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San Raffaele Cimena, Italy

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

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. Source

Mazzarella F.,IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana | Dall'Armi V.,IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana | Rubino S.,San Raffaele SPA | Ferri L.,IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana
Disability and Rehabilitation

Purpose.To date, there are no studies that have investigated the role of alexithymia in respiratory rehabilitation. We aimed to observe the prevalence of alexithymia in patients attending respiratory rehabilitation and to verify the presence of a difference between alexithymics and non-alexithymics responsiveness to the respiratory rehabilitation standard protocol. Methods.A prospective cohort study evaluating the influence of alexithymia on functional recovery of in-patients afferent to the Respiratory Rehabilitation Unit of IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana. Sixty patients were consecutively enrolled into the study and evaluated for alexithymia, anxiety and depression. Functional recovery was assessed with the six-minute walking test (6MWT). Prior and post-completion of this test dyspnoea, oxygen saturation and cardiac frequency were recorded. Results.Alexithymia was not found to be significantly affecting the functional recovery of participants in respiratory rehabilitation. The distance walked at the 6MWT (6MWD) increased in both alexithymics and non-alexithymics (palexithymics0.014; pnon-alexithymics<0.0001). Dyspnoea strongly improved among non-alexithymics, although a signal for improvement was also found in alexithymics (palexithymics0.046; pnon-alexithymics0.0001). Conclusions.These findings suggest that alexithymia did not have a significant impact on functional recovery of patients in respiratory rehabilitation © 2010 Informa UK Ltd. Source

Galli M.,Polytechnic of Milan | Galli M.,San Raffaele SPA | Vimercati S.L.,Polytechnic of Milan | Manetti E.,Association of Graphological Research Arigrafmilano | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Applied Biomaterials and Fundamental Materials

Purpose: A method for the quantification of handwritten spirals in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) pre and post levodopa treatment is reported.Methods: Fifteen PD patients (mean age: 66.80±9.75 years) were assessed in the absence of medication (OFF condition) and under levodopa administration (ON condition). The control group was composed of 15 age-matched healthy (H) individuals (mean age: 63.70±9.40). They were asked to hand draw a spiral at self-selected speed, without resting their forearm on the table. The participants drew on a paper sheet, using a normal pen. The trace of the pen was determined from the 3D coordinates of passive markers placed on the pen and on the sheet, acquired with an optoelectronic system and some parameters were identified and computed.Results: The method revealed to be significant in highlighting the differences between H and PD subjects and in detecting pharmacologic effect. PD patients are impaired in spiral drawing execution and levodopa improves drawing performance, evidenced by spatio-temporal parameters and velocity profiles.Conclusions: The protocol is easily employable in clinic analysis because of its simplicity, the short duration of the test, and the natural test conditions. These characteristics suggest the applicability of this protocol to other fields of motor and cognitive assessments. © 2012 Società Italiana Biomateriali. Source

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

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. Source

De Pandis M.F.,San Raffaele SPA | Galli M.,Polytechnic of Milan | Galli M.,San Raffaele SPA | Vimercati S.,Polytechnic of Milan | And 3 more authors.
Neurology Research International

Aims. The realization of an experimental set-up for the quantitative and objective description of drawing using optoelectronic systems, which could be used when a quantification of the realization of specific drawing tests is required. Methods. Healthy subjects, subjects with Parkinson's Disease and subjects with Parkinson's Disease and Dementia were evaluated by theMiniMental Scale Evaluation and by a new approach to the Clock Drawing Test, based on an optoelectronic acquisition. The new protocol hereby described aims to define a parameter related to the movement kinematics in the Clock Drawing test execution. Results. The experimental set-up revealed to be valid introducing new objective measurements beside the subjective Clock Drawing Test. This paper suggests the applicability of this protocol to other fields of motor and cognitive valuation, as well as the introduction of new parameters related to the graphic movement. Copyright © 2010 Maria Francesca De Pandis et al. Source

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