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In 2014, the Innovative Medicines Initiative funded a 48-million Euros project entitled “Sarcopenia and Physical fRailty IN older people: multi-componenT Treatment strategies”(SPRINTT). The SPRINTT consortium federates partners from academia, industry, and the private sector to address an important gap in the geriatric field: the lack of a standardized and clinically relevant definition of sarcopenia. In particular, the SPRINTT project aims to involve all major stakeholders in the framing of a skeletal muscle-specific risk profile that exposes the individual at risk of negative health-related outcomes(in particular, disability), is amenable to benefiting from preventive interventions, and meets the standards requested by regulatory agencies. During the first year of activity, the SPRINTT consortium has implemented a “Physical Frailty & Sarcopenia”(PF&S) condition that considers existing evidence and regularly exchanges information with the European Medicines Agency. This condition is currently the study objective of a 3-year randomized controlled trial in multiple countries across Europe. The trial aims to verify whether a multicomponent intervention (based on physical activity and nutritional counseling) can prevent the onset of mobility disabilities in community-dwelling older persons with PF&S. The present article provides an overview of the SPRINTT background and rationale and explains the details of the PF&S condition.
Allergic disease is among the most common pathologies worldwide and its prevalence has constantly increased up to the present days, even if according to the most recent data it seems to be slightly slowing down. Allergic disease has not only a high rate of misdiagnosis and therapeutic inefficacy, but represents an enormous, resource-absorbing black hole in respiratory and general medicine. The aim of this paper is to summarize principal therapeutic innovations in atopic disease management befallen in the recent years in terms of personalized/precision medicine.
Olea europaea L. leaves extract (Oe) and Hybiscus sabdariffa L. flowers extract (Hs) have calcium antagonistic properties. Aim of this work was to study the cardiovascular effects of Pres Phytum , a nutraceutical formulation containing a mixture of the two extracts and the excipients, and investigate its possible off-target effects, using in vitro biological assays on guinea pig isolated organs. Cardiovascular effects were assessed using guinea pig atria and aorta. The effects of Pres Phytum on spontaneous gastrointestinal, urinary, and respiratory tracts smooth muscle contractility were evaluated. Pres Phytum exerted a vasorelaxant effect (IC50 = 2.38 mg/mL) and a negative chronotropic effect (IC50 = 1.04 mg/mL) at concentrations lower than those producing smooth muscle spontaneous contractility alterations in the other organs. Compared to Pres Phytum, the mixture did not exert negative inotropic activity, while it maintained a negative chronotropic efficacy (IC50 = 1.04 mg/mL). These experimental data suggest a possible nutraceutical use of this food supplement for the management of preclinical hypertension.
Flysch is a sedimentary rock consisting of a rhythmic alternation of hard (limestone, sandstone, siltstone) and weak (marl, mudstone, claystone) layers. Because of the presence of layers with different physical properties the mechanical characterization of heterogeneous rock masses such as flysch is a real challenge. Different methods have been proposed in the literature to characterize flysch, combining empirical classification indexes with laboratory tests. Most of these methods, however, were specifically designed for tunneling and underground excavations and their applicability to slope stability problems is not yet fully investigated. In this study, we analyze a large landslide in a cretaceous flysch rock in order to compare the mobilized strength at failure with those predicted by the modified GSI method (Marinos and Hoek, 2001). The landslide occurred in the Savena River basin (Northern Apennines of Italy) on April 6, 2013 with a volume of about 3 million cubic meters. Soon after the failure, geological, geotechnical, and geophysical investigations were carried out to detect the failure mechanism and define the landslide geometry. Back-analyses of the failed slope were performed using both limit equilibrium and finite difference methods to estimate the in situ strength of the flysch. The results show that the mobilized rock mass cohesion is very low and that the GSI method can predict the in situ strength only assuming a very high disturbance factor. Moreover, the analysis shows that the linearization criteria proposed in literature to compute the equivalent Mohr-Coulomb parameters remarkably overestimate the rock mass strength.
Impaired gallbladder motility is a contributing factor to gallstone formation. Since many drugs delaying intestinal motility inhibit gallbladder emptying, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect on gallbladder and sphincter of Oddi motility of a Natural Chestnut Wood Extract (NEC) that reduces intestinal motility. In order to evaluate the effect of the extract in normal- and high-risk gallstone conditions, the investigation was performed using tissues from animals fed normal and lithogenic diet. Fifty guinea pigs were administered either control or lithogenic diet. The spontaneous motility of the gallbladder and sphincter of Oddi were recorded on isolated gallbladder tissues; thereafter, the effect of NEC on motility was tested and compared with carbachol (CCh), potassium chloride (KCl), noradrenaline (NA), and A71623. Compared to controls, the lithogenic diet induced an irregular and disordered motor pattern in both the gallbladder and sphincter of Oddi. NEC increased gallbladder and decreased sphincter of Oddi spontaneous motility independently of cholinergic, adrenergic, and CCK-1 receptor-mediated pathways both in controls and in lithogenic diet-fed animals, although the effect was lower in the latter group. The effect was reversible and mediated by calcium channels. The natural extract of chestnut increasing gallbladder contraction and inducing the relaxation of the sphincter of Oddi can be of benefit in pathological conditions associated with increased transit time at risk of gallstones.
