Publications by authors named "Michele Pellegrino"

68 Publications

Age-Related Differential Effects of School-Based Sitting and Movement Meditation on Creativity and Spatial Cognition: A Pilot Study.

Children (Basel) 2021 Jul 8;8(7). Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Research Institute for Neuroscience, Education and Didactics, Patrizio Paoletti Foundation, 06081 Assisi, Italy.

Psychophysical well-being can be supported during development by the integration of extra-curricular activities in scholastic settings. These activities can be implemented in different forms, ranging from physical activities to sitting meditation practices. Considering that both such activities are thought to affect children's psychophysical development, a movement-based meditation that combines the two approaches-in the form of a short daily activity-could represent a powerful tool to promote healthy physical and mental development. Consequently, the current pilot study aimed to examine the effect of short daily school-based sitting and movement meditation trainings on creativity and spatial cognition. Utilizing a crossover design, we evaluated their feasibility and efficacy at different ages among children ( = 50) in 5th to 8th grade. We observed that 5 weeks of daily training in sitting and movement meditation techniques improved children's cognition differently. Specifically, younger children showed greater creativity and better spatial cognition following the movement-based meditation, while older children showed greater enhancement in these areas following sitting meditation training. This suggests that training can affect children's cognition differently depending on their developmental stage. We discuss these results within the framework of embodied and grounded cognition theories. Information on feasibility and age-related effect sizes derived from the current study paves the way for future well-powered larger-scale efficacy studies on different forms of school-based interventions to cognitive development promotion.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/children8070583DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8303844PMC
July 2021

Perceiving numerosity does not cause automatic shifts of spatial attention.

Exp Brain Res 2021 Aug 5. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

Department of Psychology, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Via dei Marsi, 78, 00185, Rome, Italy.

It is debated whether the representation of numbers is endowed with a directional-spatial component so that perceiving small-magnitude numbers triggers leftward shifts of attention and perceiving large-magnitude numbers rightward shifts. Contrary to initial findings, recent investigations have demonstrated that centrally presented small-magnitude and large-magnitude Arabic numbers do not cause leftward and rightward shifts of attention, respectively. Here we verified whether perceiving small or large non-symbolic numerosities (i.e., clouds of dots) drives attention to the left or the right side of space, respectively. In experiment 1, participants were presented with central small (1, 2) vs large-numerosity (8, 9) clouds of dots followed by an imperative target in the left or right side of space. In experiment 2, a central cloud of dots (i.e., five dots) was followed by the simultaneous presentation of two identical dot-clouds, one on the left and one on the right side of space. Lateral clouds were both lower (1, 2) or higher in numerosity (8, 9) than the central cloud. After a variable delay, one of the two lateral clouds turned red and participants had to signal the colour change through a unimanual response. We found that (a) in Experiment 1, the small vs large numerosity of the central cloud of dots did not speed up the detection of left vs right targets, respectively, (b) in Experiment 2, the detection of colour change was not faster in the left side of space when lateral clouds were smaller in numerosity than the central reference and in the right side when clouds were larger in numerosity. These findings show that perceiving non-symbolic numerosity does not cause automatic shifts of spatial attention and suggests no inherent association between the representation of numerosity and that of directional space.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-021-06185-7DOI Listing
August 2021

Individual EEG profiling of attention deficits in left spatial neglect: A pilot study.

Neurosci Lett 2021 09 6;761:136097. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Dipartimento di Psicologia 39, Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza", Via dei Marsi 78, 00185 Roma, Italy; Fondazione Santa Lucia, Centro Ricerche di Neuropsicologia, IRCCS, Via Ardeatina 306, 00179 Roma, Italy.

Electrophysiological group studies in brain-damaged patients can be run to capture the EEG correlates of specific cognitive impairments. Nonetheless, this procedure is not adequate to characterize the inter-individual variability present in major neuropsychological syndromes. We tested the possibility of getting a reliable individual EEG characterization of deficits of endogenous orienting of spatial attention in right-brain damaged (RBD) patients with left spatial neglect (N+). We used a single-trial topographical analysis (STTA; [39] of individual scalp EEG topographies recorded during leftward and rightward orienting of attention with central cues in RBD patients with and without (N-) neglect and in healthy controls (HC). We found that the STTA successfully decoded EEG signals related to leftward and rightward orienting in five out of the six N+, five out of the six N- patients and in all the six HC. In agreement with findings from conventional average-group studies, successful classifications of EEG signals in N+ were observed during the 400-800 ms period post-cue-onset, which reflects preserved voluntary engagement of attention resources (ADAN component). These results suggest the possibility of acquiring reliable individual EEG profiles of neglect patients.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2021.136097DOI Listing
September 2021

Deficits of hierarchical predictive coding in left spatial neglect.

Brain Commun 2021 4;3(2):fcab111. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Dipartimento di Psicologia 39, Sapienza Università di Roma, 00185 Roma, Italy.

