the DGP gravity model. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Fotaras S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kokotos C.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kokotos G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry | Year: 2012

A tripeptide-like prolinamide-thiourea catalyst with (S)-proline, (1S,2S)-diphenylethylenediamine and (S)-di-tert-butyl aspartate as building blocks provides the products of the reaction between ketones and aromatic aldehydes in high to quantitative yields and high stereoselectivities (up to 99:1 dr and 99% ee). Both the chiral centers of the diamine unit are essential, while the thiourea hydrogen originating from the amine and the amide hydrogen play a predominant role for the catalyst efficiency. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Liebchen B.,University of Hamburg | Diakonos F.K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Schmelcher P.,University of Hamburg
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2012

Long-range interactions are shown to cause, as time evolves, consecutive reversals of directed currents for dilute ensembles of particles in driven lattices. These current reversals are based on a general mechanism that leads to an interaction-induced accumulation of particles in the regular regions of the underlying single-particle phase space and to a synchronized single-particle motion as well as enhanced efficiency of Hamiltonian ratchets. Suggestions for experimental implementations using ionized mesoscopic clusters in micromechanical lattices or dipolarly interacting colloidal particles in ac-driven optical lattices are provided. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


Santamouris M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kolokotsa D.,Technical University of Crete
Energy and Buildings | Year: 2013

Passive cooling in the built environment is now reaching is phase of maturity. Passive cooling is achieved by the use of techniques for solar and heat control, heat amortization and heat dissipation. Modulation of heat gain deals with the thermal storage capacity of the building structure, while heat dissipation techniques deal with the potential for disposal of excess heat of the building to an environmental sink of lower temperature, like the ground, water, and ambient air or sky. The aim of the present paper is to underline and review the recent state of the art technologies for passive cooling dissipation techniques in the built environment and their contribution in the improvement of the indoor environmental quality as well as in the reduction of cooling needs. The paper starts with a short introduction in passive cooling and continues with the analysis of advanced heat dissipation techniques such as ground cooling, evaporative cooling, and night ventilation in the built environment. The various technologies are compared versus their contribution to energy efficiency and users' comfort. Future trends and prospects are discussed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Zangari M.,University of Utah | Terpos E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Zhan F.,University of Utah | Tricot G.,University of Utah
Cancer Treatment Reviews | Year: 2012

Bone disease is a key feature in multiple myeloma (MM) and can have a substantial impact on patient morbidity and quality-of-life. The pathogenesis of lytic bone disease in MM is complex and associated with increased osteoclast activity and impaired osteoblast function. Lytic lesions rarely heal in MM; however, the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib has been linked to increased bone formation and osteoblastic activity. Various clinical studies have reported a positive effect of bortezomib on bone health, including fewer bone disease-related MM progression events, increases in bone volume, and improvements in osteolytic lesions. Alkaline phosphatase (total and bone isoenzyme), a marker of bone formation, is increased during bortezomib treatment; the degree of increase may be associated with treatment response. Bortezomib is associated with a reduction in Dickkopf-1, an inhibitor of osteoblast function. Increases of other bone-formation markers and decreases of bone-resorption markers, have also been observed. These clinical effects are supported by preclinical data suggesting bortezomib is associated with an increase in bone formation and osteoblast numbers/activity, arising from direct effects of bortezomib and proteasome inhibition. As reviewed here, a growing body of evidence indicates that bortezomib exerts a positive effect on bone metabolism in MM and has a bone anabolic effect. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Alexopoulou A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Papatheodoridis G.V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2012

Over the last decade, the standard of care for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C has been the combination of pegylated-interferon-alfa (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) which results in sustained virological response (SVR) rates of 75%-85% in patients with genotypes 2 or 3 but only of 40%-50% in patients with genotype 1. Currently, there are rapid and continuous developments of numerous new agents against hepatitis C virus (HCV), which are the focus of this review. Boceprevir and telaprevir, two first-generation NS3/4A HCV protease inhibitors, have been recently licensed in several countries around the world to be used in combination with PEGIFN and RBV for the treatment of genotype 1 patients. Boceprevir or telaprevir based triple regimens, compared with the PEG-IFN/RBV combination, improve the SVR rates by 25%-31% in treatment-naïve genotype 1 patients, by 40%-64% in prior relapsers, by 33%-45% in prior partial responders and by 24%-28% in prior null responders. At the same time, the application of response-guided treatment algorithms according to the on-treatment virological response results in shortening of the total therapy duration to only 24 wk in 45%-55% of treatment-naïve patients. There are, however, several challenges with the use of the new triple combinations in genotype 1 patients, such as the need for immediate results of HCV RNA testing using sensitive quantitative assays, new and more frequent adverse events (anemia and dysgeusia for boceprevir; pruritus, rash and anemia for telaprevir), new drug interactions and increasing difficulties in compliance. Moreover, the SVR rates are still poor in very difficult to treat subgroups of genotype 1 patients, such as null responders with cirrhosis, while there is no benefit for patients who cannot tolerate PEGIFN/ RBV or who are infected with non-1 HCV genotype. Many newer anti-HCV agents of different classes and numerous combinations are currently under evaluation with encouraging results. Preliminary data suggest that the treatment of chronic HCV patients with well tolerated combinations of oral agents without PEG-IFN is feasible and may lead to a universal HCV cure over the next 5-10 years. © 2012 Baishideng. All rights reserved.


Siakavellas S.I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Discovery medicine | Year: 2012

Crohn's disease is an immune-mediated disease that is characterized by chronic intestinal inflammation. Effector CD4+ T-lymphocytes are expanded in Crohn's disease-associated inflammatory lesions and play a critical role in the pathogenesis of this condition. Recently, a novel population of effector T-lymphocytes has been identified, which is clearly separated from the traditional Th1 and Th2 lineages and is characterized by the secretion of IL-17, hence its designation as Th17. The development of this population has been closely linked to IL-23, a member of the IL-12 family of cytokines. Converging lines of evidence support the hypothesis that the IL-23/Th17 axis is of pathogenic relevance for Crohn's disease. Protein and mRNA levels of IL-23, IL-17, and other Th17 effector cytokines, such as IL-21 and IL-22, are elevated in areas with active Crohn's disease-related inflammation, whereas lamina propria mononuclear cells from patients with Crohn's disease secrete increased amounts of IL-17 upon T-cell receptor-specific stimulation. Genome-wide association studies have identified several Crohn's disease-associated polymorphisms in genes that encode for proteins of the IL-23/Th17 pathway. Functional studies have shown that Th17-related effector cytokines induce pro-inflammatory responses that are components of the pathogenetic mechanisms of Crohn's disease, including recruitment of neutrophils via IL-8 induction, upregulation of inflammatory mediators such as TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, and secretion of metalloproteinases by intestinal fibroblasts. Finally, in several animal models of intestinal inflammation, disease severity is ameliorated when the IL-23/Th17 pathway is rendered deficient. These findings point to a critically important role for IL-23/Th17-mediated immune responses in Crohn's disease pathogenesis and may offer unique therapeutic opportunities for patients.


Tzanetakou I.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Katsilambros N.L.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Benetos A.,University of Lorraine | Mikhailidis D.P.,University College London | Perrea D.N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Ageing Research Reviews | Year: 2012

Obesity is a condition in which excess or abnormal fat accumulation may present with adverse effects on health and decreased life expectancy. Increased body weight and adipose tissue accumulation amplifies the risk of developing various age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory diseases and certain types of cancer. This imbalance in body composition and body weight is now recognized as a state of increased oxidative stress and inflammation for the organism.Increasing oxidative stress and inflammation affect telomeres. Telomeres are specialized DNA-protein structures found at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes and serve as markers of biological aging rate. They also play a critical role in maintaining genomic integrity and are involved in age-related metabolic dysfunction. Erosion of telomeres is hazardous to healthy cells, as it is a known mechanism of premature cellular senescence and loss of longevity. The association of telomeres and oxidative stress is evident in cultured somatic cells in vitro, where oxidative stress enhances the process of erosion with each cycle of replication.Shorter telomeres have been associated with increasing body mass index, increased adiposity, and more recently with increasing waist to hip ratio and visceral excess fat accumulation. Furthermore, many of the metabolic imbalances of obesity (e.g. glycemic, lipidemic, etc.) give rise to organ dysfunction in a way that resembles the accelerated aging process.This article is a non-systematic review of the evidence linking obesity and accelerated aging processes as they are regulated by telomeres. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


