Polo Tecnologico

Milano, Italy

Polo Tecnologico

Milano, Italy
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Cantagallo A.,Modulo di Neuropsicologia Riabilitativa | Spinazzola L.,University of Turin | Rabuffetti M.,Polo Tecnologico | Della Sala S.,University of Edinburgh
Neuropsychological Rehabilitation | Year: 2010

Patients with anarchic hand (AH) syndrome exhibit involuntary but seemingly purposeful controlesional upper limb movements. Here we report on the case of a patient (AC) presenting with a right AH following a left medial frontal lesion. Previous literature indicated that endogenous movements, particularly in the presence of distractors, are impaired in AH, whereas exogenous movements are spared. In this study we examined exogenous and endogenous (or sequential) movements using a new experimental procedure. Our main aim was to investigate whether the ability to perform sequential movements improves under verbal command as anecdotally observed in patients with AH. Results showed that the performance of AC's right AH was impaired in sequential tasks and that this impairment was improved by verbal command. The observed reduction in errors in sequential tasks under external verbal command was coupled with a compensatory increase in response times. © 2010 Psychology Press.


Castiglioni P.,Polo Tecnologico | Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Parati G.,S Luca Hospital | Lombardi C.,S Luca Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Biomedizinische Technik | Year: 2011

Detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) is the most popular method for assessing the fractal characteristics of heart rate (HR). Traditionally, short-term and long-term scale coefficients, α1 and α2, are calculated from DFA. We recently showed that the traditional approach oversimplifies a more complex phenomenon better represented by a continuous spectrum of scale coefficients. In this paper we present a DFA based method for describing the HR fractal dynamics with a temporal spectrum of scale exponents, α(t), rather than by a model of lumped parameters, α1 and α2. Since α(t) is a function of the temporal scale, its interpretation is facilitated when conditions with different mean HR are compared. In this work, we reanalyze HR data, collected by our group in previous studies, by applying the proposed α(t) spectrum. We quantify the effects of gender, ageing, posture and activity level, and the alterations induced by exposure to high and very-high altitude hypoxia, on α(t). Most of the results may be interpreted in terms of changes of cardiac autonomic regulation, and indicate clearly that the new proposed DFA spectrum provides a more faithful and interpretable description of the HR fractal dynamics than traditional α1 and α2 scale coefficients. © 2011 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.


Donetti E.,University of Milan | Gualerzi A.,University of Milan | Ricceri F.,University of Florence | Pescitelli L.,University of Florence | And 2 more authors.
Experimental Dermatology | Year: 2012

Tumor Necrosis Factor-α (TNF-α) plays a pivotal role in psoriasis, an immuno-mediated and genetic skin disease. Anti-TNF-α inhibitors, such as etanercept, are widely used in clinical practice. By immunofluorescence, we investigated the expression of junctional transmembrane proteins in desmosomes (desmocollin-1, Dsc1; desmoglein-1, Dsg1), adherens junctions (E-cadherin), tight junctions (occludin), biomarkers of keratinocyte differentiation (keratin-10, K10; keratin-14, K14; keratin-16, K16; involucrin), epithelial proliferation and apoptosis in psoriatic skin before/after etanercept treatment (n = 5) and in control skin samples (n = 5). Occludin, K14, K16 and involucrin expressions were altered in psoriatic epidermis, while Dsc1, Dsg1, E-cadherin and K10 localisations were comparable to controls. Etanercept promoted the restoration of the physiological condition as suggested by a more differentiated keratinocyte phenotype and a reduced epidermal proliferation rate. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Gower V.,Polo Tecnologico | Andrich R.,Polo Tecnologico | Agnoletto A.,Polo Tecnologico | Winkelmann P.,Institute der Deutschen Wirtschaft | And 3 more authors.
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2012

The EASTIN Portal - which aggregates the contents of six national databases and make it searchable in 22 European languages - is currently the major information system on assistive technology available in Europe. Its usability has been recently improved through the use of advanced language technologies, thanks to the EU-funded project EASTIN-CL. The project developed three main components (the query processing, the machine translation, and the speech output) that have been implemented and plugged to the existing EASTIN website. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Andrich R.,Polo Tecnologico | Gower V.,Polo Tecnologico | Vincenti S.,Polo Tecnologico
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2012