Right brain-damaged patients with unilateral spatial neglect fail to explore the left side of space. Recent EEG and clinical evidence suggests that neglect patients might suffer deficits in predictive coding, i.e. in identifying and exploiting probabilistic associations among sensory stimuli in the environment. To gain direct insights on this issue, we focussed on the hierarchical components of predictive coding. We recorded EEG responses evoked by central, left-side or right-side tones that were presented at the end of sequences of four central tones. Left-side and right-side deviant tones produce a pre-attentive Mismatch Negativity that reflects a lower-order prediction error for the 'Local' deviation of the tone at the end of the sequence. Higher-order prediction errors for the frequency of these deviations in the acoustic environment, i.e. 'Global' deviation, are marked by the P3 response. We show that when neglect patients are immersed in an acoustic environment characterized by frequent left-side deviant tones, they display no pre-attentive Mismatch Negativity both for left-side deviant tones and infrequent omissions of the last tone, while they have Mismatch Negativity for infrequent right-side deviant tones. In the same condition, neglect patients show no P300 response to 'Global' prediction errors for deviant tones, including those in the non-neglected right-side, and omissions. In contrast to this, when right-side deviant tones are predominant in the acoustic environment, neglect patients have pre-attentive Mismatch Negativity both for right-side deviant tones and infrequent omissions, while they display no Mismatch Negativity for infrequent left-side deviant tones. Most importantly, in the same condition neglect patients show enhanced P300 response to infrequent left-side deviant tones, notwithstanding that these tones evoked no pre-attentive Mismatch Negativity. This latter finding indicates that 'Global' predictions are independent of 'Local' error signals provided by the Mismatch Negativity. These results qualify deficits of predictive coding in the spatial neglect syndrome and show that neglect patients base their predictive behaviour only on statistical regularities that are related to the frequent occurrence of sensory events on the right side of space.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcab111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8209285PMC
June 2021

Specific synonymous mutations tightly correlate with HIV-1 co-receptor usage and differentially affect the secondary structure of HIV-1 Env RNA.

Acta Virol 2021 ;65(2):173-180

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a pathogen that infects blood cells, using CD4 molecule and two cell receptors CCR5 and CXCR4. The other major actor is gp120/gp41 viral protein complex, which interacts with receptors. Here, the presence of synonymous mutations associated with HIV-1 tropism and the related RNA secondary-structure in HIV-1 infected patients was evaluated. The analysis includes gp120-sequences from 340 HIV-1 subtype-B infected patients, all retrieved from Los Alamos database and with phenotypic HIV tropism determination based on recombinant-virus entry-assay. Frequencies of all nucleotide substitutions were calculated. Mfold and RNAfold algorithms were used to predict RNA secondary-structure of HIV-1. Nineteen codons in V2/C2, V3 and C3 domains were found to be closely related to CCR5 and CXCR4. Additionally, in X4-sequences, gp120 gca303gcu and gua222guc synonymous mutations are positively related to the gp120 S11R and T8A/I codons in V3 protein domain. Furthermore, gua222guc increases stability of the viral RNA secondary-structure. Probably, it would not be surprising if a novel escape viral strategy therapy will be related to the gp120 synonymous mutations. Moreover, in relation to the pivotal role played by gp120 in polyvalent vaccine approaches, the impact of gp120 synonymous mutations may play an important role in HIV entry into the cell. Keywords: gp120; tropism; v3; s11r; evolution; vaccine.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.4149/av_2021_211DOI Listing
June 2021

Chitosan Membranes Filled with Cyclosporine A as Possible Devices for Local Administration of Drugs in the Treatment of Breast Cancer.

Molecules 2021 Mar 26;26(7). Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Pharmacy and Health and Nutrition Sciences, University of Calabria, Arcavacata di Rende, 87036 Cosenza, Italy.

The aim of this work is the design, preparation and characterization of membranes based on cyclosporine A (CsA) and chitosan carboxylate (CC) to be used as an implantable subcutaneous medical device for a prolonged therapeutic effect in the treatment of breast cancer. The choice to use CsA is due to literature data that have demonstrated its possible antitumor activity on different types of neoplastic cells. To this end, CsA was bound to CC through an amidation reaction to obtain a prodrug to be dispersed in a chitosan-based polymeric membrane. The reaction intermediates and the final product were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (H-NMR). Membranes were analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The data obtained showed the effective formation of the amide bond between CsA and CC and the complete dispersion of CsA inside the polymeric membrane. Furthermore, preliminary tests, conducted on MDA-MB-231, a type of breast cancer cell line, have shown a high reduction in the proliferation of cancer cells. These results indicate the possibility of using the obtained membranes as an interesting strategy for the release of cyclosporin-A in breast cancer patients.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26071889DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8036521PMC
March 2021

Number space is made by response space: Evidence from left spatial neglect.

Neuropsychologia 2021 04 7;154:107773. Epub 2021 Feb 7.

Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza', Roma, Italy; Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS, Roma, Italy. Electronic address:

Whether the semantic representation of numbers is endowed with an intrinsic spatial component, so that smaller numbers are inherently represented to the left of larger ones on a Mental Number Line (MNL), is a central matter of debate in numerical cognition. To gain an insight into this issue, we investigated the performance of right brain damaged patients with left spatial neglect (N+) in a bimanual Magnitude Comparison SNARC task and in a uni-manual Magnitude Comparison Go/No-Go task (i.e. "is the number smaller or larger than 5?"). While the first task requires the use of contrasting left/right spatial codes for response selection, the second task does not require the use of these codes. In line with previous evidence, in the SNARC task N+ patients displayed a significant asymmetry in Reaction Times (RTs), with slower RTs to number "4", that was immediately precedent to the numerical reference "5", with respect to the number "6", that immediately followed the same reference. This RTs asymmetry was correlated with lesion of white matter tracts, i.e. Fronto-Occipital-Fasciculus, that allows prefrontal Ba 8 and 46 to regulate the distribution of attention on sensory and memory traces in posterior occipital, temporal and parietal areas. In contrast, no similar RTs asymmetry was found in the Go/No-Go task. These findings suggest that while in the SNARC task numbers get mentally organised from left-to-right as a function of their increasing magnitude, so that N+ patients display a delay in the processing of number-magnitudes that are immediately smaller than a given numerical reference, in the Go/No-Go task no left-to-right organization is activated. These results support the idea that it is the use of contrasting left/right spatial codes, whether motor or conceptual, that triggers the generation of a spatially left-to-right organised MNL and that the representation of number magnitude is not endowed with an inherent spatial component.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2021.107773DOI Listing
April 2021

Diarylureas: Repositioning from Antitumor to Antimicrobials or Multi-Target Agents against New Pandemics.

