San Raffaele Cimena, Italy
San Raffaele Cimena, Italy

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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.5.1 | Award Amount: 8.81M | Year: 2013

Independent living of senior citizens is one of the main challenges linked to the ageing population, due to the impact on: (a) the life of the elderly people, (b) the national health systems, (c) the insurance companies, (d) the relatives and (e) the care-givers. Senior citizens may suffer from a number of diseases, including the decline in cardiopulmonary conditions, weaker muscle functions and a declined neuromuscular control of the movements, which result in a higher risk of fall and a higher vulnerability for cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. With respect to cognitive functions, senior citizens may suffer from a decline of memory function, less ability to orientate and a declined ability to cope with complex situations. Mild dementia is another disease affecting this population, which requires either the institutionalization or the constant support from care-givers.eWALL will be an affordable, easy-to-install prefabricated wall that can be mounted on an existing wall and includes, into the background, all the ICT technology needed to enable a number of services for the senior citizen to cover the major ontologies of Active and Healthy Ageing. The project will carry out high-risk and multi-disciplinary research and will have a large-scale demonstrator exercise for validating the concept with solid clinical evidence. This will include both technical-, user- and legal-evaluation, to measure with advanced tools and methodologies the impact on the QoL. The eWALL system will extend the state-of-the-art of Assistive Platforms and will significantly increase the independent living of seniors. The project will also perform socio-economic studies to deliver recommendations for the health sector that will result in mid- and long-term benefits for the sustainability of national health systems.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.5.1 | Award Amount: 4.64M | Year: 2011

Recent development in robot-mediated rehabilitation has shown the potential of robotic devices for delivering repetitive training thus allowing for a large number of repetitions to be delivered during acute and chronic phases of stroke rehabilitation. While there is growing evidence that such technologies are beneficial to patients recovery of functional and motor outcome, our goals are:\n1: To use such technologies at patients home, enabling better management of chronic stroke as it allows to administer larger repetitions and frequent exercise which can in turn increase the recovery gains. Moreover, it allows objective database of performance for tailoring treatment and follow-up.\n2: To focus on hand and wrist exercise that present the least researched area with the most functional relevance, and potential for contribution to personal independence.\n3: To look at differences between passive and active actuated devices. Inherent safe nature of these devices make them an ideal choice for home use.\n4: To provide an educational, motivational and engaging interaction, which makes a therapy session more enjoyable while having the capabilities to provide feedback to patients and health professional. The provided feedback will be based on heterogeneous data collected during interaction as well as comparisons with models such as minimum jerk model as a performance indicator.\n5: To focus on remote management and support of the patient. It creates a communication platform that will support the remote management allowing to adjust the therapy program remotely thus reducing hospital or home visits frequency. This is facilitated by incorporating the clinical workflows into user interfaces used by patients and clinicians while maintaining a customisable and easy to operate front-end for users. The two-fold objective here enables us to look at aspects of acceptability and compliance as well as data security and confidentiality.\n6: To infer from summative evaluation in this project, impact on health and recovery and its potential cost implications.

The forecasted increase in the number of older people for this century will be accompanied by an increase of those with disabilities. Disability is usually preceded by a condition named frailty that encompasses changes associated with ageing, life styles and chronic diseases. To detect and intervene on it is of outstanding importance to prevent disability, as recovery from disability is unlikely. Recent documents stress the necessity of testing the clinical utility (in terms of risk prediction, diagnosis validity and prognostic significance) of the existing definition of frailty by using combinations of clinical criteria (current definition) and lab Biomarkers (BMs). We will measure the levels of blood and urine omic-based BMs in old people selected from eight cohorts, which include up to 75,000 participants, using standardized and innovative technology (WP1). This figure will allow us to test the research questions with a high power and validity. Combining these lab BMs with clinical BMs, we will develop predictive, diagnostic and prognostic models (WP2), with its modulation by nutrition and physical activity, in general old population and in old people showing some characteristics that confer a high risk for developing frailty (selected cardiovascular risk factors and diseases) (WP4). After that, a selected set of BMs will be validated prospectively (WP3) and assessed to find the best-fitted models (WP4). These models will guide the development of the ready-to-use kits to be implemented in the clinical settings. These kits will be at the center of dissemination and exploitation activities (WP5, WP6). A well-balanced consortium distributed over the individual tasks in the respective work packages will carry it out, with a strong participation of SMEs. In summary, FRAILOMIC is original, relevant, pertinent, feasible, overcome the usual research bottlenecks on Biomarkers, and fits perfectly with the topics addressed by the HEALTH.2012.2.1.1-2 call in human subjects