The Kassiteres-Sapes area is a telescoped porphyry Cu-Mo-Re ± Au and epithermal Au-Ag-Cu-Te system, hosted within Oligocene calc-alkaline to high-K calc-alkaline granodiorite-tonalite, microdiorite and quartz-feldspar porphyries and their volcanic equivalents. High- And intermediate sulfidation epithermal mineralization was deposited in advanced argillic lithocaps that overprint sodic/potassic and sericitic alteration of the intrusive rocks. Deep level, corundum-sericite-feldspar-, corundum-quartz-, and quartz-diaspore-topaz-APS minerals-pyrophyllite-sericite bearing assemblages occur in close proximity to porphyry-style mineralization at the Koryfes, Konos Hills and St Demetrios deposits. Rapid cooling of ascending magmatic-hydrothermal solutions at pressures below 0.6 kb and temperatures above 370 ?C could dilute quartz resulting in silica undersaturation and the formation of corundum-sericite at Koryfes Hill. The corundum-quartz assemblage at St Demetrios was likely derived from previous diasporebearing advanced argillic alteration at moderate temperature ( 400 °C) and low pressure, followed by rapid depressurization accompanying boiling of the hydrothermal fluid. The disequilibrium assemblage quartz+diaspore+topaz (± pyrophyllite ? sericite) formed between 285? and 320 ?C by vapor saturation pressure from acid solutions after condensation of vapors released from the porphyries. The presence of topaz reflects the presence of fluorine in the fluid. Alumino-phosphates-sulfates (woodhouseite, Sr-rich woodhouseite and Sr-Ce-rich woodhouseite) are present as pseudocubic crystals enclosed within diaspore and natroalunite. High level lithocaps include natroalunite/alunite-kaolinite/dickite-pyrite bearing assemblages of both replacement- And vein-type, which deposited at 300° to 200 °C by increasing acidity of the fluid at higher topographic levels and/or from direct input of magmatic vapors. Episodic magmatic-hydrothermal activity in the district is characterized by several stages of advanced argillic alteration and associated Au-Ag-Cu-Te high-sulfidation mineralization. ©2014 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany.


Yiannopoulou K.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Papageorgiou S.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders | Year: 2013

Alzheimer's dementia (AD) is increasingly being recognized as one of the most important medical and social problems in older people in industrialized and non-industrialized nations. To date, only symptomatic treatments exist for this disease, all trying to counterbalance the neurotransmitter disturbance. Three cholinesterase inhibitors (CIs) are currently available and have been approved for the treatment of mild to moderate AD. A further therapeutic option available for moderate to severe AD is memantine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor noncompetitive antagonist. Treatments capable of stopping or at least effectively modifying the course of AD, referred to as 'disease-modifying' drugs, are still under extensive research. To block the progression of the disease they have to interfere with the pathogenic steps responsible for the clinical symptoms, including the deposition of extracellular amyloid plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangle formation, inflammation, oxidative damage, iron deregulation and cholesterol metabolism. In this review we discuss current symptomatic treatments and new potential disease-modifying therapies for AD that are currently being studied in phase I-III trials. © The Author(s), 2012.


Mantas J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics | Year: 2012

The publication of the International Medical Informatics Association revised version of the existing international recommendations in health informatics / medical informatics education was welcome positively by the educational community. The recommendations help to establish courses and complete programs in the field of Biomedical and Health Informatics (BMHI), to further develop existing educational activities in the various nations and to support international initiatives. The paper focuses on the Master's courses, which are the most widely established programs following the recommendations. The number of citations of the recommendations shows the worldwide acceptance. However, an in-depth review is recommended. © 2012 European Federation for Medical Informatics. All rights reserved.


Papadopoulos N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2016

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to evaluate the outcomes of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-negative, anti-HBc-positive patients who received immunosuppressive therapies. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated the medical records of HBsAg-negative, anti-HBc-positive patients with hematological diseases or solid tumors who underwent immunosuppressive therapies and were referred because of positive baseline hepatitis B virus (HBV) serology or HBV reactivation. The referral date was according to the judgment of the treating physician at the time of identification of any signs of HBV infection. RESULTS: We included 55 HBsAg-negative, anti-HBc-positive patients. Of these, 31 received antiviral prophylaxis (group 1), whereas 24 patients did not receive any anti-HBV agent (group 2). The majority of patients [49/55 (89%)] had hematological malignancies and most of them 39/55 (71%) received rituximab-containing regimens. Lamivudine was used as antiviral prophylaxis in 13/31 (42%) patients of group 1. One patient in this group experienced HBV reactivation and was treated successfully with tenofovir add-on therapy. All patients in the second group experienced HBV reactivation and most of them [19/24 (79%)] were treated with tenofovir or entecavir as rescue therapy. Two of these patients (one of the tenofovir/entecavir subgroup and one of the lamivudine subgroup) eventually died because of hepatic failure despite rescue treatment. CONCLUSION: Patients with serological markers of previous HBV infection are still at risk for HBV reactivation. Screening of both anti-HBs and anti-HBc is mandatory before chemotherapy. Pre-emptive antiviral prophylaxis, including lamivudine, is highly effective in all subgroups of such patients, whereas deferring treatment upon HBV reactivation is not enough to rescue all cases. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Triantafillidis J.K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2016

In recent years, the role of primary care physicians (PCPs) in the diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal disorders, including screening for colorectal cancer (CRC), has been recognized as very important. The available data indicate that PCPs are not adequately following CRC screening guidelines because a number of factors have been identified as significant barriers to the proper application of CRC screening guidelines. These factors include lack of time, patient reluctance, and challenges related to scheduling colonoscopy. Further positive engagement of PCPs with CRC screening is required to overcome these barriers and reach acceptable levels in screening rates. To meet the expectations of modern medicine, PCPs should not only be able to recommend occult blood testing or colonoscopy but also, under certain conditions, able to perform colonoscopy. In this review, the authors aim to provide the current knowledge of the role of PCPs in increasing the rate and successfully implementing a screening program for CRC by applying the relevant international guidelines.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Kallergis G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of B.U.ON. | Year: 2013

Imparting bad news to a cancer patient is considered an arduous task, but it seems to be facilitated by the use of the empathic approach. Indeed, doctors who are trained to adhere to a cancer patient informing protocol argue that the hardest step to take is the empathic approach. The usual questions asked are: To tell the diagnosis or not? How much information should we give? Should the patient know or has the right not to know? Is it possible to determine who should say, what, when, and how. The aim of this article was to describe the avoidant character or type of personality, so that any physician can make a diagnosis and tailor the information strategy to the patient's needs. As method of research was used the qualitative method through groups with doctors and nurses, while research within groups lasted for 5 years. The degree of informing the avoidant personality in the range "minimal - small - medium - large - very large" is : The degree of denial varies between "small" and "medium", while the degree of informing varies between "medium" and "small" in order to reach "large" later. Informing the family: The patient reacts to a common approach with the family as he is concerned about inflicting a blow to his image.


Traeger-Synodinos J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
International Journal of Laboratory Hematology | Year: 2013

Prenatal diagnosis (PND) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) both represent highly important reproductive choices for couples with a high risk of transmitting a severe disease, such as a severe hemoglobinopathy. Conventional PND for hemoglobinopathies based on molecular analysis of trophoblast or amniocyte DNA has been applied for around 30 years, but the major disadvantages with this approach include 'invasive' fetal sampling, and the potential involvement of pregnancy termination when affected. In comparison, the major advantage of PGD over conventional PND is that it supports the initiation of unaffected pregnancies, avoiding the need to terminate affected pregnancies. However, it is a multistep technically demanding procedure requiring the close collaboration of experts from several fields. PGD is also limited by the need to involve assisted reproduction, even in couples without fertility problems. Furthermore, even for fertile couples, pregnancy rates rarely surpass 30-35%. Both PND and PGD have advantages and drawbacks. Before embarking on either procedure, couples should be carefully counseled by experts so that they can select the option most appropriate for them. Finally, whatever their choice, it is paramount that both prenatal and PGD be applied with the highest standards of clinical, laboratory, and ethical practice. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Giamarellos-Bourboulis E.J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents | Year: 2010

The enormous case-fatality rate of severe sepsis and septic shock has resulted in considerable efforts being made towards understanding their complex mechanisms of pathogenesis. This has been done with the hope that agents that interfere with the pathways of pathogenesis and modulate the immune response of the host may be candidates for therapy. Disappointing results from most trials of immunomodulators in sepsis have led to understanding that the progression of patients to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome involves blunting of the pro-inflammatory cytokine storm. Instead, the compensatory anti-inflammatory response syndrome (CARS) develops, which is characterised by immunoparalysis. Components of this syndrome are impaired phagocytosis by neutrophils, decreased expression of HLA-DR on monocytes, impairment of ex vivo cytokine stimulation of monocytes, CD4 lymphopenia due to apoptosis of lymphocytes and predominance of anti-inflammatory T h2 and regulatory T-cell responses over pro-inflammatory T h1 and T 17 responses. CARS is not the sole explanation for the failure of trials of immunomodulators in sepsis. Recent data from the Hellenic Sepsis Study Group demonstrate that components of CARS upon transition from sepsis to severe sepsis/shock differ in relation to the underlying type of infection. These data underscore that the pathogenesis of sepsis presents considerable heterogeneity from one patient to another. That heterogeneity should be taken into consideration when deciding to administer an immunomodulator. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. and the International Society of Chemotherapy.