Antibiotics (Basel) 2021 Jan 19;10(1). Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende, Italy.

Antimicrobials have allowed medical advancements over several decades. However, the continuous emergence of antimicrobial resistance restricts efficacy in treating infectious diseases. In this context, the drug repositioning of already known biological active compounds to antimicrobials could represent a useful strategy. In 2002 and 2003, the SARS-CoV pandemic immobilized the Far East regions. However, the drug discovery attempts to study the virus have stopped after the crisis declined. Today's COVID-19 pandemic could probably have been avoided if those efforts against SARS-CoV had continued. Recently, a new coronavirus variant was identified in the UK. Because of this, the search for safe and potent antimicrobials and antivirals is urgent. Apart from antiviral treatment for severe cases of COVID-19, many patients with mild disease without pneumonia or moderate disease with pneumonia have received different classes of antibiotics. Diarylureas are tyrosine kinase inhibitors well known in the art as anticancer agents, which might be useful tools for a reposition as antimicrobials. The first to come onto the market as anticancer was sorafenib, followed by some other active molecules. For this interesting class of organic compounds antimicrobial, antiviral, antithrombotic, antimalarial, and anti-inflammatory properties have been reported in the literature. These numerous properties make these compounds interesting for a new possible pandemic considering that, as well as for other viral infections also for CoVID-19, a multitarget therapeutic strategy could be favorable. This review is meant to be an overview on diarylureas, focusing on their biological activities, not dwelling on the already known antitumor activity. Quite a lot of papers present in the literature underline and highlight the importance of these molecules as versatile scaffolds for the development of new and promising antimicrobials and multitarget agents against new pandemic events.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10010092DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7833385PMC
January 2021

Italian expert-based recommendations on the use of photo(chemo)therapy in the management of mycosis fungoides: Results of an e-Delphi consensus.

Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 2021 Jul 1;37(4):334-342. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

SOD Clinica di Dermatologia, Azienza Ospedaliero Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona, Ancona, Italy.

Background: Phototherapy is a mainstay for the treatment of MF. However, there is scarce evidence for its use, mostly due to the lack of a unified schedule.

Aims: The primary aim of this study was to establish the first structured, expert-based consensus regarding the indications and technical schedules of NB-UVB and PUVA for MF. The secondary aim was to determine the consensus level for each specific item.

Materials & Methods: E-delphi study. Item-specific expert consensus was defined as the number of "Totally Agree" results to ≥80% of the panelists. Cronbach alpha index ≥0.7 was used as a measure of homogeneity in the responses among questions related to the same topic.

Results: Overall, there was a high homogeneity among responders (0.78). On specific topics, the highest grade was observed for technical items (0.8) followed by indications for early (0.73) and advanced stages (0.7).

Conclusions: Items related to the most canonical indications of phototherapy and to treatment schedules showed the highest agreements rates. There is consensus about the use of standardized treatment schedules for the induction and consolidation phases for NB-UVB and PUVA in MF.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/phpp.12658DOI Listing
July 2021

Pupil dilation during orienting of attention and conscious detection of visual targets in patients with left spatial neglect.

Cortex 2021 01 20;134:265-277. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Dipartimento di Psicologia 39, Sapienza Università di Roma, Roma, Italy; Laboratorio di Neuropsicologia dell'attenzione, Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS, Roma, Italy. Electronic address:

Right Brain-Damaged patients (RBD) with left spatial neglect (N+), are characterised by deficits in orienting and re-orienting attention to stimuli in the contralesional left side of space. In a recent ERPs study with visual stimuli (Lasaponara et al., 2018) we have pointed out that the pathological attentional bias of N+ is matched with exaggerated novelty reaction and contextual updating of targets in the right ipsilesional space and reduced novelty reaction and contextual updating of targets in the left contralesional space. To characterise further the attentional performance of N+, here we measured Pupil Dilation (PDil), which is a reliable marker of noradrenergic-locus coeruleus activity and response to unexpected events/rewards. Compared to Neutral and Valid targets, N+ patients displayed a pathological reduction of PDil in response to infrequent Invalid targets in the left side of space, while in Healthy Controls (HC) and RBD without neglect (N-) the same targets enhanced PDil with respect to Neutral and frequent Valid targets. Invalid targets in the right side of space enhanced PDil in all experimental groups. Interestingly, both N- and N+ showed a consistent number of target omissions both in the left and right side of space. With respect to seen targets, N- showed reduced PDil in response to unseen targets both in the left and right side of space. In contrast, N+ had reduced PDil in response to unseen targets in the left side of space though not in the right side, where seen and unseen targets evoked comparable levels of PDil. These results disclose, for the first time, the PDil correlates of spatial attention in left spatial neglect and suggest that the pathological attentional bias suffered by N+ might enhance the autonomic responses reflected in PDil to unseen ipsilesional stimuli. This enhancement can contribute to biasing contextual updating and predictive coding of stimuli in the ipsilesional space, thus worsening the pathological attentional bias of N+.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2020.10.021DOI Listing
January 2021

How to trigger and keep stable directional Space-Number Associations (SNAs).