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH-2009-4.3.3-2 | Award Amount: 6.24M | Year: 2009

Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a massive clinical, social and economic problem. Diabetes and obesity increase the risk of developing CHF. Cachexia is also an ominous sign. In 13 clinical and preclinical research projects, SICA-HF aims to investigate the impact of these co-morbidities in CHF patients at the clinical, vascular, cellular and molecular levels. SICA-HF will enrol >1600 patients with CHF, >300 patients with type 2 diabetes without CHF and >150 healthy control subjects. We will ensure that 50% of subjects are women and that group mean ages are similar. Clinical investigations using standardised protocols will focus on body composition, insulin resistance, exercise capacity, cardiopulmonary reflex patterns and peripheral blood flow. Subjects will be assessed at baseline, after 4-6 months, 16-18 months and at annual intervals thereafter. Outcome variables include morbidity and mortality and data on incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes, obesity and cachexia among CHF patients. A strength of this proposal is that clinical and preclinical researchers will study the same patients, as blood and tissue samples from patients being clinically evaluated will be sent to partner research laboratories. Such interaction is very rare in large-scale studies and allows integration of clinical and preclinical findings. The Central Blood and DNA Banks on the EU and the Russian side of the consortium permit validation of established and investigation of novel biomarkers. Pathophysiological pathways that are found to be important in the heart failure co-morbidity interaction will be further analysed mechanistically in in-vitro and in animal models. We aim to validate clinical study results in experimental settings towards the end of the project (year 3 & 4), particularly focusing on adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and (endothelial) progenitor cells. Our studies aim to enable developing tailored therapies for CHF patients with type 2 diabetes, obesity and cachexia.

Vimercati S.L.,Polytechnic of Milan | Galli M.,Polytechnic of Milan | Galli M.,San Raffaele SPA | Rigoldi C.,Polytechnic of Milan | Albertini G.,San Raffaele SPA
Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology | Year: 2013

Introduction: The ability to avoid obstacles requires to represent the properties of the obstacle, represent the location of the obstacle relative to the body and update these representations as the body moves. Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) often have trouble avoiding obstacles, leading to increased frequency of trips and falling. The aim of the present study was to deeply analyze obstacle avoidance strategies in normally developed young adults (N) and in young adults with DS, at different levels of obstacle heights, with particular attention to the strategies used for clearing the obstacle and to how the walking pattern was modified by obstacle perception. Methods: 10 DS and 16 age-matched N walked along a walkway in three conditions: plain walking, walking with obstacle at ground level, walking with obstacle at 10% of the subject's height. Spatiotemporal parameters were analyzed. Results: There was evidence for a different avoidance strategy in DS, and for a difficulty in regulating gait parameters when challenged with a complex situation as the presence of an obstacle. This may lead to an increased risk of fall. The results in addition suggested a lack in anticipatory movement adjustments in DS and provided further evidence of the presence of difficulties in perceptual-motor coupling in DS. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Ancillao A.,San Raffaele SPA | Galli M.,San Raffaele SPA | Galli M.,Polytechnic of Milan | Vimercati S.L.,Polytechnic of Milan | Albertini G.,San Raffaele SPA
Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine | Year: 2013

Clinical practice for the evaluation of motor and cognitive capabilities often relies upon writing and drawing tests. A non-invasive method to capture handwriting and analyze data is therefore needed.In this work a method to capture motion of a pen through a mo-cap optoelectronic system was developed, which could solve the limits of systems based on graphic tablets. Four IR passive markers were placed on a pen cap. Once a pen was equipped with the cap, track of tip was computed through a numeric algorithm using the 3D coordinates of markers provided by the optoelectronic system.Some tests were performed to estimate the error in track reconstruction and to compare the new protocol with previous reconstruction methods. The results showed a higher accuracy of the new method.The new protocol also overcomes the problems related to pen grasping and marker covering that affected other methods described in the literature and permits the evaluation of writing and drawing kinematics as well as postural behaviour related to them. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