Within the ETNA project - a European Thematic Network aimed at implementing a EU-wide Portal devoted to ICT-based assistive technologies and e-accessibility solution - a study was carried out to detect the information needs of the various stakeholders involved, such as end-users of assistive technologies, professionals in health, social services and education, manufacturers and developers, policy makers and academic/researchers. Thirty "search profiles" were identified, each related to a specific reason why information may be sought in response to a specific information need that people may encounter at given times. In turn, each profile involves a specific body of information. This study provides a detailed insight in the audience's expectations, that is guiding the design of the future Portal. The Portal will stem by the existing Portal of the European Assistive Technology Information Network (EASTIN), enriched by the contributions brought by the ETNA project and its "sister" ATIS4All Thematic Network. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Caliandro P.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Ferrarin M.,Polo Tecnologico | Cioni M.,University of Catania | Bentivoglio A.R.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | And 4 more authors.
Gait and Posture | Year: 2011

Previous studies have reported that patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) show, in the " off medication" state, a reduced activation of tibialis anterior (TA) in the late swing-early stance phase of the gait cycle. In PD patients the pathophysiological picture may cause differences among the stride cycles. Our aims were to evaluate how frequently TA activity is reduced in the late swing-early stance phase and if there is a relationship between the TA pattern and the clinical picture.Thirty PD patients were studied 2. h after Levodopa administration (" on-med" ) and 12. h after Levodopa wash-out (" off-med" ). They were evaluated by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS III) and surface electromyography of TA and gastrocnemius medialis (GM). The root mean square (RMS) of the TA activity in late swing-early stance phase (RMS-A) was normalized as a percent of the RMS of the TA activity in late stance-early swing (RMS-B).RMS-A was reduced in 30% of patients in the " off-med" condition. Within these patients, the percentage of stride cycles with reduced RMS-A, ranged between 28% and 83%. After Levodopa intake, no stride cycle showed reduced RMS-A. Patients with reduced RMS-A had a lower UPDRS III total score in the " on-med" rather than in the " off-med" condition (p=0.02).Our data confirm and extend previous observations indicating that, in " off-med" the function of TA is impaired in those patients clinically more responsive to Levodopa. TA activation is reduced in a relatively high percent of gait cycles in the " off-med" state. Since the variability of TA activation disappears after Levodopa administration, this phenomenon could be the expression of an abnormal dopaminergic drive. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Caravita S.,S Luca Hospital | Caravita S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Faini A.,S Luca Hospital | Lombardi C.,S Luca Hospital | And 10 more authors.
Chest | Year: 2015

Objective: Nocturnal periodic breathing occurs more frequently in men than in women with various clinical and pathophysiologic conditions. The mechanisms accounting for this sexrelated difference are not completely understood. Acetazolamide effectively counteracts nocturnal periodic breathing, but it has been investigated almost exclusively in men. Our aim was to explore possible determinants of nocturnal periodic breathing in a high-altitude setting both in men and in women. We hypothesized that increased hypoxic chemosensitivity in men could be associated with the development of nocturnal periodic breathing at altitude more frequently than in women, and that acetazolamide, by leftward shifting the CO2 ventilatory response, could improve nocturnal periodic breathing at altitude in a sex-independent manner. Methods: Forty-four healthy lowlanders (21 women), randomized to acetazolamide or placebo, underwent cardiorespiratory sleep studies at sea level offtreatment and under treatment on the first night after arrival at a 4,559-m altitude. Hypoxic and hypercapnic chemosensitivities were assessed at sea level. Results: Men, more frequently than women, exhibited increased hypoxic chemosensitivity and displayed nocturnal periodic breathing at altitude. Acetazolamide leftward shifted the CO2 set point and, at altitude, improved oxygenation and reduced periodic breathing in both sexes, but to a larger extent in men. Hypoxic chemosensitivity directly correlated with the number of apneas/hypopneas at altitude in the placebo group but not in the acetazolamide group. Conclusions: The greater severity of periodic breathing during sleep displayed by men at altitude could be attributed to their increased hypoxic chemosensitivity. Acetazolamide counteracted the occurrence of periodic breathing at altitude in both sexes, modifying the apneic threshold and improving oxygenation. Trial Registry: EU Clinical Trials Register, EudraCT; No.: 2010-019986-27; URL: https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu © 2015 American College Of Chest Physicians.


