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Piccardi L.,University of L'Aquila | Piccardi L.,Neuropsychology Unit | Verde P.,Centro Sperimentale Volo Reparto Medicina Aeronautica e Spaziale | Bianchini F.,Neuropsychology Unit | And 6 more authors.
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2014

Background: It is well known that cognitive and emotional changes occur during pregnancy, but little is known about their magnitude or their time of occurrence and recovery. During pregnancy memory is one of the most impaired cognitive functions. Although long-term aspects of memory have been investigated, other aspects of memory have not yet been explored (i.e., navigational memory and reaching memory).Case presentation. Here we describe the changes in reaching and walking memory that occurred during pregnancy and one year after delivery in an Italian female military pilot (Case 1) with high spatial ability. In memory tests she showed a classical dissociation between performance in reaching and walking distance, which indicated a failure of working memory, learning, and storage in reaching space. This suggests that her expertise served as a protective factor mitigating her low walking memory performance, and saving the topographical component.We compared her performance with that of two non-pregnant control groups (i.e., women pilots and non-pilots) and found that Case 1's reaching memory performance was significantly worse than that of the control groups. Even one year postpartum, Case 1's performance was not yet the same as that of the other pilots.Conclusions: These findings contribute to our knowledge of the specific, as yet unexplored, aspects of memory deficits in women pilots during pregnancy and postpartum and suggest the need for better neuropsychological assessment before these women return to work in operational environments. © 2014 Piccardi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Strollo F.,UOC Endocrinologia e Malattie Metaboliche | Carucci I.,UOC Endocrinologia e Malattie Metaboliche | Strollo G.,Ambulatorio di Endocrinologia e Diabetologia | More M.,UOC Endocrinologia e Malattie Metaboliche | Gentile S.,The Second University of Naples
Giornale Italiano di Diabetologia e Metabolismo | Year: 2011

Exercise improves cardiovascular risk, cognition, anxiety, mood and self-confidence in people with diabetes mellitus (DM). Quite recently, however, metabolic research has got interested in small changes in energy expenditure over sedentary levels like those due to leisure time physical activity (LTPA). Objective. The aim of our study was to verify whether elderly people with DM might improve their quality of life in terms of mood and physical performance as a result of a specific LTPAcentered counselling strategy. Materials and methods. We analyzed 46 sedentary people with DM aged 60 to 80 years divided into 3 groups: "C" (n = 15) just advised to give up their sedentary lifestyle, "CI" (n = 15), like the latter but for monthly telephone interviews and "CS" (n = 16) who got also structured counselling with reference to the specific goal to increase their energy expenditure slightly still keeping within the sedentary limit of 10 MET [metabolic equivalent of task]/week according to the Minnesota LTPA questionnaire. At 0 and 4 months the following parameters were recorded: fasting plasma glucose (FPG), glycated hemoglobin (HbA 1c), total and HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides (TG), geriatric depression scale (GDS) score, handgrip (HG) and physical performance test (PPT). Results. CS subjects improved their LTPA, HbA 1c, TG and GDSlevels while keeping stable in terms of HG and PPT (0.001 < p < 0.05); CI people got lower HbA 1c, HG and PPT, while controls got lower FPG, HG and PPT. Conclusions. CS subjects performed much better than the others at the end of the 4 month period of our study as for both metabolic and functional parameters. This stresses the need for structured education to motivate elderly people with DM to get just a little bit more active and achieve better quality of life goals. This also underlines the role psychologists may play within the diabetes team for the sake of our elderly population.

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