Thomas K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Current Opinion in Rheumatology | Year: 2016

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review recent evidence for infection rates in patients with systemic vasculitides, the role of specific infectious agents in the pathogenesis of vasculitis and recent breakthroughs in the treatment of virus-associated vasculitides. RECENT FINDINGS: In well designed recent studies, infections were found to be common during the first 6–12 months in patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)-associated vasculitides (AAV) and giant cell arteritis (GCA) and to contribute significantly to increased mortality during this period. New therapeutic schemes with lower cyclophosphamide doses and shorter corticosteroid courses were associated with decreased infectious rates in elderly patients with AAV whereas a prednisone dose greater than 10?mg/day at the end of the first year were associated with increased infectious-related mortality in patients with GCA. Recently, a potential role for varicella zoster virus in GCA pathogenesis has been proposed but more data are needed in order to establish a causal relationship. Finally, preliminary data show excellent short-term efficacy and safety of the new, interferon-free, oral antiviral agents in the treatment of hepatitis C virus-associated cryoglobulinemic vasculitis. SUMMARY: Infections continue to be one of the main causes of mortality in patients with systemic vasculitides, emphasizing the need for safer immunosuppressive therapies and appropriate prophylaxis. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Chrysohoou C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Stefanadis C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Maturitas | Year: 2013

Longevity is a very complex phenomenon, because many environmental, behavioral, socio-demographic and dietary factors influence the physiological pathways of aging and life-expectancy. Nutrition has been recognized to have an important impact on overall mortality and morbidity; and its role in extending life expectancy has been the object of extensive scientific research. This paper reviews the pathophysiological mechanisms that potentially link aging with diet and the scientific evidence supporting the anti-aging effect of the traditional Mediterranean diet, as well as of some specific foods. The diet and several of its components have additionally been shown to have beneficial effects on the co-morbidities typical of elderly populations. Furthermore, the epigenetic effects of diet on the aging process - through calorie restriction and the consumption of foods like red wine, orange juice, probiotics and prebiotics - have attracted scientific interest. Some, such as dark chocolate, red wine, nuts, beans, avocados are being promoted as anti-aging foods, due to their anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Finally, an important moderator in the relationship between diet, longevity and human health remains the socio-economic status of individual, as a healthy diet, due to its higher cost, is closely related to higher financial and educational status. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Briana D.D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Malamitsi-Puchner A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Paediatric Respiratory Reviews | Year: 2013

Accumulating data suggest that prenatal compromises leading to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) increase the risk for respiratory deficiencies after birth. In this respect, a growing body of epidemiological evidence in infants, children and adults indicates that small for gestational (SGA) birth weight can adversely affect lung function, thus questioning the widely accepted concept that IUGR accelerates lung maturation and improves outcome. Although the mechanisms responsible for the relationship between SGA and later lung dysfunction remain poorly documented, animal data indicate that intrauterine lung development can be adversely affected by factors associated with IUGR, namely reduced substrate supply, fetal hypoxemia and hypercortisolemia. Thus, it is suggested that fetal adaptations to intrauterine undernutrition result in permanent changes in lung structure, which in turn lead to chronic airflow obstruction. The purpose of this review is to describe and discuss the effects of IUGR on lung structure and function. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Sfetsos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Sfetsos K.,University of Bern | Siampos K.,University of Bern | Thompson D.C.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2015

We construct two-parameter families of integrable λ-deformations of two-dimensional field theories. These interpolate between a CFT (a WZW/gauged WZW model) and the non-Abelian T-dual of a principal chiral model on a group/symmetric coset space. In examples based on the SU(2) WZW model and the SU(2)/. U(1) exact coset CFT, we show that these deformations are related to bi-Yang-Baxter generalisations of η-deformations via Poisson-Lie T-duality and analytic continuation. We illustrate the quantum behaviour of our models under RG flow. As a byproduct we demonstrate that the bi-Yang-Baxter σ-model for a general group is one-loop renormalisable. © 2015 The Authors.


Pipili C.L.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Papatheodoridis G.V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Cholongitas E.C.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Kidney International | Year: 2013

Although the prevalence of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in patients with chronic kidney disease remains low in developed countries, clinicians should be aware of the rationale for treatment in this setting. This patient population presents particular features and various complicating conditions requiring special treatment strategies. Interferon, the standard treatment for HBV infection, has been poorly tolerated by patients with chronic kidney disease, has presented relatively low efficacy, and has posed renal transplant recipients under the risk of acute rejection. The advent of effective nucleos(t)ide analogs (NAs) has offered the opportunity to minimize the consequences of HBV infection in HBV-positive patients with chronic kidney disease. Combination with immunosuppressive agents might be considered in cases of rapid renal function deterioration and/or severe proteinuria. Among the newer NAs, entecavir may be preferred, because of its high potency, high genetic barrier to resistance, and favorable renal safety profile. However, entecavir presented low efficacy in case of lamivudine or telbivudine resistance, and thus tenofovir may be a better option in that setting. All HBsAg-positive candidates should be treated with NAs before renal transplantation in order to maintain undetectable HBV DNA, reduce liver fibrosis, and prevent hepatic decompensation after renal transplantation. This review summarizes updated issues related to treatment of chronic HBV infection in all categories of population with chronic kidney disease (those exhibiting HBV-associated glomerular disease, those treated with hemodialysis, as well as renal transplant candidates, donors, and recipients). © 2013 International Society of Nephrology.


Pliarchopoulou K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Pectasides D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Cancer Treatment Reviews | Year: 2010

Cisplatin-based treatment has significantly increased survival in testicular cancer patients. Therefore, there has been enough interest for the late toxic effects of chemotherapy which affect the quality of life of the cancer survivors. These toxic effects may either persist or present long after the end of chemotherapy and involve the impairment of renal function, neurotoxicity, pulmonary toxicity and vascular disease. Also, a major issue experienced by a large number of patients is infertility, which has been improved due to modified surgical techniques, reduced treatment intensity, the use of sperm cryopreservation and methods of assisted reproduction. Physicians should also be aware of the risk of secondary malignancy development. Therefore, close follow-up of the testicular cancer survivors as well as, focus on minimizing treatment complications through improvement of treatment strategies are warranted. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.


Sfetsos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Siampos K.,University of Bern
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2015

The all-loop anisotropic Thirring model interpolates between the WZW model and the non-Abelian T-dual of the anisotropic principal chiral model. We focus on the SU(2) case and we prove that it is classically integrable by providing its Lax pair formulation. We derive its underlying symmetry current algebra and use it to show that the Poisson brackets of the spatial part of the Lax pair, assume the Maillet form. In this way we procure the corresponding r and s matrices which provide non-trivial solutions to the modified Yang-Baxter equation. © 2015 The Authors.


Pantazopoulos I.,Sotiria General Hospital | Boura P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Xanthos T.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Syrigos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
European Respiratory Journal | Year: 2013

Malignantmesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive tumour with poor prognosis whose early diagnosis is difficult. Mesothelin, megakaryocyte potentiating factor (MPF) and osteopontin have attracted attention as biomarkers. The aim of the present review is to provide an overview regarding these candidate biomarkers for MM, and discuss their potential role in today's clinical practice. Mesothelin and MPF have good specificity but sub-optimal sensitivity for detection of MM, being negative both in the sarcomatoid histological sub-type and in almost half of epithelioid mesothelioma, especially in the early stages. Osteopontin is a marker of the duration of asbestos exposure, but lacks specificity for mesothelioma. Several patient characteristics influence the diagnostic accuracy of biomarkers and make the establishment of the 'optimal' diagnostic threshold difficult. Mesothelin and MPF have proved useful in assessing response to treatment. Combining different markers together may lead to an improvement in diagnostic accuracy, but there is still need for research in this area. Extensive validation and further research is required to improve the use of serum markers in mesothelioma management. In the near future, their application in clinical practice is probably in monitoring response to therapy, rather than in guiding diagnostic decisions and risk assessment of asbestos-exposed populations.