PubMed | San Raffaele SPA
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Computer methods and programs in biomedicine | Year: 2013

Clinical practice for the evaluation of motor and cognitive capabilities often relies upon writing and drawing tests. A non-invasive method to capture handwriting and analyze data is therefore needed. In this work a method to capture motion of a pen through a mo-cap optoelectronic system was developed, which could solve the limits of systems based on graphic tablets. Four IR passive markers were placed on a pen cap. Once a pen was equipped with the cap, track of tip was computed through a numeric algorithm using the 3D coordinates of markers provided by the optoelectronic system. Some tests were performed to estimate the error in track reconstruction and to compare the new protocol with previous reconstruction methods. The results showed a higher accuracy of the new method. The new protocol also overcomes the problems related to pen grasping and marker covering that affected other methods described in the literature and permits the evaluation of writing and drawing kinematics as well as postural behaviour related to them.

Gabriele Mainetti, Direktor von „They Call Me Jeeg”, ist derjenige, der die Notlage von all jenen Personen portraitiert, die an seltenen Augenerkrankungen leiden. Für diese Personen gestaltet sich der Weg „zurück zum Licht” sehr schwierig und kompliziert. Er führt sie oftmals in eine verkehrte Richtung und ist mit Unbehagen, Müdigkeit und Schwierigkeiten behaftet. Genau wie der Protagonist des Films, der mit Not, Müdigkeit und dem Gefühl des Verlorenseins auf unbekanntem Terrain bei seiner Suche nach dem Licht zu kämpfen hat. Die Hoffnungsstrahlen im Leben aller von diesen Erkrankungen betroffenen Personen werden in der Szene vom folgenden Tag durch das in Licht getauchte Gesicht des Protagonisten metaphorisch dargestellt.„Jeder wissenschaftliche Fortschritt bietet einen Hoffnungsstrahl”: das Video endet mit dieser Botschaft, um uns daran zu erinnern, dass Forschung eine Waffe gegen die Dunkelheit der Erkrankungen sein kann. „Wenn wir die Erfahrung gemacht haben, dass die Natur keinesfalls immer gerecht ist, bleibt dennoch der Wunsch, dass jeder von uns dieselbe Lebensqualität besitzen sollte, tief in uns verwurzelt”, so Gabriele Mainetti bei der Veröffentlichung seiner Interpretation dieser Filmsequenzen. „Ich glaube an die Forschung und an ihren Erfolg bei der Unterstützung derjenigen, die beim Versuch sich gegen diese Erkrankungen zur Wehr zu setzen sonst verloren wären.” „Mithilfe dieser Kampagne möchten wir den Prozess unterstützen, Licht auf die Welt der von seltenen Erkrankungen betroffenen Patienten zu werfen, und das Bewusstsein für ihre gesundheitlichen Bedürfnisse schärfen”, erklärte Eugenio Aringhieri, CEO von Dompé. „Die Suche nach neuen Behandlungsoptionen ist ein wichtiges Anliegen in allen Teilen dieser Welt. Dies ist eine langwierige und komplexe Herausforderung, die oftmals dem Weg des Protagonisten in dem Video gleicht und von der ich überzeugt bin, dass wir sie nur durch die Zusammenarbeit in einem Team bewältigen können, in dem unterschiedliche Perspektiven rund um dasselbe Ziel zusammengeführt werden: das Wohl des Patienten.” „Als Zeichen eines großen Verantwortungsbewusstseins hat unser Unternehmen den Forschungspfad eingeschlagen, um seltenen Erkrankungen zu begegnen, und mit dem gleichen Engagement unterstützen und fördern wir Initiativen, um das Bewusstsein auf diesem Gebiet zu schärfen”, so Sergio Dompé, President der Dompé Group. „Wir leben in einer Welt, die immer noch nicht sehr gut erforscht wurde. Aus diesem Grund ist es unerlässlich, die Forschung fortzuführen und niemals nachzulassen in dem Streben, über den Wert und den Nutzen für das Leben vieler Menschen zu informieren.” „Seltene Augenerkrankungen gehören zu einem Bereich, in dem noch immer eine Reihe von Fragen unbeantwortet bleiben”, so Paolo Rama, Cornea and Ocular Surface Unit Director am San Raffaele Research Hospital. „Die italienische Forschung profitiert noch immer in besonderem Maße von den Studien, die von der Nobelpreisträgerin Rita Levi Montalcini im Bereich NGF durchgeführt wurden. Hierbei handelt es sich um ein auf natürlichem Weg im menschlichen Körper erzeugtes Protein, das für die Entwicklung, den Erhalt und das Überleben von Nervenzellen verantwortlich ist. Daher erwarten wir nun mit Spannung die Ergebnisse der bereits durchgeführten klinischen Studien, von denen wir erwarten, dass sie tatsächliche Innovationen auf dem Gebiet der Ophtalmologie zu Tage fördern werden.” Der Kurzfilm, der von dem Hashtag #fightforlight begleitet wird, um im Internet und in den sozialen Medien geteilt zu werden, kann auf dem Dompé YouTube Kanal in Verbindung mit anderem mit der Kampagne in Zusammenhang stehendem Backstage-Material eingesehen werden. Verwenden Sie den folgenden Link, um „In the Woods” einsehen und teilen zu können:

MILAN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A man finds himself lost in a wood, as night is falling. He finds a torch that shines a dim light and helps him move through the trees, looking for a way out of the blackness closing in on him. This is the opening scene of “In the Woods”, the short film commissioned by biopharmaceutical company Dompé to mark World Rare Disease Day, and presented today as part of the #fightforlight social media campaign. Gabriele Mainetti, director of “They Call Me Jeeg”, is the man portraying the plight of people suffering from rare eye diseases. For these people, finding their way “back to the light” is complicated, sometimes leading down the wrong path and involving discomfort, tiredness and difficulties. Just like the protagonist, battling with distress, fatigue and being lost in an unfamiliar forest, searching for the light. The rays of hope are metaphorically represented by the protagonist waking up the next day with his face bathed in light. “Any advance in research is a ray of hope”: the video ends with this message, to remind us that research can be a weapon to defeat the darkness of disease. “Considering that nature is anything but democratic, the objective to guarantee the same quality of life for everyone is deeply human”, said Gabriele Mainetti when speaking about his interpretation. “I believe in research and in its fight to help those who are lost in the darkness”. Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, directed by Roberto Saku Cinardi and produced by Think Cattleya, the video is part of a constant commitment by Dompé to focus its research on identifying innovative treatments for rare diseases. “With this campaign, we want to continue with the process of helping to shed light on the world of patients affected by rare diseases and their health needs”, explains Dompé CEO Eugenio Aringhieri. “The search for new treatment options is an important part of this world. This is a long and complex challenge, which in some ways evokes the experience of the protagonist in the video and which I am convinced we must pursue as a team, bringing together different perspectives around a single goal: the patient”. “It is with great sense of responsibility that our company has embarked on the path of research for rare diseases and it is with this very spirit that we support and promote initiatives to raise awareness around this field”, said Sergio Dompé, President of the Dompé Group. “This is a world that is still not very well known today, which is why it is imperative that we continue to carry out research and inform on the value and benefits that this can have on people’s lives”. In the field of rare eye diseases, Dompé is involved in research and development with the recombinant version of the human nerve growth factor (NGF), a biotech ophthalmic solution being studied in collaboration with clinical centres of excellence in Europe and the USA. “Rare eye diseases are an area where patients are still waiting for many answers”, says Paolo Rama, Cornea and Ocular Surface Unit Director at the San Raffaele Research Hospital. “Italian research still owes a lot to studies conducted by Nobel Prize winner Rita Levi Montalcini on NGF, a protein naturally produced by the human body and responsible for the development, maintenance and survival of nerve cells, so we are waiting for the results of clinical trials we have conducted, which are expected to bring real innovation to certain areas of ophthalmology.” “Progress in research and access to innovation are essential for people suffering from a rare disease and represent a real hope to fight and overcome the disease. As a civic movement aimed at protecting the rights of citizens and vulnerable people, Cittadinanzattiva encourages awareness-raising projects such as this. Being aimed at the general public, it can contribute to a greater awareness of rare diseases, which must become an increasingly key issue for public health”, explains Francesca Moccia, Deputy General Secretary of Cittadinanzattiva, who attended the preview of the video. The short film, which is accompanied by the hashtag #fightforlight to allow sharing online and on social media, can be viewed on the Dompé YouTube channel, together with other backstage content related to the campaign. To view and share “In the Woods”: For further information, please visit:

MILAN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Un homme se retrouve perdu dans une forêt, la nuit tombe. Il trouve une torche projetant une lueur blafarde qui l'aide à éviter les arbres, à la recherche d'une sortie pour échapper aux ténèbres qui se referment sur lui. Voilà la première scène de "In the Woods", le court métrage commandé par la société biopharmaceutique Dompé à l'occasion de la Journée des maladies rares et présenté aujourd'hui dans le cadre de la campagne #fightforlight sur les réseaux sociaux. Gabriele Mainetti, directeur de "They Call Me Jeeg", est l'incarnation de la souffrance des personnes atteintes de maladies oculaires rares. Pour ces personnes, retrouver le "chemin de la lumière" est compliqué, elles peuvent parfois s'égarer et éprouver de la gêne, de la fatigue et des difficultés. Tout comme le protagoniste, qui est aux prises avec la détresse, l'épuisement et le fait d'être perdu dans une forêt inconnue, à la recherche de la lumière. La lueur d'espoir est représentée métaphoriquement lorsque qu'il se réveille le lendemain, le visage baigné de lumière. "Any advance in research is a ray of hope": tout progrès de la recherche est une lueur d'espoir. La vidéo se termine sur ce message et nous rappelle que la recherche peut être une arme pour vaincre les ténèbres de la maladie. "Si l'on considère que la nature est tout sauf démocratique, l'objectif de garantir la même qualité de vie pour tous est profondément humain", souligne Gabriele Mainetti à propos de son interprétation. "Je crois en la recherche et en son combat pour aider ceux qui sont perdus dans l'obscurité." "C'est avec un sens aigu de la responsabilité que notre société s'est lancée sur le chemin de la recherche pour lutter contre les maladies rares, et c'est avec cet état d'esprit précis que nous soutenons et promouvons les initiatives de sensibilisation dans ce domaine", ajoute Sergio Dompé, président du Groupe Dompé. "C'est un monde encore très mal connu aujourd'hui. C'est pour cela qu'il est impératif de continuer la recherche et de communiquer sur la valeur et les bienfaits qu'elle peut apporter dans la vie des gens." Dans le domaine des maladies oculaires rares, Dompé se spécialise dans la recherche et le développement avec la version recombinante du facteur de croissance des nerfs humains (NGF), une solution de biotechnologie ophtalmologique en cours d'étude et en collaboration avec des centres d'excellence clinique en Europe et aux États-Unis. "Les maladies oculaires rares sont un domaine où les patients attendent encore de nombreuses réponses", déclare Paolo Rama, chef d'unité de la cornée et de la surface oculaire au San Raffaele Research Hospital. "En Italie, la recherche doit encore beaucoup aux études réalisées par la lauréate du prix Nobel de médecine Rita Levi Montalcini sur la NGF, une protéine naturellement produite par le corps humain et responsable du développement, de l'entretien et de la survie des cellules nerveuses. Nous attendons donc les résultats des études cliniques que nous avons réalisées, qui devraient permettre une véritable innovation dans certains domaines de l'ophtalmologie." "Les progrès de la recherche et l'accès à l'innovation sont des éléments essentiels pour les personnes atteintes de maladies rares, et représentent un réel espoir pour combattre et vaincre ces maladies. En tant que mouvement de la société civile visant à protéger les droits des citoyens et des personnes vulnérables, Cittadinanzattiva encourage les projets de sensibilisation comme celui-ci. En ciblant le grand public, cette initiative peut contribuer à une plus vaste sensibilisation à l'égard des maladies rares, qui doivent devenir des objectifs clefs de la santé publique", explique Francesca Moccia, secrétaire générale adjointe de Cittadinanzattiva, qui a assisté à l'avant-première de la vidéo. Vous pouvez regarder le court métrage, qui s'accompagne du hashtag #fightforlight pour permettre le partage en ligne et sur les réseaux sociaux, via la chaîne YouTube de Dompé, ainsi que du contenu en coulisses de la campagne. Pour visionner et partager "In the Woods", cliquez sur:

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