Cortex 2021 01 18;134:253-264. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza', Roma, Italy; Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS, Roma, Italy. Electronic address:

Humans are prone to mentally organise the ascending series of integers according to reading habits so that in western cultures small numbers are positioned to the left of larger ones on a mental number line. Despite 140 years since seminal observations by Sir Francis Galton (Galton, 1880a, b), the functional mechanisms that give rise to directional Space-Number Associations (SNAs) remain elusive. Here, we contrasted three different experimental conditions, each including a different version of a Go/No-Go task with intermixed numerical and arrow-targets (Shaki and Fischer, 2018; Pinto et al., 2019a). We show that directional SNAs are not "all or none" phenomena. We demonstrate that SNAs get progressively less noisy and more stable the more contrasting small/large magnitude-codes and contrasting left/right spatial-codes are explicitly and fully combined in the task set. The analyses of the time-course of space-number congruency effects showed that both the absence and presence of the SNA were independent of the speed of reaction times. In agreement with our original proposal (Aiello et al., 2012), these findings show that conceptualising the ascending series of integers in spatial terms depends on the use of spatial codes in the numerical task at hand rather than on the presence of an inherent spatial dimension in the semantic representation of numbers. This evidence suggests that directional SNAs, like the SNARC effect, are secondary to the primary transfer of spatial response codes to number stimuli, rather than deriving from a primary congruency or incongruence between independent spatial-response and spatial-number codes.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2020.10.020DOI Listing
January 2021

Production of Plant-Derived Oleuropein Aglycone by a Combined Membrane Process and Evaluation of Its Breast Anticancer Properties.

Front Bioeng Biotechnol 2020 29;8:908. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, Rende, Italy.

Natural products and herbal therapies represent a thriving field of research, but methods for the production of plant-derived compounds with a significative biological activity by synthetic methods are required. Conventional commercial production by chemical synthesis or solvent extraction is not yet sustainable and economical because toxic solvents are used, the process involves many steps, and there is generally a low amount of the product produced, which is often mixed with other or similar by-products. For this reason, alternative, sustainable, greener, and more efficient processes are required. Membrane processes are recognized worldwide as green technologies since they promote waste minimization, material diversity, efficient separation, energy saving, process intensification, and integration. This article describes the production, characterization, and utilization of bioactive compounds derived from renewable waste material (olive leaves) as drug candidates in breast cancer (BC) treatment. In particular, an integrated membrane process [composed by a membrane bioreactor (MBR) and a membrane emulsification (ME) system] was developed to produce a purified non-commercially available phytotherapic compound: the oleuropein aglycone (OLA). This method achieves a 93% conversion of the substrate (oleuropein) and enables the extraction of the compound of interest with 90% efficiency in sustainable conditions. The bioderived compound exercised pro-apoptotic and antiproliferative activities against MDA-MB-231 and Tamoxifen-resistant MCF-7 (MCF-7/TR) cells, suggesting it as a potential agent for the treatment of breast cancer including hormonal resistance therapies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2020.00908DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7551858PMC
September 2020

Anetoderma observed with reflectance confocal microscopy.

G Ital Dermatol Venereol 2020 Oct 9. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Dermatology Section, Department of Medical, Surgical and Neurological Science, S. Maria alle Scotte Hospital, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0392-0488.20.06627-4DOI Listing
October 2020

Bortezomib-Loaded Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Selectively Alter Metabolism and Induce Death in Multiple Myeloma Cells.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Sep 21;12(9). Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy.

A mesoporous silica-based nanodevice bearing the antineoplastic drug bortezomib (BTZ), whose release is triggered in acidic environment and grafted with folic acid (FOL) as a targeting function (FOL-MSN-BTZ) was tested on folate receptor overexpressing (FR+) multiple myeloma (MM) cells and on FR negative (FR-) normal cells. FOL-MSN-BTZ efficacy studies were conducted by means of growth experiments, TEM, TUNEL assay and Western Blotting analysis (WB). Metabolic investigations were performed to assess cells metabolic response to MSNs treatments. FOL-MSN-BTZ exclusively killed FR+ MM cells, leading to an apoptotic rate that was comparable to that induced by free BTZ, and the effect was accompanied by metabolic dysfunction and oxidative stress. Importantly, FOL-MSN-BTZ treated FR- normal cells did not show any significant sign of injury or metabolic perturbation, while free BTZ was still highly toxic. Notably, the vehicle alone (MSN-FOL) did not affect any biological process in both tested cell models. These data show the striking specificity of FOL-MSN-BTZ toward FR+ tumor cells and the outstanding safety of the MSN-FOL vehicle, paving the way for a future exploitation of FOL-MSN-BTZ in MM target therapy.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092709DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7565423PMC
September 2020

Pre-motor deficits in left spatial neglect: An EEG study on Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) and response-related beta oscillatory activity.

Neuropsychologia 2020 10 25;147:107572. Epub 2020 Jul 25.

Dipartimento di Psicologia 39, Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza", Via dei Marsi 78, 00185, Roma, Italy; Fondazione Santa Lucia, Centro Ricerche di Neuropsicologia, IRCCS, Via Ardeatina 306, 00179, Roma, Italy.

