ASSOCIATION OF THREE POLYMORPHISMS IN RP1 HOTSPOT REGION IN SICILIAN PATIENTS WITH RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA: PRELIMINARY DATAWritten by Elvira Velardi et al.
Rheumatoid Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the most common inherited retinal dystrophy affecting peripheral visual field
and usually culminates in complete blindness. Among mutations in 73 genes implicated in RP pathogenesis, those in
RP1 gene are inherited in autosomal recessive or dominant fashion. In RP Sicilian patients, we detected 3
polymorphisms in RP1 exon 4 hotspot region, not known to be associated with RP disease. Here, their frequency
in Sicilian populations was assayed in order to detect possible association with RP. Samples from 220 unrelated
healthy donors born and living in Sicily for at least two generations and 50 RP patients from Messina were
screened. Frequencies of all three polymorphisms in RP patients from Messina were about twice those observed
in the healthy controls from the same town and the overall Sicilian population. An association between 3
polymorphisms and RP was suggested, although their role in other related disorders cannot be excluded.
MOTIVATIONAL ASPECTS AND LEVEL OF SATISFACTION OF ITALIAN JUNIOR DOCTORS WITH REGARD TO KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS ACQUIRED ATTENDING SPECIFIC GENERAL PRACTICE TRAINING COURSES. A NATIONAL WEB SURVEYWritten by Walter Mazzucco et al.
The demographic and epidemiological transitions resulted in a pressing need to reformulate the health workforce demand
and to revise pre- and post-graduate training to prepare the medical profiles to meet the new health needs focused on
chronic diseases. The Italian Junior Doctors Association and the Giotto Movement carried out a web survey to identify
the motivational aspects and the level of satisfaction of Italian junior doctors regarding knowledge and skills acquired
after attending the General Practitioners’ specific training (GP-ST). Three-hundred-forty-seven General Practitioners (GPs),
302 trainees and 45 newly qualified trainees answered a web questionnaire. Significant differences (p-value= 0.018)
were documented between the two groups regarding the level of satisfaction on the GP-ST. The analysis by geographic
macro-areas of the answers given by the 302 trainees showed a heterogeneous level of overall satisfaction
(p-value= 0.005). In conclusion, the evidence provided by this cross-sectional study support the proposal to evolve
the GP-ST regional courses into general practice and primary care specialization schools.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes a sexually transmitted disease (STD) affecting the human immune system.
It is mainly transmitted through sexual intercourse, blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and parenterally.
Multiple actions can be taken to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, such as condom and sterile needle use and
HIV testing for pregnant women. This study aims to assess freshmen students’ awareness, knowledge, attitudes,
and behavioral perceptions regarding HIV/AIDS at Oakland University (OU) in Michigan.
This study is a cross-sectional survey targeting freshman students at OU. The questionnaire is comprised of
seven sections including demographics, risk perception, protection measures, alcohol tendencies, health-seeking
behaviors, culturally sensitive issues, and methods of dissemination of information. The mean age of
respondents was 20. The majority of respondents knew that HIV is transmitted sexually (98%) and by
sharing needles (98%). Many misconceptions about transmission of HIV were expressed by 53%.
Data showed that while there was good knowledge regarding HIV transmission and prevention, some
misconceptions still prevailed. Our results indicate the need to develop educational programs with
specific interventions to raise awareness about preventive measures, clear misconceptions, and promote
healthy lifestyle in order to prevent new HIV infections among young college students.
ROLE OF CCR5 -2150 A>G AND Δ32 POLYMORPHISMS IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: A CASE-CONTROL STUDY IN A SICILIAN POPULATIONWritten by Simona Alibrandi
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory joint disorder whose progression leads to destruction of cartilage and bone.
Chemokines, molecules able to induce chemotaxis in inflammation, are involved in RA pathogenesis. Aim of this study
was to determine whether -2150 A>G and delta32 (Δ32) polymorphisms in the chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) confer
susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis. Polymorphisms were assessed in 70 seropositive RA patients and 200 healthy
individuals of Messina and province. About -2150 A>G polymorphism, a significant increase in AG genotype frequency
was observed in controls than in patients, despite a not significant difference in allelic frequencies. Conversely,
allelic and genotypic frequencies related to Δ32 polymorphism were significantly higher in controls group than
in patients. Furthermore, in the patient group no individuals with Δ32/Δ32 genotype were found. These results
suggest that CCR5 polymorphisms seem to play an important role in susceptibility to RA exerting a protective role
in the disease.
Crohn's disease (CD) is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and its etiology is multifactorial and involves a
combination of genetic and environmental factors. The interaction of these factors causes an imbalance in the
microbiota, leading to the activation of several immunological and inflammatory mechanisms. From an
immunological point of view, there seems to be an involvement of the TIM-3/galectin-9 pathway and
of the autoregulation of LyTh1. The studies show that in patients with CD the autoregulation of LyTh1 is lost due
to a reduced concentration of galectin-9 and a reduced TIM-3 expression in LyTh1. This could be one of the
reasons for the state of perpetual activation in LyTh1, resulting in the chronic inflammatory process.