Kopsinis Y.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Slavakis K.,University of Peloponnese | Theodoridis S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing | Year: 2011

This paper presents a novel projection-based adaptive algorithm for sparse signal and system identification. The sequentially observed data are used to generate an equivalent sequence of closed convex sets, namely hyperslabs. Each hyperslab is the geometric equivalent of a cost criterion, that quantifies "data mismatch". Sparsity is imposed by the introduction of appropriately designed weighted ℓ1 balls and the related projection operator is also derived. The algorithm develops around projections onto the sequence of the generated hyperslabs as well as the weighted ℓ1 balls. The resulting scheme exhibits linear dependence, with respect to the unknown system's order, on the number of multiplications/ additions and an Ο(Llog2L) dependence on sorting operations, where $L$ is the length of the system/signal to be estimated. Numerical results are also given to validate the performance of the proposed method against the Least-Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) algorithm and two very recently developed adaptive sparse schemes that fuse arguments from the LMS/RLS adaptation mechanisms with those imposed by the lasso rational. © 2010 IEEE.


Skordas E.S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Solid State Ionics | Year: 2014

A first-principle study of the formation and migration of native defects in LiH, a material of interest in hydrogen storage and lithium-ion batteries, has just been published by Hoang and Van de Walle [Solid State Ionics 253 (2013) 53-56]. Their results are found here to be of key-importance to deduce useful results for the pressure dependence of the ionic conductivity of LiH. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Maffiuletti N.A.,Neuromuscular Research Laboratory | Roig M.,McGill University | Roig M.,Copenhagen University | Karatzanos E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Nanas S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
BMC Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) therapy may be useful in early musculoskeletal rehabilitation during acute critical illness. The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate the effectiveness of NMES for preventing skeletal-muscle weakness and wasting in critically ill patients, in comparison with usual care.Methods: We searched PubMed, CENTRAL, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PEDro to identify randomized controlled trials exploring the effect of NMES in critically ill patients, which had a well-defined NMES protocol, provided outcomes related to skeletal-muscle strength and/or mass, and for which full text was available. Two independent reviewers extracted data on muscle-related outcomes (strength and mass), and participant and intervention characteristics, and assessed the methodological quality of the studies. Owing to the lack of means and standard deviations (SDs) in some studies, as well as the lack of baseline measurements in two studies, it was impossible to conduct a full meta-analysis. When means and SDs were provided, the effect sizes of individual outcomes were calculated, and otherwise, a qualitative analysis was performed.Results: The search yielded 8 eligible studies involving 172 patients. The methodological quality of the studies was moderate to high. Five studies reported an increase in strength or better preservation of strength with NMES, with one study having a large effect size. Two studies found better preservation of muscle mass with NMES, with small to moderate effect sizes, while no significant benefits were found in two other studies.Conclusions: NMES added to usual care proved to be more effective than usual care alone for preventing skeletal-muscle weakness in critically ill patients. However, there is inconclusive evidence for its benefit in prevention of muscle wasting. © 2013 Maffiuletti et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Marinou K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Christodoulides C.,University of Oxford | Antoniades C.,University of Oxford | Koutsilieris M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2012

Wnt signaling pathways play a key role in cardiac development, angiogenesis, and cardiac hypertrophy; emerging evidence suggests that they are also involved in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis. Specifically, an important role for Wnts has been described in the regulation of endothelial inflammation, vascular calcification, and mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. Wnt signaling also induces monocyte adhesion to endothelial cells and is crucial for the regulation of vascular smooth-muscle cell (VSMC) behavior. We discuss how the Wnt pathways are implicated in vascular biology and outline the role of Wnt signaling in atherosclerosis. Dissecting Wnt pathways involved in atherogenesis and cardiovascular disease may provide crucial insights into novel mechanisms with therapeutic potential for atherosclerosis. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Panagopoulos D.J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Panagopoulos D.J.,Radiation and Environmental Biophysics Research Center
Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics | Year: 2012

In the present experiments the effect of GSM radiation on ovarian development of virgin Drosophila melanogaster female insects was studied. Newly emerged adult female flies were collected and divided into separate identical groups. After the a lapse of certain number of hours-different for each group-the insects (exposed and sham-exposed) were dissected and their intact ovaries were collected and photographed under an optical microscope with the same magnification. The size of the ovaries was compared between exposed and sham-exposed virgin female insects, during the time needed for the completion of oogenesis and maturation of the first eggs in the ovarioles. Immediately after the intact ovaries were photographed, they were further dissected into individual ovarioles and treated for TUNEL and acridine-orange assays to determine the degree of DNA damage in the egg chamber cells. The study showed that the ovarian size of the exposed insects is significantly smaller than that of the corresponding sham-exposed insects, due to destruction of egg chambers by the GSM radiation, after DNA damage and consequent cell death induction in the egg chamber cells of the virgin females as shown in previous experiments on inseminated females. The difference in ovarian size between sham-exposed and exposed virgin female flies becomes most evident 39-45 h after eclosion when the first eggs within the ovaries are at the late vitellogenic and post-vitellogenic stages (mid-late oogenesis). More than 45 h after eclosion, the difference in ovarian size decreases, as the first mature eggs of the sham-exposed insects are leaving the ovaries and are laid. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Kontos C.K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Scorilas A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Gene | Year: 2012

In the past, we identified and cloned the BCL2-like 12 (BCL2L12) gene, a novel member of the BCL2 family, which is implicated in various malignancies. The classical BCL2L12 protein isoform contains a highly conserved BH2 domain, a BH3-like motif, and a proline-rich region, and is involved in apoptosis. Most members of this apoptosis-related family are subjected to alternative splicing, thus generating multiple protein isoforms with distinct properties, and sometimes even with opposite function (pro- vs. anti-apoptotic). In the current study, we report the identification, molecular cloning, and expression pattern of novel splice variants of the human BCL2L12 gene in cancer cell lines. EST clones displaying high sequence identity (≥ 90%) with the classical BCL2L12 transcript were aligned, in order to identify those containing at least one novel splice junction. EST database mining led to the identification of three previously unknown splice variants of this apoptotic gene. In our effort to experimentally validate these novel transcripts, we also cloned seven more, previously unidentified, BCL2L12 alternatively spliced variants. Expression analysis of all BCL2L12 splice variants in human cancer cell lines and embryonic kidney cells revealed remarkable differences between their BCL2L12 expression profiles. Interestingly, 7 out of 10 novel splice variants of BCL2L12 are predicted to encode new protein isoforms, some of which are BH3-only proteins, in contrast to the classical BCL2L12 isoform, which also contains a functional BH2 domain. The remaining three novel splice variants of BCL2L12 are nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) candidates. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Rovina N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Koutsoukou A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Koulouris N.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Mediators of Inflammation | Year: 2013

Increasing evidence indicates that chronic inflammatory and immune responses play key roles in the development and progression of COPD. Recent data provide evidence for a role in the NLRP3 inflammasome in the airway inflammation observed in COPD. Cigarette smoke activates innate immune cells by triggering pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to release "danger signal". These signals act as ligands to Toll-like receptors (TLRs), triggering the production of cytokines and inducing innate inflammation. In smokers who develop COPD there appears to be a specific pattern of inflammation in the airways and parenchyma as a result of both innate and adaptive immune responses, with the predominance of CD8+ and CD4+ cells, and in the more severe disease, with the presence of lymphoid follicles containing B lymphocytes and T cells. Furthermore, viral and bacterial infections interfere with the chronic inflammation seen in stable COPD and exacerbations via pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Finally, autoimmunity is another novel aspect that may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of COPD. This review is un update of the currently discussed roles of inflammatory and immune responses in the pathogenesis of COPD. © 2013 Nikoletta Rovina et al.


Hatziavramidis D.T.,National Technical University of Athens | Karatzas T.M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Chrousos G.P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Annals of Biomedical Engineering | Year: 2013

Transplantation of pancreatic islets, as a therapeutic modality for type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), at this stage of its development, is reserved for patients with severe glycemic variability, progressive diabetic complications, and life threatening hypoglycemia unawareness, regardless of intensive insulin management. It has not succeeded to become the method of choice for treating T1DM because of limited supply and suboptimal yields of procurement and isolation of islets, graft failure, and relatively high requirements, i.e., at least 10,000 functional Islet Equivalents per kg of patient weight, to achieve prolonged insulin independence and glucose stability. Efforts aimed at making islet transplantation a competitive alternative to exogenous insulin injections for treating T1DM have focused on improving the longevity and functionality of islet cells. In order to succeed, these efforts need to be complemented by others to optimize the rate and efficiency of encapsulation. © 2012 Biomedical Engineering Society.