Right Brain Damaged patients with left spatial neglect (N+), are characterised by poor allocation of attention in the contralesional left side of space. In a recent study (Lasaponara et al., 2018) we showed during orienting of spatial attention with endogenous central cues, both the EEG markers reflecting the early phases of orienting (Early Directing Attention Negativity) and those reflecting the late setting-up of sensory facilitation in the visual cortex (Late Directing Attention Positivity) are disturbed in N+ when these patients attend the left side of space. In the healthy brain, endogenous cues also elicit EEG activity related to the preparation of manual responses to upcoming spatial targets. Here, we wished to expand on our previous findings and investigate the EEG correlates of cue-related response preparation in N+ patients. To this aim we investigated the Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) response and the pre-motor Beta-oscillatory activity evoked by spatially informative central cues during the performance of a Posner task. Due to concomitant contralesional motor impairments, N+ an N- patients performed the task only with the ipsilesional right-hand. Compared to healthy controls and patients without neglect, N+ displayed a pathological suppression of CNV component that was independent of cue direction. In addition, the amplitude of the CNV in response to right-pointing cues was positively correlated with neglect severity in line bisection. N+ also displayed a pathological enhancement of pre-motor Beta oscillations over the left hemisphere during the time period that preceded manual responses to targets in the left side of space, particularly to invalidly cued ones. Synchronization in the Beta-band (ERS) was also correlated with lower detection rate and slower RTs to Invalid targets in the left side of space. These results provide new insights on the premotor components of the spatial orienting deficits suffered by patients with left spatial neglect and can help improving its diagnosis and rehabilitation.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2020.107572DOI Listing
October 2020

Psoriasis, biological drugs and Coronavirus Disease 2019: Real life experience of two Italian provinces.

Dermatol Reports 2020 Jun 25;12(1):8642. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Dermatology Unit, Misericordia Hospital, Grosseto.

On January 30, 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) stated that a new coronavirus disease outbreak [COronaVIrus Disease - 19 (COVID-19)] was an international public health emergency. Many news, often fake ones, about the derived pandemic rapidly spread along the media, thus leading many dermatological patients to identify as "risk category" and sometimes discontinue treatments by themselves. The Dermatology Units in Grosseto and Pordenone simultaneously carried out a data collection by remote-conducted visits, evaluating the incidence of COVID-19 in psoriatic patients. Only 1 patient (close contact of a case) as part of the psoriasis analyzed group was tested and turned out to be positive for SARS-CoV-2, developing no symptoms during the observation period. The collected information may suggest that psoriasis, biotechnologically treated or not, cannot promote or aggravate the clinical trend of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, hence stopping systemic therapy in negative or clinically free SARS-CoV-2 patients is not recommended in general.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/dr.2020.8642DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336268PMC
June 2020

Spatial uncertainty improves the distribution of visual attention and the availability of sensory information for conscious report.

Exp Brain Res 2020 Sep 2;238(9):2031-2040. Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Dipartimento di Psicologia, "Sapienza", Università di Roma, via dei Marsi, 78, Roma, Italy.

Picking-up and exploiting spatial and temporal regularities in the occurrence of sensory events is important for goal-directed behaviour. According to the "Predictive Coding Hypothesis" (Friston Philosophical Trans R Soc B 360(1456):815-836, 2005), these regularities are used to generate top-down predictions that are constantly compared with actual sensory events. In a previous study with the Attentional Blink (AB) paradigm, we showed that the temporal and probabilistic uncertainty of T2s that are presented outside the Attentional Blink period, i.e. at least 400 ms after T1, improves the conscious report of T2 that are presented inside the AB. The study of ERP correlated showed that this improvement was associated with a prolonged storage of pre-conscious T2 traces in extra-striate areas (Lasaponara et al. Cortex 71:15-33, 2015). Here, we tested whether variations in the probabilistic cueing of the position of a primary T1 visual target in a 4 × 4 letter array, modulate the retention of memory traces evoked by secondary letter targets (T2) that were presented in other positions of the array. Most important, in each trial, the identity of T2 was specified to participants upon disappearance of the array. We show that high probabilistic cueing facilitates T1 detection and improves the corresponding sensitivity index (d'). In contrast, retention and conscious report of secondary targets (T2) improves when the probabilistic cueing of T1 position is poor. These results suggest that uncertainty in the upcoming position of primary targets boosts the strength of memory traces evoked by secondary targets and improves the possibility that traces of secondary targets gain full access to conscious processing.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-020-05862-3DOI Listing
September 2020

Mechanisms underlying of antiretroviral drugs in different cellular reservoirs with a focus on macrophages.

Virulence 2020 12;11(1):400-413

Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy.

Ongoing with current combinations of antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection can successfully maintain long-term suppression of HIV-1 replication in plasma. Still, none of these therapies is capable of extinguishing the virus from the long-lived cellular reservoir, including monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM), that means the principal obstacle to HIV cure. MDM are widely distributed in all tissues and organs, including central system nervous (CNS) where they represent the most frequent HIV-infected cells that means the principal obstacle to HIV cure. Current FDA-approved antiretroviral drugs target viral reverse transcriptase, protease, integrase, and entry processes (coreceptor or fusion blockade). It is desirable to continue to develop new antiretrovirals directed against alternative targets in the virus lifecycle in order to further optimize therapeutic options, overcome resistance to existing medications, and potentially contribute to the elimination of viral reservoirs.This review provides a comprehensive overview of the activity of antiretroviral drugs (classical and upcoming) in monocytes-derived macrophages (MDM). Defining the antiviral activity of these drugs in this important cellular HIV-1 reservoir provides crucial hints about their efficacy in HIV-1 infected patients.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21505594.2020.1760443DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7219522PMC
December 2020

Tuscan Consensus on the diagnosis, treatment and follow up of adult atopic dermatitis.