COMBINATION OF AMPLATZER VASCULAR PLUG 4 IN OCCLUSION OF THE LEFT VERTEBRAL ARTERY, WITH MICROSPHERES PLUS COILS FOR EMBOLIZATION OF THE DEEP CERVICAL BRANCHES FOR PRESURGICAL TREATMENT OF A HYPERVASCULAR C-5 METASTASIS: CASE REPORT AND REVIEWWritten by Antonio Basile et al.
Clinical use of Amplatzer Vascular Plug in central and peripheral vascular system has been extensively described in the
literature. We present a case of occlusion of left vertebral artery (LVA) performed by deploying an Amplatzer Vascular
Plug, in addition to microspheres plus coils for embolization of the deep cervical branches that feed a cervical metastasis
involving the left VA. After the endovascular intervention, the patient underwent surgical resection of the lesion.
The application of the device, the use of multiple embolic materials, as well as the angiographic and clinical
results of the procedure, were evaluated because not previously reported in the literature.
Hence, we provide an updated literature review about clinical use of Amplatzer Vascular Plug in supra-aortic vessels.
Positive airway pressure is the treatment of choice among obstructive sleep apnea syndrome patients.
Among surgical options, multilevel approach is a good option in patients with an involvement of all tract
of first airway. The aim of the present work is to establish the efficacy of anterior palatoplasty in the
treatment of selected patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea syndrome or simple snoring, within a
multilevel surgery. The group was composed of 16 mild obstructive sleep apnea syndrome adult patients
collected from January 2015 to June 2016 at University of Palermo, Ear, Nose and Throat Department. To
make diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, we employed polysomnography, the Epworth
Sleepiness Scale and an endoscopic study of aerodigestive tract in order to identify the sites of collapse.
All patients underwent to inferior turbinate reduction, anterior pharyngoplasty and hyoid suspension. After
treatment, 11 patients had Apnea Hypopnea Index ≤5 and 4 patients less than 50% compared to the
starting one. According to Epworth Sleepiness Scale, the daytime sleepiness enhanced from 12.6 to 8.6
post-operative average. Pre-operative mean value of Muller’s maneuver was N (nose):2.6, O (oropharinx):
3.4, H (hypopharinx):2.5 Before performing surgical procedure each patient was subjected to sleep
endoscopy to evaluate better the pattern of collapse. The post-operative mean outcomes of Mueller’s
Maneuver was: N 1.5, O 1.3, H 1.3. Barbed Anterior pharyngoplasty, combined with other surgical
procedures, can be considered a valid surgical option to relieve snoring, and mild apnoic events. Our
preliminary results, show that the anterior palatoplasty, combined with other surgical procedures, can be
considered a valid surgical option to relieve snoring and mild apnoic events.
Several lines of evidence showed that apoptosis rate of cumulus cells in oocytes derived by assisted
reproductive technologies could be used as an indicator of fertilizing gamete quality. Aim of the study
was to investigate the effects of three different ovarian stimulation protocols on the biological and clinical
outcome in hyporesponder patients. Collected data showed a higher significant rate of DNA fragmentation
index (DFI) in U group (patients treated with Highly Purified human Menopausal Gonadotrophin) than in
P group (treated with recombinant human Follicle Stimulating Hormone (r-hFSH) combined with
recombinant human Luteinizing Hormone (r-hLH)). Both groups R (treated with r-hFSH alone) and P
showed a significant increase in collected and fertilized oocytes number, embryo quality number. This
study showed that combined r-hFSH/r-hLH therapy could represent the best pharmacological strategy for
controlled ovarian stimulation and suggests to use DFI as a biomarker of ovarian function in
CHILD ABUSE IN A MEDICAL SETTING: CASE ILLUSTRATIONS OF TWO VARIANTS OF MUNCHAUSEN SINDROME BY PROXY.Written by Antonietta Lanzarone et al.
Munchausen syndrome is a complex type of abuse, which is often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed in
clinical practice, and has harmful consequences for children. Its relationship with child abuse, of which it
is a variety, must be recognized in clinical and forensic practice. The authors report herein two observed
cases of different types of Münchausen syndrome by proxy (MSbP). The first, is the most severe form of
MSbP, with induced, true illness and related pathological symptoms into victim. The second case is a
moderate form, much more complex to detect, in which a perpetrator parent simulates and aggravates the
child‘s illness. Adequate training of health professionals and investigators is essential in revealing cases of
MSbP. Diagnosis must be based on the study of the different forms of "abuse" and the knowledge of
clinical protocols used to validate any suspected behaviour which could be potentially harmful to the
child. Moreover, a lack of training may lead to misleading interpretations of medical history interpretation
and fallacious conclusions. Our study aims to review the features that are to be considered in a suspected
case of MSbP, in accordance with a recently updated consensus statement by the Committee on Child
Abuse and Neglect from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Gene expression in mammalians is a very finely controlled mechanism, and bidirectional promoters can be
considered one of the most compelling examples of the accuracy of genic expression coordination. As
recently reported, a bidirectional promoter regulates the expression of the PDCD10(whose mutations
cause familial Cerebral Cavernous Malformations (CCMs) and SERPINI1 gene pair, even though they are
non-homologous genes. The aim of this study was to identify any potential common roles of these two coregulated
genes. An in-silico approach was used to identify functional correlations, using the BioGraph,
IPA® and Cytoscape tools and the KEGG pathway database. The results obtained show that PDCD10 and
SERPINI1 may co-regulate some cellular processes, particularly those related to focal adhesion
maintenance. All common pathways identified for PDCD10 and SERPINI1 are closely associated with the
pathogenic characteristics of CCMs; we thus hypothesize that genes involved in these networks may
contribute to the development of CCMs.