Parmakelis A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Kotsakiozi P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Rand D.,Brown University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Pulmonate snails have remarkably high levels of mtDNA polymorphism within species and divergence between species, making them an interesting group for the study of mutation and selection on mitochondrial genomes. The availability of sequence data from most major lineages - collected largely for studies of phylogeography - provides an opportunity to perform several tests of selection that may provide general insights into the evolutionary forces that have produced this unusual pattern. Several protein coding mtDNA datasets of pulmonates were analyzed towards this direction. Two different methods for the detection of positive selection were used, one based on phylogeny, and the other on the McDonald-Kreitman test. The cyto-nuclear coevolution hypothesis, often implicated to account for the high levels of mtDNA divergence of some organisms, was also addressed by assessing the divergence pattern exhibited by a nuclear gene. The McDonald-Kreitman test indicated multiple signs of positive selection in the mtDNA genes, but was significantly biased when sequence divergence was high. The phylogenetic method identified five mtDNA datasets as affected by positive selection. In the nuclear gene, the McDonald-Kreitman test provided no significant results, whereas the phylogenetic method identified positive selection as likely present. Overall, our findings indicate that: 1) slim support for the cyto-nuclear coevolution hypothesis is present, 2) the elevated rates of mtDNA polymorphims and divergence in pulmonates do not appear to be due to pervasive positive selection, 3) more stringent tests show that spurious positive selection is uncovered when distant taxa are compared and 4) there are significant examples of positive selection acting in some cases, so it appears that mtDNA evolution in pulmonates can escape from strict deleterious evolution suggested by the Muller's ratchet effect. © 2013 Parmakelis et al.


Stepien K.,University of Warsaw | Gazeas K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Gazeas K.,European Space Agency
Acta Astronomica | Year: 2012

We present a study on low-mass contact binaries (LMCB) with orbital periods shorter than 0.3 days and total mass lower than about 1.4 M ⊙. We show that such systems have a long pre-contact phase, which lasts for 8-9 Gyrs, while the contact phase takes only about 0.8 Gyr, which is rather a short fraction of the total life. With low mass transfer rate during contact, moderate mass ratios prevail in LMCBs since they do not have enough time to reach extreme mass ratios often observed in higher mass binaries. During the whole evolution both components of LMCBs remain within the MS band. The evolution of cool contact binaries toward merging is controlled by the interplay between the evolutionary expansion of the less massive component resulting in the mass transfer to the more massive component and the angular momentum loss from the system by the magnetized wind. In LMCB the angular momentum loss prevails. As a result, the orbital period systematically decreases until the binary overflows the outer critical Roche surface and the components merge into a single fast rotating star of a solar type surrounded by a remnant disk carrying excess angular momentum. The disk can be a place of planet formation with the age substantially lower than the age of a host star. The calculated theoretical tracks show good agreement with the physical properties of LMCB from the available observations. Estimates of the frequency of occurrence of LMCB and the merger formation rate indicate that about 40 LMCBs and about 100 low mass merger products is expected to exist within 100 pc from the Sun.


Downey R.G.,Victoria University of Wellington | Thilikos D.M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Computer Science Review | Year: 2011

One approach to confronting computational hardness is to try to understand the contribution of various parameters to the running time of algorithms and the complexity of computational tasks. Almost no computational tasks in real life are specified by their size alone. It is not hard to imagine that some parameters contribute more intractability than others and it seems reasonable to develop a theory of computational complexity which seeks to exploit this fact. Such a theory should be able to address the needs of practitioners in algorithmics. The last twenty years have seen the development of such a theory. This theory has a large number of successes in terms of a rich collection of algorithmic techniques, both practical and theoretical, and a fine-grained intractability theory. Whilst the theory has been widely used in a number of areas of applications including computational biology, linguistics, VLSI design, learning theory and many others, knowledge of the area is highly varied. We hope that this article will show the basic theory and point at the wide array of techniques available. Naturally the treatment is condensed, and the reader who wants more should go to the texts of Downey and Fellows (1999) [2], Flum and Grohe (2006) [59], Niedermeier (2006) [28], and the upcoming undergraduate text (Downey and Fellows 2012) [278]. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Livadas S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Diamanti-Kandarakis E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Frontiers of Hormone Research | Year: 2013

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) constitutes a continuum spectrum of symptoms starting from the early prepubertal years and continuing after menopause. The phenotypic expression varies through time, depending on several internal (e.g. ovarian/adrenal steroidogenesis, insulin resistance) and external factors (e.g. quality and quantity of food, exercise). Moreover, the emergence of new definitions with the use of ovarian morphology, besides chronic anovulation and hyperandrogenism, as diagnostic criteria, increased the phenotypic variety of PCOS presentation. In this review, the clinician is provided with useful information regarding grey zones in assessing anovulation, hyperandrogenism, ovarian morphology and the difficulties in differential diagnosis of PCOS. Furthermore, the lack of substantial data characterizing metabolic/hormonal profile and the potential cardiovascular risk in newer PCOS phenotypes, as well as the absence of longitudinal data questioning a possible shift from one phenotype to another are underlined. These notions indicate that despite the initial presentation of a patient with PCOS, close follow-up and therapeutic interventions aiming to reduce long-term cardiovascular risk are warranted. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Vougogiannopoulou K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Skaltsounis A.-L.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Planta Medica | Year: 2012

Indirubins represent a small category of compounds with significant pharmacological activity focusing on the inhibition of protein kinases. A series of derivatives has been developed during the last 15 years aiming the investigation and amelioration of the indirubin scaffold in terms of activity, selectivity, and drug-likeness. The current article focuses on the naturally brominated indirubins present in the famous historic dye of Tyrian purple, attempting to gather all available literature regarding biosynthesis, isolation, and synthesis of related analogues. Halogenated indirubins are by far one of the most important subcategories of indirubins, with its main representatives 6-bromoindirubin (6BI) and 6-bromoindirubin-3-oxime (6BIO) possessing an increased selectivity against GSK-3. This review attempts to summarize concisely structure/activity relationships among closely related halogenated analogues in terms of protein kinase inhibition and selectivity, while it also focuses on the various biological applications arising from the interactions of halogenated indirubins with molecular targets. Those include effects of halogenated indirubins on stem cells, cardiac, renal, and pancreatic cells, on leukemia and solid tumors, and on neurodegeneration. © 2012 Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart New York.


Eleftheriadis E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of oral science | Year: 2010

Currently, in oral and maxillofacial surgery, there is a clinical need for efficient bone grafting materials, and various efforts are being made to improve materials used as bone substitutes to facilitate faster and denser bone regeneration. The purpose of this study was to evaluate in vivo the osteogenic potential of synthetic β-tricalcium phosphate in a hydroxyl sulphate matrix (β-TCP/HS) and human demineralized bone matrix (DBM) putty. Sixteen New Zealand White rabbits were used. In each animal, two bone defects (8 mm length × 3 mm width × 3 mm depth) were created in the left and right regions of the mandible, respectively. The defect on one side, chosen randomly, was filled with β-TCP/HS (group A) or DBM putty (group B), while the defect on the opposite side was left unfilled in order to serve as a control site. Two animals in each group were sacrificed at the end of the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 6th week after surgery, respectively, and the osteotomy sites were processed for histological evaluation. Our findings confirmed that β-TCP/HS and human DBM putty possess osteogenic activity and can support new bone formation, although at a slower rate than the spontaneous healing response, in rabbit mandibular osseous defects.


Hadziyannis E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Hadziyannis S.J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Expert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2014

Serum HBsAg levels have been quantified extensively in recent years with simple completely automated assays in the various phases of the natural course of chronic HBV infection, have been compared with cccDNA in the liver, with various markers of HBV replication and have been correlated with several viral, host and environmental variables. Low HBsAg levels in inactive carriers predict a spontaneous HbsAg loss. Quantification of HBsAg in serum at baseline and its decline under interferon-Alfa based regimens, both in HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative CHB, provides important information on the prediction of sustained post-treatment outcomes and on subsequent HBsAg clearance. The value of HBsAg quantification in the monitoring of long term nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment of CHB and in the prediction of sustained response remains unclear. In this review, the most recent data regarding the overall clinical utility of HBsAg measurement in HBeAg-positive and -negative CHB and in their treatment, is critically presented. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.