Research Context The term User Generated Content (UGC) refers to a wide range of consumers' contributions shared through digital and social platforms. These contributions can take the form of blogs, articulated collections of images, homemade videos (or even “homemade advertising” campaigns) and various types of product reviews and product usage demonstrations (Berthon, Pitt, & Campbell, 2008; Fader & Winer, 2012). In a previous study, we reviewed the OECD (2007) official definition of UGC to encompass the evolving and more holistic nature of this phenomenon. We defined UGC as “content in the form of text, sound, visuals or videos, which has been created by or in collaboration with consumers and disseminated through social platforms across various digital and non-digital channels. UGC can be centered on a brand, product or service or revolve around a topic/issue of interest to the consumer. It can be either solicited as part of commercial or non-commercial initiatives or contributed spontaneously by the consumer” (Montecchi & Nobbs, 2012). Marketing managers are now facing a completely different landscape where the more traditional approaches to brand promotion “are giving way to a messy tangle of market-based communications consisting of multiple authors including customers, competitors, observers, employees, and interested collectives” (Muniz Jr. & Schau, 2011). In this context, UGC is a clear representation of how the balance of power and control has shifted from brands to consumers (Sheehan, 2010; Pires, Stanton, & Rita, 2006; Berthon, Pitt, Plangger, & Shapiro, 2012). Amongst the various sectors which have benefited from a constant growth of digital channels and consumers' online engagement, the luxury industry has shown some astonishing results. After an initial skepticism, major luxury organisations have embraced digital channels from both a distribution and marketing communications perspective, following the success of online pure-players such as Net-A-Porter. With online sales projected to grow steadily, luxury brands need to learn how to engage more effectively with a new generation of hyper-connected customers by re-addressing the balance of power and control they want to manage. Purpose of the Research By building on Smith, Fischer, & Yongjian (2012) framework for the analysis of UGC, this research aims to map the features of brand related UGC across three social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) with a particular focus on the luxury product/market context. Through the analysis of a sample of brand-related digital contributions, a set of customer profiles will be constructed to highlight further targeting opportunities for luxury brands. Three brands operating at global level (Louis Vuitton, Rolex and Burberry) will be selected as the context of this investigation since these generate a significant level of consumers' discussion and engagement on digital media. Methodology The research design is based on observational netnography and content analysis (Ertimur & Gilly, 2011; Kozinets, 2002). A sample of 100 consumers' contributions for each brand, published on each of the three selected platforms, will be analysed for a total of 900 pieces of UGC. The framework which will be used for the analysis is derived from the research conducted by Smith, Fischer, & Yongjian (2012). It allows researchers to explore the level of customers' self-presentation, the centrality of the brand in the content shared, whether there is an attempt to a brand-directed communication and associated responses and whether the content is more factual or emotional. The brand sentiment in each piece of content will also be measured. The results of this analysis will be used to construct a multi-dimensional set of customer profiles by building on the UGC typologies identified. This will provide luxury brands with an effective tool to enhance their market segmentation and targeting capabilities.
Gastric cancer is a rare condition affecting patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). The mainstay of treatment is total gastrectomy. Since duodenal cancer is the most common cause of death after total colectomy in FAP, endoscopic surveillance for duodenal cancer is mandatory. Here, we describe the use of an isoperistaltic jejunal loop interposition technique to reconstruct the digestive tract after total gastrectomy in 2 patients with FAP. There were no early or late complications. Both patients are still alive and in good clinical condition. They did not experience weight loss or symptoms of dumping syndrome. Duodenal endoscopic surveillance after this technique was easier than after the classical Roux-en-Y reconstruction. Hence, regular follow-up was possible for both patients.
This paper proposes a theoretical model aimed at interpreting the outcome of some games. It is often observed that players do not play the Nash equilibrium, when their utility is modelled on their payoff only. However, other models which include psychological variables fail to describe the behaviours observed. Here I propose a utility function which encompasses both monetary and psychological payoffs in such a way that the predictions fit the actual decisions of the players observed in experiments.