G Ital Dermatol Venereol 2020 Jun 10;155(3):253-260. Epub 2020 Mar 10.

Unit of Allergological and Pediatric Dermatology, Department of Health Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory disease with a chronic-relapsing course that is intensely itchy. A correct diagnosis of AD in adults and consequently appropriate clinical therapeutic management is a critical issue for extreme clinical expression heterogeneity and various grades of disease severity. In order to ensure high levels of care and standardization of clinical therapeutic management of Adult AD, the decision was taken to create an AD Tuscan Consensus Group (the Group), to work on and validate a consensus based regional clinical-therapeutic management model. The aims of the Group were to find agreement on the criteria for diagnosis, scoring of severity, multidisciplinary approach and treatment of adult atopic dermatitis and to create an easier way for patients to access specialized dermatology outpatient services and importantly to reduce waiting lists and costs related to the management of AD. The Tuscan Consensus Group adopted a simplified Delphi method, in three principal steps: 1) literature metanalysis and critical review of patient's clinical experience to identify the main areas considered questionable or uncertain; 2) discussion of those areas requiring consensus and statement definition through four different sub-committees (diagnosis, severity evaluation, scoring and comorbidities); 3) a consensus based simplified process with final approval of each statement by plenary vote with approval >80% of the participants. The Group here presents and discusses the consensus based recommendation statements on adult atopic dermatitis.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0392-0488.19.06527-1DOI Listing
June 2020

Deconstructing Reorienting of Attention: Cue Predictiveness Modulates the Inhibition of the No-target Side and the Hemispheric Distribution of the P1 Response to Invalid Targets.

J Cogn Neurosci 2020 06 22;32(6):1046-1060. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Orienting of attention produces a "sensory gain" in the processing of visual targets at attended locations and an increase in the amplitude of target-related P1 and N1 ERPs. P1 marks gain reduction at unattended locations; N1 marks gain enhancement at attended ones. Lateral targets that are preceded by valid cues also evoke a larger P1 over the hemisphere contralateral to the no-target side, which reflects inhibition of this side of space [Slagter, H. A., Prinssen, S., Reteig, L. C., & Mazaheri, A. Facilitation and inhibition in attention: Functional dissociation of pre-stimulus alpha activity, P1, and N1 components. , , 25-35, 2016]. To clarify the relationships among cue predictiveness, sensory gain, and the inhibitory P1 response, we compared cue- and target-related ERPs among valid, neutral, and invalid trials with predictive (80% valid/20% invalid) or nonpredictive (50% valid/50% invalid) directional cues. Preparatory facilitation over the visual cortex contralateral to the cued side of space (lateral directing attention positivity component) was reduced during nonpredictive cueing. With predictive cues, the target-related inhibitory P1 was larger over the hemisphere contralateral to the no-target side not only in response to valid but also in response to neutral and invalid targets: This result highlights a default inhibitory hemispheric asymmetry that is independent from cued orienting of attention. With nonpredictive cues, valid targets reduced the amplitude of the inhibitory P1 over the hemisphere contralateral to the no-target side whereas invalid targets enhanced the amplitude of the same inhibitory component. Enhanced inhibition was matched with speeded reorienting to invalid targets and drop in attentional costs. These findings show that reorienting of attention is modulated by the combination of cue-related facilitatory and target-related inhibitory activity.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01534DOI Listing
June 2020

FoxO3a as a Positive Prognostic Marker and a Therapeutic Target in Tamoxifen-Resistant Breast Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Nov 25;11(12). Epub 2019 Nov 25.

Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, Rende, 87036 Cosenza, Italy.

Resistance to endocrine treatments is a major clinical challenge in the management of estrogen receptor positive breast cancers. Although multiple mechanisms leading to endocrine resistance have been proposed, the poor outcome of this subgroup of patients demands additional studies. FoxO3a involvement in the acquisition and reversion of tamoxifen resistance was assessed in three parental ER+ breast cancer cells, MCF-7, T47D and ZR-75-1, in the deriving Tamoxifen resistant models (TamR) and in Tet-inducible TamR/FoxO3a stable cell lines, by growth curves, PLA, siRNA, RT-PCR, Western blot, Immunofluorescence, Transmission Electron Microscopy, TUNEL, cell cycle, proteomics analyses and animal models. FoxO3a clinical relevance was validated by Kaplan-Meier survival curves. Here, we show that tamoxifen resistant breast cancer cells (TamR) express low FoxO3a levels. The hyperactive growth factors signaling, characterizing these cells, leads to FoxO3a hyper-phosphorylation and subsequent proteasomal degradation. FoxO3a re-expression by using TamR tetracycline inducible cells or by treating TamR with the anticonvulsant lamotrigine (LTG), restored the sensitivity to the antiestrogen and strongly reduced tumor mass in TamR-derived mouse xenografts. Proteomics data unveiled novel potential mediators of FoxO3a anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activity, while the Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that FoxO3a is predictive of a positive response to tamoxifen therapy in Luminal A breast cancer patients. Altogether, our data indicate that FoxO3a is a key target to be exploited in endocrine-resistant tumors. In this context, LTG, being able to induce FoxO3a, might represent a valid candidate in combination therapy to prevent resistance to tamoxifen in patients at risk.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121858DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6966564PMC
November 2019

The Attentional-SNARC effect 16 years later: no automatic space-number association (taking into account finger counting style, imagery vividness, and learning style in 174 participants).