Bonovas S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Drugs | Year: 2014

3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) are currently among the most commonly prescribed pharmaceutical agents worldwide. Apart from their well-established therapeutic value in cardiovascular disease, there is a long-standing debate on their potential association with cancer. To obtain and discuss the existing clinical evidence, an overview of meta-analysis articles addressing this issue was carried out. As of today, the accumulated evidence does not support the hypothesis that statins affect the risk of developing cancer, when they are taken at low doses for managing hypercholesterolaemia. However, current data cannot exclude an increased cancer risk in elderly patients associated with hydrophilic statin use, or decreases in the risks of certain cancers, such as gastric, oesophageal, liver, colorectal and advanced/aggressive prostate cancer. On the other hand, some recent observational studies have provided evidence that statins might be useful in modifying the prognosis of patients diagnosed with malignancy. Until a definitive benefit is demonstrated in randomized controlled trials, statins cannot be recommended either for cancer prevention or for modifying cancer-related outcomes. Further research is warranted to clarify the potential role(s) of statins in the prevention and treatment of cancer. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Gkouvatsos K.,Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research | Gkouvatsos K.,McGill University | Papanikolaou G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Pantopoulos K.,Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research | Pantopoulos K.,McGill University
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects | Year: 2012

Background: Iron is utilized by several proteins as cofactor for major biological processes. However, iron may also harm cells by catalyzing the generation of free radicals and promoting oxidative stress. Acquisition, transport, utilization and storage of iron are tightly controlled to meet physiological needs and prevent excessive accumulation of the metal within cells. Plasma transferrin has been known for years as a central player in iron metabolism, assigned to circulate iron in a soluble, non-toxic form and deliver it to the erythron and other tissues. Recent data uncovered an additional role of transferrin as an upstream regulator of hepcidin, a liver-derived peptide hormone that controls systemic iron traffic. Scope of review: Here, we review basic features of iron metabolism, highlighting the function of transferrin in iron transport and cellular iron uptake. We further discuss the role of hepcidin as an orchestrator of systemic iron homeostasis, and the mechanisms underlying hepcidin regulation in response to various physiological cues. Emphasis is given on the role of transferrin on iron-dependent hepcidin regulation. Major conclusions: Transferrin exerts a crucial function in the maintenance of systemic iron homeostasis as component of a plasma iron sensing system that modulates hepcidin expression. General significance: Proper expression of transferrin and hepcidin are essential for health, and disruption of their regulatory circuits is associated with iron-related disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Transferrins: Molecular mechanisms of iron transport and disorders. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Lambrinidis G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Vallianatou T.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Tsantili-Kakoulidou A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews | Year: 2015

Plasma protein binding (PPB) strongly affects drug distribution and pharmacokinetic behavior with consequences in overall pharmacological action. Extended plasma protein binding may be associated with drug safety issues and several adverse effects, like low clearance, low brain penetration, drug-drug interactions, loss of efficacy, while influencing the fate of enantiomers and diastereoisomers by stereoselective binding within the body. Therefore in holistic drug design approaches, where ADME(T) properties are considered in parallel with target affinity, considerable efforts are focused in early estimation of PPB mainly in regard to human serum albumin (HSA), which is the most abundant and most important plasma protein. The second critical serum protein α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), although often underscored, plays also an important and complicated role in clinical therapy and thus the last years it has been studied thoroughly too.In the present review, after an overview of the principles of HSA and AGP binding as well as the structure topology of the proteins, the current trends and perspectives in the field of PPB predictions are presented and discussed considering both HSA and AGP binding. Since however for the latter protein systematic studies have started only the last years, the review focuses mainly to HSA. One part of the review highlights the challenge to develop rapid techniques for HSA and AGP binding simulation and their performance in assessment of PPB. The second part focuses on in silico approaches to predict HSA and AGP binding, analyzing and evaluating structure-based and ligand-based methods, as well as combination of both methods in the aim to exploit the different information and overcome the limitations of each individual approach. Ligand-based methods use the Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships (QSAR) methodology to establish quantitate models for the prediction of binding constants from molecular descriptors, while they provide only indirect information on binding mechanism. Efforts for the establishment of global models, automated workflows and web-based platforms for PPB predictions are presented and discussed. Structure-based methods relying on the crystal structures of drug-protein complexes provide detailed information on the underlying mechanism but are usually restricted to specific compounds. They are useful to identify the specific binding site while they may be important in investigating drug-drug interactions, related to PPB. Moreover, chemometrics or structure-based modeling may be supported by experimental data a promising integrated alternative strategy for ADME(T) properties optimization. In the case of PPB the use of molecular modeling combined with bioanalytical techniques is frequently used for the investigation of AGP binding. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Pliarchopoulou K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Pectasides D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology | Year: 2011

Ovarian cancer remains the leading cause of gynecological cancer-related mortality in the Western World despite the advances in surgical techniques and chemotherapy regimens over the past three decades. Although response rates and complete responses in advanced disease are >80% and 40-60%, respectively, after first-line treatment with carboplatin and paclitaxel, most of the patients will eventually relapse with a median progression-free survival of 18 months. Currently, research efforts have improved our understanding on the molecular biology of ovarian cancer and novel targeted treatment strategies are likely to contribute to the management of the disease and give the chance to an individualized therapeutic approach. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Iatrou I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of oral science | Year: 2010

Odontomas represent the most common type of odontogenic jaw tumors among patients younger than 20 years of age. Clinically, they are often associated with eruption failure of adjacent permanent teeth, and are classified as compound and complex. The aim of the present retrospective study was to present the characteristics, treatment approach and outcome of odontomas in Greek children, over a ten-year period. Twenty six patients, 2 to 14 years of age (mean 9.3 years), with odontomas treated during the years 1999-2008 at the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of a Children's Hospital, were included in the study. Data from patients' files were retrieved and they were recalled for review. Odontomas were equally distributed in the maxilla and mandible and 42.3% of them were located in the anterior maxilla. Of the odontomas, 80.7% were related to disturbances in tooth eruption. Bone expansion was observed in 65.3% of the cases. All odontomas were surgically removed, and related impacted permanent teeth were either left to erupt spontaneously, orthodontically guided into occlusion or were removed. Orthodontic intervention appeared to be necessary in older children, while in younger children spontaneous eruption was frequent. In the present study, odontomas were associated with unerupted or impacted teeth. Radiographic examination was essential to verify the presence of the tumor and early removal prevented tooth eruption failure and disturbances in a majority of the cases.


Antonopoulou A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Giamarellos-Bourboulis E.J.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Immunotherapy | Year: 2011

Despite advances in supportive care of critically ill patients, sepsis remains an important cause of death worldwide. More than 750,000 individuals develop severe sepsis in North America annually, with a mortality rate varying between 35 and 50%. Over recent years, numerous efforts have been committed to understanding the pathophysiology of septic syndrome, as well as attempts to intervene in the inflammatory cascade with the aim of altering the outcome of the syndrome and to improve survival. Not all of these attempts have been successful. Issued guidelines by the International Sepsis Forum have incorporated only the use of corticosteroids, tight glycemic control and the use of recombinant activated protein C as recommendations for the management of the septic patient along with the initial resuscitation and infection-site control measures. These strategies along, with novel attempts of immunomodulation, are thoroughly reviewed in this article.


Komissarov S.S.,University of Leeds | Vlahakis N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Konigl A.,University of Chicago
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2010

When a magnetically dominated superfast-magnetosonic long/soft gamma-ray burst (GRB) jet leaves the progenitor star, the external pressure support will drop and the jet may enter the regime of ballistic expansion, during which additional magnetic acceleration becomes ineffective. However, recent numerical simulations by Tchekhovskoy et al. have suggested that the transition to this regime is accompanied by a spurt of acceleration. We confirm this finding numerically and attribute the acceleration to a sideways expansion of the jet, associated with a strong magnetosonic rarefaction wave that is driven into the jet when it loses pressure support, which induces a conversion of magnetic energy into kinetic energy of bulk motion. This mechanism, which we dub rarefaction acceleration, can only operate in a relativistic outflow because in this case the total energy can still be dominated by the magnetic component even in the superfast-magnetosonic regime. We analyse this process using the equations of relativistic magnetohydrodynamics and demonstrate that it is more efficient at converting internal energy into kinetic energy when the flow is magnetized than in a purely hydrodynamic outflow, as was found numerically by Mizuno et al. We show that, just as in the case of the magnetic acceleration of a collimating jet that is confined by an external pressure distribution - the collimation-acceleration mechanism - the rarefaction-acceleration process in a magnetized jet is a consequence of the fact that the separation between neighbouring magnetic flux surfaces increases faster than their cylindrical radius. However, whereas in the case of effective collimation-acceleration the product of the jet opening angle and its Lorentz factor does not exceed ∼1, the addition of the rarefaction-acceleration mechanism makes it possible for this product to become ≫1, in agreement with the inference from late-time panchromatic breaks in the afterglow light curves of long/soft GRBs. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 RAS.