Casella M.,Polytechnic of Milan | Lucotti A.,Polytechnic of Milan | Tommasini M.,Polytechnic of Milan | Bedoni M.,Polo Tecnologico | And 5 more authors.
Spectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy | Year: 2011

The present work reports on Raman and Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) vibrational fingerprints of β-carotene and haemoglobin in fresh whole blood (i.e. right after blood test) with different laser excitations, i.e. visible (514 nm) and near-infrared (NIR, 785 nm). The use of colloidal silver nanoparticles significantly increases the Raman signal, thus providing a clear SERS spectrum of blood. The collected spectra have been examined and marker bands of β-carotene and of the haem prosthetic group of haemoglobin have been found. In particular, the fundamental features of β-carotene (514 nm excitation), blood proteins and haem molecules (785 nm excitation) were recognized and assigned. Moreover haemoglobin SERS signals can be identified and related with its oxygenation state (oxy-haemoglobin). The data reported show the prospects of Raman and SERS techniques to detect important bio-molecules in a whole blood sample with no pre-treatment. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Bovi G.,Polo Tecnologico | Rabuffetti M.,Polo Tecnologico | Mazzoleni P.,Polo Tecnologico | Ferrarin M.,Polo Tecnologico
Gait and Posture | Year: 2011

Standard clinical gait analysis protocols usually limit to test self-selected speed gait: this approach is generally valid and permits time and cost saving. Yet, the literature evidences suggest that some pathologies (especially at onset or subclinical level) may not primarily affect plain gait, but more demanding locomotor tasks. In the present study we therefore propose a multiple-task gait analysis protocol including: self-selected, increased and decreased speed gait; walking on toes; walking on heels; step ascending and step descending, and apply it to 40 healthy subjects (20 aged 6-17, 20 aged 22-72) thus building extensive reference data set. Published studies already report normative data for some of these tasks, but inhomogeneously (due to different collecting methods and biomechanical models, population characteristics, nature of data). We verify a good correlation between our results and those presented by Schwartz et al. (2008) [12] in their study providing extensive data on the effect of walking speed on the gait of healthy children. In discussing the results, the rationale and effectiveness of each task is confirmed, and we supply an electronic addendum with comprehensive kinematic, kinetic and electromyographic normative data for the considered population, along with a set of reference parameters and related statistical analysis, as a premise for further applications on pathological subjects. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Polo Tecnologico and University of Milan
Type: | Journal: Physiological measurement | Year: 2017

The autonomic nervous system plays a major role in the integrative control of circulation, possibly contributing to the complex dynamics responsible for fractal components in heart rate variability. Aim of this study is to evaluate whether an altered autonomic integrative control is identified by fractal analysis of heart rate variability. We enrolled 14 spinal cord injured individuals with complete lesion between the 5th and 11th thoracic vertebra (SCIH), 14 with complete lesion between 12th thoracic and 5th lumbar vertebra (SCIL), and 34 able-bodied controls (AB). These paraplegic subjects have an altered autonomic integrative regulation, but intact autonomic cardiac control and, as to SCIL individuals, intact autonomic splanchnic control. Power spectral and fractal analysis (temporal spectrum of scale coefficients) were performed on 10-minute tachograms. AB and SCIL power spectra were similar, while the SCIL fractal spectrum had higher coefficients between 12 and 48 s. SCIH individuals had lower power than controls at 0.1 Hz; their fractal spectrum was morphologically different, diverging from that of controls at the largest scales (120 s). Therefore, when the lesion compromises the autonomic control of lower districts, fractal analysis reveals alterations undetected by power spectral analysis of heart rate variability.

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