Exp Brain Res 2019 Oct 5;237(10):2633-2643. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Dipartimento di Psicologia 39, Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza", Via dei Marsi 78, 00185, Rome, Italy.

The Attentional-SNARC effect (Att-SNARC) originally described by Fischer et al. (Nat Neurosci 6(6):555, 2003), consists of faster RTs to visual targets in the left side of space when these are preceded by small-magnitude Arabic cues at central fixation and by faster RTs to targets in the right side of space when these are preceded by large-magnitude cues. Verifying the consistency and reliability of this effect is important, because the effect would suggest an inherent association between the representation of space and that of number magnitude, while a number of recent studies provided no positive evidence in favour of the Att-SNARC and the inherency of this association (van Dijck et al. in Q J Exp Psychol 67(8):1500-1513, 2014; Zanolie and Pecher in Front Psychol 5:987, 2014; Fattorini et al. in Cortex 73:298-316, 2015; Pinto et al. in Cortex, DOI:10.1016/j.cortex.2017.12.015, 2018). Here, we re-analysed Att-SNARC data that we have collected in 174 participants over different studies run in our laboratory. Most important, in a subsample of 79 participants, we also verified whether the strength and reliability of the Att-SNARC is eventually linked inter-individual variations in finger counting style, imagery vividness, and verbal/visual learning style. We found no evidence for the Att-SNARC effect or for the influence of finger counting style, imagery vividness, and learning style on its direction or consistency. These results confirm no inherent link between orienting of spatial attention and representation of number magnitudes. We propose that this link is rather determined by the joint use of spatial and number magnitude or parity codes in the performance of the numerical task at hand.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-019-05617-9DOI Listing
October 2019

Contrasting left/right codes for response selection must not be necessarily associated with contrasting numerical features to get the SNARC.

Acta Psychol (Amst) 2019 Jul 24;198:102887. Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Dipartimento di Psicologia 39, Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza', Roma, Italy; Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS, Roma, Italy. Electronic address:

The SNARC effect consists of faster reaction times to small numerical magnitudes when manual responses are delivered in the left-side of space and to large magnitudes when responses are delivered in the right-side. This spatial compatibility effect points at the interaction between the representations of space and that of numbers. Several studies have highlighted that an important determinant for the production of the SNARC is the use of contrasting left/right spatial codes in the selection of motor responses. In these studies, one spatial code for response selection, e.g. "left", is usually associated with one number feature, e.g. "lower than 5", while the contrasting spatial code, e.g. "right", is associated with the contrasting number feature, e.g. "higher than 5". Using a task with intermixed number and letter targets, here we show that significant and reliable SNARC effects are also produced when: a) one spatial response is associated with the intra-categorical discrimination of a number feature (i.e. magnitude or parity) and the contrasting response with the simple detection of letter targets; b) or when one spatial response is associated with the intra-categorical discrimination of the position of a letter in the alphabet (i.e. before or after "m") and the contrasting spatial response with the simple detection of numerical targets (Experiments 1 and 2). In contrast, no reliable SNARC is found when no intra-categorical number or letter discrimination is required and contrasting left/right spatial response codes are simply associated with the discrimination between numbers and letters, e.g. "push left if the target is a number/push right if it is a letter" (Experiment 3). In a final control test (Experiment 4), we found no SNARC when the magnitude or parity classification of Arabic digits presented at central fixation was made unimanually with a left side or a right side-key and no left/right contrast was present in response selection. These results show that the use of contrasting left/right spatial response codes elicits reliable SNARC effects independently of their assignment to contrasting number features and confirm the important role played by the use of spatial codes in the genesis of the number-space interaction.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2019.102887DOI Listing
July 2019

Effects of psoriasis treatment on genital warts: a case report.

Int J STD AIDS 2019 07 19;30(8):828-830. Epub 2019 May 19.

Dermatology Unit, Department of Medical, Surgical and Neuro-Sciences, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956462419833218DOI Listing
July 2019

Reconstructing the origins of the space-number association: spatial and number-magnitude codes must be used jointly to elicit spatially organised mental number lines.

Cognition 2019 09 9;190:143-156. Epub 2019 May 9.

Dipartimento di Psicologia 39, Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza', Roma, Italy; Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS, Roma, Italy. Electronic address:

In a series of five experiments with unimanual Go/No-Go tasks and intermixed Arabic numerical, i.e. numbers lower or higher than 5, and directional targets, i.e. arrows pointing to the left or to the right, we explored whether spatial codes used in isolation inherently evoke the left-to-right representation of number magnitudes, i.e. Space-to-Number congruency effect, and, vice-versa, whether number-magnitude codes used in isolation inherently evoke the conceptual activation of left/right spatial codes, i.e. Number-to-Space congruency effect. In Experiment 1 Go responses were provided based on instructions that activated only magnitude codes, e.g. "push only if the number is lower than 5 and whenever an arrow appears", or only spatial codes, e.g. "push only when an arrow points to the left and whenever a number appears". In Experiments 2-4, the same instructions were combined with the request of responding only to arrows in a specific colour. No fixed association was present between a specific arrow colour and a specific arrow direction. In Experiment 3, the direction of arrow-targets was kept fixed to favour the processing of arrow direction. In Experiment 4, an additional class of No-Go visual stimuli was included to heighten the focus of attention on numerical and directional arrow-targets and, in addition, only numbers 1, 2, 8 and 9 were used to force the contrast between small and large magnitude codes. The results of Experiments 1-4 highlighted no significant or reliable Space-to-Number congruency effect, e.g. faster RTs to numbers lower than 5 when participants attend to arrows pointing to the left, or Number-to-Space congruency effect, e.g. faster RTs to arrows pointing to the left when participants attend to numbers lower than 5. In Experiment 5 we confirmed that when spatial and number magnitude codes are used in conjunction, e.g. " push only when an arrow points left and when a number is lower than 5", a significant Space-to-Number congruency effect is found and we expanded this evidence to Number-to-Space congruency. Split-half testing showed that in Experiment 5 congruency effects were reliable and null-hypothesis significance testing showed that they were different from those found in all other experiments. We conclude that neither space codes used in isolation can elicit a spatial representation of number magnitudes nor number-magnitude codes used in isolation can trigger the activation of spatial codes. Thus, spatial and numerical codes must be used jointly to evoke reliable spatially organised mental number lines.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.04.032DOI Listing
September 2019

Pyoderma gangrenosum secondary to total hip replacement.

G Ital Dermatol Venereol 2019 Apr 23. Epub 2019 Apr 23.

Dermatology Section, Department of Clinical Medicine and Immunological Science, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0392-0488.19.06256-4DOI Listing
April 2019

Expectancy modulates pupil size both during endogenous orienting and during re-orienting of spatial attention: A study with isoluminant stimuli.

Eur J Neurosci 2019 09 1;50(5):2893-2904. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Laboratorio di Neuropsicologia dell'attenzione, Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS, Roma, Italy.

We have recently demonstrated that when endogenous orienting of spatial attention is guided by central directional cues that reliably predict the position of lateral targets. Pupil Dilation (PDil) is higher as compared with directional cues that do not predict target position. These findings were interpreted as reflecting different levels of Locus Coeruleus-Noradrenergic activity during endogenous orienting. In contrast to this, we were not able to highlight reliable differences between PDil responses to infrequent invalid targets that are associated with predictive cues and frequent invalid targets that are associated with non-predictive ones. These null findings might have been due to the spurious influence of transitory changes in luminance at the moment of target presentation or to the short time window used for the analysis of target-related changes in PDil. Here, we re-explored cue- and target-related changes in PDil using cue and target stimuli that were kept isoluminant to their background and long lasting cue and target periods for data recording and analysis. We fully replicate our previous cue-related results and, in addition, we demonstrate that infrequent invalid targets in the predictive experimental condition evoke larger PDil as compared with frequent ones. Analyses with Linear Mixed Models highlighted that both during the cue and target period, higher levels of PDil were associated with slower reaction times. These findings confirm that PDil is a reliable marker of the expectancy components of endogenous cue-related and exogenous target-related orienting of spatial attention.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejn.14391DOI Listing
September 2019

Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) activation by estrogens involves GPER in triple-negative breast cancer cells.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2019 Feb 6;38(1):58. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, 87036, Rende, Italy.

Background: Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a cytoplasmatic protein tyrosine kinase that associates with both integrins and growth factor receptors toward the adhesion, migration and invasion of cancer cells. The G-protein coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) has been involved in the stimulatory action of estrogens in breast tumor. In this study, we have investigated the engagement of FAK by GPER signaling in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells.

Methods: Publicly available large-scale database and patient data sets derived from "The Cancer Genome Atlas" (TCGA; www.cbioportal.org ) were used to assess FAK expression in TNBC, non-TNBC tumors and normal breast tissues. MDA-MB 231 and SUM159 TNBC cells were used as model system. The levels of phosphorylated FAK, other transduction mediators and target genes were detected by western blotting analysis. Focal adhesion assay was carried out in order to determine the focal adhesion points and the formation of focal adhesions (FAs). Luciferase assays were performed to evaluate the promoters activity of c-FOS, EGR1 and CTGF upon GPER activation. The mRNA expression of the aforementioned genes was measured by real time-PCR. Boyden chamber and wound healing assays were used in order to evaluate cell migration. The statistical analysis was performed by ANOVA.

Results: We first determined by bioinformatic analysis that the mRNA expression levels of the gene encoding FAK, namely PTK2, is higher in TNBC respect to non-TNBC and normal breast tissues. Next, we found that estrogenic GPER signaling triggers Y397 FAK phosphorylation as well as the increase of focal adhesion points (FAs) in TNBC cells. Besides, we ascertained that GPER and FAK activation are involved in the STAT3 nuclear accumulation and gene expression changes. As biological counterpart, we show that FAK inhibition prevents the migration of TNBC cells upon GPER activation.

Conclusions: The present data provide novel insights regarding the action of FAK in TNBC. Moreover, on the basis of our findings estrogenic GPER signaling may be considered among the transduction mechanisms engaging FAK toward breast cancer progression.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13046-019-1056-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364402PMC
February 2019

Treatment of resistant granuloma annulare with Rifampin, Norfloxacin, and Minocycline combination therapy.

G Ital Dermatol Venereol 2019 Feb 4. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

Dermatology Section, Department of Medical, Surgical and Neurological Science, S. Maria alle Scotte Hospital, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0392-0488.19.06270-9DOI Listing
February 2019
-->