Papatheodoridis G.V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Liver International | Year: 2011

Current agents used in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) can be classified into interferons-α (IFN-α: standard or pegylated) and nucleos(t)ide analogues (NUCs). NUCs are now used in most CHB patients for several reasons. They can be given to all CHB patients, even those with contraindications to IFN-α. NUCs are more convenient to use (one oral tablet daily) than IFN-α (subcutaneous injections) and are well tolerated with a good safety profile, while IFN-α has frequent and potentially severe side effects and worsens the patient's quality of life. All NUCs are potent anti-hepatitis B virus agents (all except adefovir are more potent than IFN-α) with entecavir and tenofovir being the most potent. Most importantly NUCs all have minimal risk of resistance during long-term monotherapy. Prolongation of entecavir or tenofovir monotherapy maintains and slightly increases the initially high virological remission rates (67-76% of HBeAg-positive and 90-93% of HBeAg-negative patients) and this is expected to result in improved long-term outcomes. The need for long-term, perhaps indefinite, treatment is the main limitation of NUCs and the finite duration (48 weeks) the main advantage of IFN-α. However, only a minority of IFN-α-treated patients achieve durable sustained off-treatment responses (HBeAg-positive: 30-35%, HBeAg-negative: 20-25%), while NUCs may be safely discontinued in HBeAg-positive patients with stable HBeAg seroconversion. Because there will always be concerns for safety and family planning issues with long-term therapy, NUCs should be used judiciously and should not be prescribed in young CHB patients with mild liver disease. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Heikkinen T.,University of Turku | Tsolia M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Finn A.,University of Bristol
Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal | Year: 2013

Despite ample evidence for the great burden that annual influenza epidemics place on children and society in general, few European countries currently recommend influenza vaccination of healthy children of any age. The most frequently cited reasons for reluctance to extend general vaccine recommendations to children include the view that influenza is a mild illness of limited clinical importance, lack of country-specific data on disease burden, uncertainty about the efficacy and safety of influenza vaccines in children and inadequate evidence of cost-effectiveness of vaccinating children. In recent years, several clinical studies have provided new and important information that help address many of these areas of question and concern. In light of this newly available scientific evidence, influenza vaccine recommendations for children should be properly reevaluated in all European countries. Furthermore, to allow for variation in costs and patterns of healthcare delivery between different countries, cost-effectiveness analyses of influenza vaccination of healthy children should be performed in each country or region. Finally, increased efforts should be made to educate both healthcare professionals and the great public about recent findings and advances in the field of pediatric influenza. Copyright © 2013 Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.


Christodoulou N.G.,University of Nottingham | Christodoulou G.N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics | Year: 2013

Economic crises are chronic stress situations and as such are likely to have psychological and psychopathological consequences. Indeed, they produce adaptive responses (normal sadness) and dysfunctional responses (mainly depression and suicidal potential). Managing the psychological consequences of financial crises is a complex undertaking, which may include political intervention. Diagnosing depression and suicide potential is important anyway but acquires greater importance during periods of economic crisis. The financial crisis in Greece has adversely affected the physical and mental health of the population. Reports from Greece are particularly relevant because on the basis of them one may predict what is likely to happen in other countries ('contagion' of the mental health effects of the crisis), especially those with similar cultural and societal characteristics. Unemployment, poverty and debt have been associated with psychiatric morbidity and suicide, and therefore measures to counter them may reduce harm. Welfare provision can limit psychiatric morbidity during periods of economic crisis, and active labour market programmes and family support programmes have been found to be effective and cost-effective. The measures to limit crisisprovoked morbidity should be culture specific. Psychiatry can respond to the challenges posed by economic crises through its holistic, biopsychosocial and person-centred ethos. Important steps include promoting advocacy and empowerment on a personal level and solidarity and social cohesion on a societal level. Furthermore, mental health professionals can help enhance resilience and mental capital for those suffering from economic crises. Mental illness prevention and mental health promotion should be integral parts of clinical management and service planning in times of financial crisis. Mental health professionals should highlight the cost-effectiveness of mental health investments. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Batrinos M.L.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2012

Atavistic residues of aggressive behavior prevailing in animal life, determined by testos-terone, remain attenuated in man and suppressed through familial and social inhibitions. However, it still manifests itself in various intensities and forms from; thoughts, anger, ver-bal aggressiveness, competition, dominance behavior, to physical violence. Testosterone plays a significant role in the arousal of these behavioral manifestations in the brain centers involved in aggression and on the development of the muscular system that enables their re-alization. There is evidence that testosterone levels are higher in individuals with aggressive behavior, such as prisoners who have committed violent crimes. Several field studies have also shown that testosterone levels increase during the aggressive phases of sports games. In more sensitive laboratory paradigms, it has been observed that participant's testosterone rises in the winners of; competitions, dominance trials or in confrontations with factitious opponents. Aggressive behavior arises in the brain through interplay between subcortical structures in the amygdala and the hypothalamus in which emotions are born and the prefrontal cognitive centers where emotions are perceived and controlled. The action of testos-terone on the brain begins in the embryonic stage. Earlier in development at the DNA level, the number of CAG repeats in the androgen receptor gene seems to play a role in the expres-sion of aggressive behavior. Neuroimaging techniques in adult males have shown that tes-tosterone activates the amygdala enhancing its emotional activity and its resistance to prefrontal restraining control. This effect is opposed by the action of cortisol which facilitates prefrontal area cognitive control on impulsive tendencies aroused in the subcortical structures. The degree of impulsivity is regulated by serotonin inhibiting receptors, and with the intervention of this neurotransmitter the major agents of the neuroendocrine influence on the brain process of aggression forms a triad. Testosterone activates the subcortical areas of the brain to produce aggression, while cortisol and serotonin act antagonistically with testosterone to reduce its effects.© 2012 RIES & IES.


Kokras N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Dalla C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
British journal of pharmacology | Year: 2014

Psychiatric disorders are characterized by sex differences in their prevalence, symptomatology and treatment response. Animal models have been widely employed for the investigation of the neurobiology of such disorders and the discovery of new treatments. However, mostly male animals have been used in preclinical pharmacological studies. In this review, we highlight the need for the inclusion of both male and female animals in experimental studies aiming at gender-oriented prevention, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders. We present behavioural findings on sex differences from animal models of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance-related disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. Moreover, when available, we include studies conducted across different stages of the oestrous cycle. By inspection of the relevant literature, it is obvious that robust sex differences exist in models of all psychiatric disorders. However, many times results are conflicting, and no clear conclusion regarding the direction of sex differences and the effect of the oestrous cycle is drawn. Moreover, there is a lack of considerable amount of studies using psychiatric drugs in both male and female animals, in order to evaluate the differential response between the two sexes. Notably, while in most cases animal models successfully mimic drug response in both sexes, test parameters and treatment-sensitive behavioural indices are not always the same for male and female rodents. Thus, there is an increasing need to validate animal models for both sexes and use standard procedures across different laboratories. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.


