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Viggiano M.P.,University of Florence | Galli G.,University of Florence | Corte V.L.,University of Florence | Ragazzoni A.,Operative Unit of Neurology
Experimental Aging Research | Year: 2010

Priming effects on the identification process were examined in young and older adults by using event-related potentials (ERPs). Animals and artifacts were presented in an ascending sequence of filtered images, half of which had been shown in their complete versions in a previous study phase. Each stimulus was represented by a progressively less filtered image (i.e., more complete) until the whole version was revealed in a sequence of frames. Such a paradigm allowed us to record ERPs prior to, and during, the identification of stimuli. Results showed a dynamic interplay between memory, category, and aging effects. At the moment of identification, young adults elicited larger positivity at parietal sites for previously studied stimuli and this effect was not observed for older adults. For stimuli previously studied, a striking effect was observed in both groups at the level just prior to overt identification. In addition, a frontally distributed priming effect was evident in the elderly. Category-related ERP differences emerged between the two age groups. In particular, younger participants elicited an early positive activation at anterior sites upon seeing stimuli of animals. These results are discussed in relation to current models of recognition memory, categorization, and age-related cognitive decline.

Bosco D.,Operative Unit of Neurology | Plastino M.,Operative Unit of Neurology | Bosco F.,University of Catanzaro | Fava A.,University of Catanzaro | Rotondo A.,University of Pisa
Minerva Medica | Year: 2011

Aim. Aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy, tolerability and quality-of-life measures to melevodopa in advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) with motor fluctuations (MFs). Methods. A total of 37 patients with advanced PD and MFs participated in the study. Patients were switched from standard 1-dopa/carbidopa to melevodopa and were treated for 10 weeks. Results. Assessment of "On-Day" time demonstrated improvement to about 0.7 hour in the melevodopa treatment. The benefit was greater in patients with "delayed-on" (P=0.002) and especially in those with both "delayed-on" and "wearing-off" (P<0.001). Most patients showed a significant improvement in PDQ-39 total score (P=0.002) and PSI distress domain (P<0.001). Instead, not significant difference was observed in patients with only wearing-off. Conclusion. These data show that melevodopa is an effective agent for improving daily motor performance and quality-of-life in PD with "delayed-on", also in association with "wearing- off".

Marchione P.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Marchione P.,Operative Unit of Neurology | Vento C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Morreale M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases | Year: 2015

Background A relationship between echolucency of carotid plaques and the consequent risk of ipsilateral ischemic stroke has been observed. An aggressive lipid-lowering therapy may increase the echogenicity of carotid plaque in patients with elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. The aim of this study is to prospectively evaluate the long-term effect of high-dose atorvastatin on carotid plaque morphology in patients with first-ever transient ischemic attack or stroke. Methods All patients with symptomatic first ischemic atherosclerotic cerebrovascular event occurred within the previous 10 days were enrolled. Carotid Doppler ultrasound of the neck vessels with 7-11 MHz probe for the definition of the atherosclerotic carotid framework was performed. The analysis of the gray-scale median (GSM) of each plate was carried out with image processing software. Results A total of 240 symptomatic plaques were included and divided into 3 groups: 80 in group A (atorvastatin 80 mg), 80 in group B (atorvastatin 40 mg), and 80 to group C (no atorvastatin). GSM score increases significantly more extensive in group A than in group B (+48.65 vs. +39.46, P <.02) and group C (+48.65 vs. 19.3, P =.0002). An inverse association between reduction of low-density lipoprotein and the increase in the GSM score (r = -.456, P =.007) has been observed. Moreover, the reduction of high-sensitive C-reactive protein correlates inversely with the increase of the GSM (r = -.398, P =.021). Conclusions Dose-dependent effect of atorvastatin on symptomatic carotid plaque morphology may suggest a specific role of this drug in the atherosclerotic stroke prevention. © 2015 National Stroke Association.

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