ACETYL-L-CARNITINE AFFECTS THE ELECTRICAL ACTIVITY OF MECHANOSENSORY NEURONS IN HIRUDO MEDICINALIS GANGLIAWritten by Giovanna Traina et al.
Was previously discovered that in the leech Hirudo medicinalis, acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC) affects forms of
non-associative learning, such as sensitization and dishabituation, due to nociceptive stimulation of the
dorsal skin in the swim induction behavioural paradigm, likely through modulating the activity of the
mechanosensory tactile (T) neurons, which initiate swimming. Since was found that ALC impaired
sensitization and dishabituation, both of which are mediated by the neurotransmitter serotonin, the present
study analyzed how ALC may interfere with the sensitizing response.
Was already found that ALC reduced the activity of nociceptive (N) neurons, which modulate T cell
activity through serotonergic mediation.
NOVEL INTRONIC VARIANTS IN UNCONVENTIONAL GENE CLUSTER COULD LEAD TO THE IDENTIFICATION OF A NEW RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA PHENOTYPEWritten by Luigi Donato
The Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited heterogeneous ocular disorder characterized by progressive
retinal degeneration. Although at least 50 genes are known to be causative of RP, many others are still
unidentified. We describe a Sicilian female patient affected by an unknown form of RP. She was screened
by Whole Genome Sequencing, and the subsequent variant analysis was integrated with filtering and
pathway analysis and enrichment. Finally, the relevant variants were analyzed in silico to establish their
potential effects. Based on previous analyses, 15 intronic variants, distributed across 6 genes (EYS,
PPEF2, RNF144B, RDH13, FLT3 and MYO7A), were selected as potential candidates for disease
association. Finally, the consequent in silico analysis highlighted their possible role in splicing alterations.
The involvement of these genes in the pathogenesis of RP and the newly discovered role of splicing
alteration events may offer new insights into the diagnosis of unknown forms of retinitis pigmentosa.
ARTICULAR FRACTURES OF DISTAL RADIUS: COMPARISON OF TREATMENT AND CLINICAL AND RADIOLOGICAL OUTCOMES WITH VOLAR PLATE VERSUS HOFFMANN BRIDGING EXTERNAL FIXATOR.Written by Michele Bisaccia et al.
The Wrist fractures are one of the most frequent traumatic pathologies. Surgery is now more commonly
recommended for this type of fracture as a means to improve the outcome of patients. The objective of this
study is to compare treatment with volar plate vs. external fixation in these types of fractures. A total of
158 consecutive patients who had been operated on for distal radius fractures with or without ulnar
involvement, were included in this study. 109 were treated with a volar plate and 49 with Hoffmann II
external fixator. The exclusion criteria were patients with a history of wrist fractures, with neurological
diseases, pathological fractures and polytrauma patients. Clinical and radiographic results were evaluated
in both groups of patients. Clinical parameters were: average flexion, average extension, average
pronation and supination, and the average radial and ulnar deviation. The radiographic parameters that we
considered were the radial tilt and ulnar variance. In both groups, we evaluated the clinical results with the
DASH score and the Mayo-Wrist score. The unstable and intra-articular fractures of the distal radius can
be treated with different methods, among which the most commonly used are the open reduction and
internal fixation with plates or the synthesis with external fixation. Our study shows how both methods
provide similar clinical and radiographic results, so the choice of which to use depends more on the
surgeon's experience and the patient's compliance rather than on the type of fracture.
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND SPORT. PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF THE INTERACTION BETWEEN COGNITIVE, AFFECTIVE-EMOTIONAL AND MOTOR AREAWritten by Fedele Termini et al.
The practice of sport, intended not just as a physical activity performed exclusively for athletic
competition, represents a key element for growth on an emotional and social level. Practicing sports can
help to enhance one’s self- and body awareness through multidimensional dynamic and ludic activity. In
this context, sport becomes an educational and training tool, and is often a forerunner of social change.
Sports practice combining physical activity with recreational activity, can, in fact, promote health and
longevity, as well as physical and psychological wellbeing. As highlighted by the European Union, sport
is also a source of social inclusion, and an excellent tool for the integration of minorities and groups at risk
of social exclusion.