Gatou T.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Mamai-Homata E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Clinical Oral Investigations | Year: 2012

This study was conducted to investigate the distribution and severity of tooth wear in deciduous dentition and its relationship with possible risk factors. A stratified cluster sample of 243 5-7-year-old children was examined using the tooth wear index of Smith and Knight, and their exposure to intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors was retrospectively investigated through a structured questionnaire. The severity of wear was quantitatively estimated by the number of surfaces with affected dentine and by the cumulative score of the sextants, based on the Basic Erosive Wear Examination scoring system. Only 1.6% of the children were tooth wear free, whereas 45.6% had moderate to severe wear involving dentine. Maxillary canines were the most affected teeth (83.2%), and occlusal/incisal the most affected surfaces (52.7%). The likelihood of tooth wear involving dentine was greater in boys than girls (OR = 1.72), in immigrants than in Greeks (OR = 1.93), and in 6- and 7-year olds than in 5-year olds (OR = 2.78 to 2.93). After adjustment for age, gender, and nationality, exposure to several dietary factors and especially to soft drinks was found to significantly affect the prevalence (OR = 1.27) and the severity of tooth wear. Every additional serving/week of consumption of soft drinks increases the number of surfaces with dentine affected by 0.03 per year (p < 0. 05) and the cumulative score of sextants by 0. 04 (p < 0.05). The cluster of children with the higher prevalence and severity of tooth wear had an average exposure to soft drinks of 10 servings/week for a duration of 4 years. The cumulative score of sextants was better predicted by the assessed risk factors, in comparison with the number of surfaces with affected dentine. Tooth wear is a common condition in children, related both to the physiological process of aging of dentition and to the erosive effect of dietary factors. Strategies to reduce the intake of soft drinks in children are expected to have multiple benefits preventing tooth wear in childhood and in later life, as well as many other general and oral health diseases. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Braoudaki M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Lambrou G.I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Hematology and Oncology | Year: 2015

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous short non-coding RNAs that repress post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, while embryonal central nervous system tumors are the foremost cause of mortality in children suffering from a neoplasm. MiRNAs and their regulatory mechanisms are new to understand, while pediatric CNS tumors are difficult to comprehend. Therefore, identification of the link between them composes a major scientific challenge. The present study, reviewed the current knowledge on the role of miRNA in pediatric CNS embryonal tumors, attempting to collect the existing information in one piece of work that could ideally be used as a guide for future reference and research. © 2015 Braoudaki and Lambrou; licensee Biomed Central.


Tsiodras S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
BMC infectious diseases | Year: 2014

Patients with severe viral infections are often hospitalized in intensive care units (ICUs) and recent studies underline the frequency of viral detection in ICU patients. Viral infections in the ICU often involve the respiratory or the central nervous system and can cause significant morbidity and mortality especially in immunocompromised patients. The mainstay of therapy of viral infections is supportive care and antiviral therapy when available. Increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms of viral infection has provided great potential for the discovery of new antiviral agents that target viral proteins or host proteins that regulate immunity and are involved in the viral life cycle. These novel treatments need to be further validated in animal and human randomized controlled studies.


Dunjko V.,University of Edinburgh | Dunjko V.,Ruder Boskovic Institute | Dunjko V.,Heriot - Watt University | Wallden P.,Heriot - Watt University | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

Quantum digital signatures (QDSs) allow the sending of messages from one sender to multiple recipients, with the guarantee that messages cannot be forged or tampered with. Additionally, messages cannot be repudiated - if one recipient accepts a message, she is guaranteed that others will accept the same message as well. While messaging with these types of security guarantees are routinely performed in the modern digital world, current technologies only offer security under computational assumptions. QDSs, on the other hand, offer security guaranteed by quantum mechanics. All thus far proposed variants of QDSs require long-term, high quality quantum memory, making them unfeasible in the foreseeable future. Here, we present a QDS scheme where no quantum memory is required, which also needs just linear optics. This makes QDSs feasible with current technology. © Published by American Physical Society.


Panagiotou I.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Mystakidou K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy | Year: 2010

Fentanyl, a short-acting synthetic pure opiate, offers an excellent option for the treatment of cancer and chronic pain. While oral administration is not an option, its high potency and lipophilicity have made intranasal administration feasible. Intranasal fentanyl has a bioavailability of 89%, with a short onset of action (∼7 min) and duration times (∼1 h). It bypasses the oral/gastrointestinal route, delivers the analgesic dose in a volume of 150 l that can be adequately absorbed and, with a pH of 6.4, avoids local irritation. Intranasal fentanyl has been investigated to assess its potential as a well-tolerated acute postoperative breakthrough pain relief medication. It has been shown to be superior to oral transmucosal fentanyl for the treatment of cancer breakthrough pain. Similar analgesic effects to fentanyl or morphine intravenously and orally, with a similar safety profile, have been reported for postoperative or acute pain treatment of children and adults in the prehospital and hospital settings. © 2010 Expert Reviews Ltd.


Karalis V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Macheras P.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Pharmaceutical Research | Year: 2013

Purpose: Unveil the properties of a two-stage design (TSD) for bioequivalence (BE) studies. Methods: A TSD with an upper sample size limit (UL) is described and analyzed under different conditions using Monte Carlo simulations. TSD was split into three branches: A, B1, and B2. The first stage included branches A and B1, while stage two referred to branch B2. Sample size re-estimation at B2 relies on the observed GMR and variability of stage 1. The properties studied were % BE acceptance, % uses and % efficiency of each branch, as well as the reason of BE failure. Results: No inflation of type I error was observed. Each TSD branch exhibits different performance. Stage two exhibits the greatest % BE acceptances when highly variable drugs are assessed with a low starting number of subjects (N1) or when formulations differ significantly. Branch A is more frequently used when variability is low, drug products are similar, and a large N1 is included. BE assessment at branch A is very efficient. Conclusions: The overall acceptance profile of TSD resembles the typical pattern observed in single-stage studies, but it is actually different. Inclusion of a UL is necessary to avoid inflation of type I error. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Bournia V.-K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Vlachoyiannopoulos P.G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Autoimmunity | Year: 2012

Sjögren Syndrome (SS) is a systemic, autoimmune disorder characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of the exocrine glands. Different clinical associations have been described for each of the diverse autoantibodies found in SS patients. Antibodies directed against the Ro/La ribonucleoprotein complexes have been correlated with younger age, more severe dysfunction of the exocrine glands and a higher prevalence of extraglandular manifestations. Anti-nuclear antibodies and rheumatoid factors have been associated to extraglandular manifestations and an active immunological profile, while cryoglobulins are markers of more severe disease and correlate to lymphoma development and death. Antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides are scarce in SS and have been linked in some cases to the development of non-erosive arthritis. Furthermore, the presence of anti-mitochondrial antibodies and anti-smooth muscle antibodies in the sera of primary SS patients is considered indicative of primary biliary cirrhosis and autoimmune hepatitis, respectively. In addition, anti-centromere antibodies have been associated with a clinical phenotype intermediate between primary SS and systemic sclerosis, while antibodies against carbonic anhydrase have been related to renal tubular acidosis. Finally, an association of anti-muscarinic antibodies with cytopenias and a higher disease activity has also been described in primary SS. In conclusion, although not all of the above mentioned antibodies are useful for predicting distinct patient subgroups in SS, knowledge of the clinical associations of the different autoantibody specificities encountered in SS can advance our understanding of the disease and improve patient management. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Rahiotis C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of oral science | Year: 2010

We evaluated the curing efficiency of 4 high-intensity light-emitting diode (LED) devices by assessing percentage of residual C=C (%RDB), surface microhardness (SM), depth of cure (DC), percentage of linear shrinkage-strain (%LS), and percentage of wall-to-wall contraction (%WWC). The light-curing units tested were a QTH light, the Elipar TriLight (3M/ESPE), and 4 LED devices - the Allegro (Denmat), the Bluephase (Ivoclar/Vivadent), the FreeLight2 (3M/ESPE), and The Cure TC-01 (Spring Health Products). The %RDB was measured by microFTIR spectroscopy. Microhardness measurements (Vickers) were performed at the surface (H0) and at depths of 3 mm (H3) and 5 mm (H5) of cylindrical specimens. Depth of cure was expressed as the ratio of microhardness at each depth, relative to the corresponding surface value (H3/H0 and H5/H0). The bonded disc method was used to evaluate %LS. For the %WWC evaluation, cylindrical resin restorations were imaged by high resolution micro-CT and the %WWC was calculated at depths of 0 mm and 2 mm. There were no statistical differences among the LEDs in %RDB or %LS. The Bluephase and Allegro had the highest SM values. As compared with the other LEDs, the Bluephase and The Cure TC-01 had lower values for depth of cure at depths of 3 mm and 5 mm. There were no significant differences in %WWC among the LEDs at either depth, and the QTH had the lowest %WWC at both depths.


Pournaras S.,University of Thessaly | Poulou A.,Serres General Hospital | Tsakris A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy | Year: 2010

Enterobacteriaceae clinical strains that produce the class A carbapenem-hydrolysing enzyme KPC (Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase) are increasingly reported worldwide, and are already endemic in North and South America, China, Israel and Greece. The accurate detection of KPC enzymes is of utmost importance for containing the global spread of KPC producers. Currently, the detection of putative carbapenemase production is based on an initial phenotypic sc