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Topic review
Updated time: 07 Jul 2021
Submitted by: Camille Jacques
Definition: Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) are two cytokines involved in the perpetuation of the chronic inflammation state characterizing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Significant advances in the treatment of this pathology have been made over the past ten years, partially through the development of anti-TNF and anti-IL-1 therapies. However, major side effects still persist and new alternative therapies should be considered.
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Topic review
Updated time: 08 Sep 2021
Submitted by: Alessandro Del Rio
Definition: The COVID-19 health emergency has thrown the health systems of most European countries into a deep crisis, forcing them to call off and postpone all interventions deemed not essential or life-saving in order to focus most resources on the treatment of COVID-19 patients. To facilitate women who are experiencing difficulties in terminating their pregnancies in Italy, the Ministry of Health has adapted to the regulations in force in most European countries and issued new guidelines that allow medical abortion up to 63 days, i.e., 9 weeks of gestational age, without mandatory hospitalization. This decision was met with some controversy, based on the assumption that the abortion pill could “incentivize” women to resort to abortion more easily.
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Topic review
Updated time: 02 Jun 2021
Submitted by: Grazia Cicirelli
Definition: Over the last decade, there has been considerable and increasing interest in the development of Active and Assisted Living (AAL) systems to support independent living. The demographic change towards an aging population has introduced new challenges to today’s society from both an economic and societal standpoint. AAL can provide an array of solutions for improving the quality of life of individuals, for allowing people to live healthier and independently for longer, for helping people with disabilities, and for supporting caregivers and medical staff.
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Topic review
Updated time: 14 Apr 2021
Definition: Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a cluster of abdominal obesity, hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL (high density lipoprotein)-cholesterol, and hypertension, is known to be a strong risk factor for type 2 diabetes and is considered one of the most important preventable risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, whose prevalence is increasing.
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Topic review
Updated time: 10 Aug 2021
Submitted by: Luis D'Marco
Definition: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is considered one of the most massive epidemics of the twenty-first century due to its high mortality rates caused mainly due to its complications; therefore, the early identification of such complications becomes a race against time to establish a prompt diagnosis. The research of complications of DM over the years has allowed the development of numerous alternatives for diagnosis. Among these emerge the quantification of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) given their increased levels due to chronic hyperglycemia, while also being related to the induction of different stress-associated cellular responses and proinflammatory mechanisms involved in the progression of chronic complications of DM. Additionally, the investigation for more valuable and safe techniques has led to developing a newer, noninvasive, and effective tool, termed skin fluorescence (SAF).
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Topic review Peer-reviewed
Updated time: 13 Aug 2021
Submitted by: Hing-wah Chau
Definition: Age-friendly built environments have been promoted by the World Health Organisation (WHO, Geneva, Switzerland) under the Global Age-friendly Cities (AFC) movement in which three domains are related to the built environment. These are: housing, transportation, outdoor spaces and public buildings. The aim is to foster active ageing by optimising opportunities for older adults to maximise their independent living ability and participate in their communities to enhance their quality of life and wellbeing. An age-friendly built environment is inclusive, accessible, respects individual needs and addresses the wide range of capacities across the course of life. Age-friendly housing promotes ageing in familiar surroundings and maintains social connections at the neighbourhood and community levels. Both age-friendly housing and buildings provide barrier-free provisions to minimise the needs for subsequent adaptations. Age-friendly public and outdoor spaces encourage older adults to spend time outside and engage with others against isolation and loneliness. Age-friendly public transport enables older adults to get around and enhances their mobility. For achieving an age-friendly living environment, a holistic approach is required to enable independent living, inclusion and active participation of older adults in society. The eight domains of the AFC movement are not mutually exclusive but overlap and support with one another.
Entry Collection : COVID-19
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Topic review
Updated time: 06 May 2021
Submitted by: Fulvio Massaro
Definition: Aging of bone marrow is a complex process that is involved in the development of many diseases, including hematologic cancers. The results obtained in this field of research, year after year, underline the important role of cross-talk between hematopoietic stem cells and their close environment. In bone marrow, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are a major player in cell-to-cell communication, presenting a wide range of functionalities, sometimes opposite, depending on the environmental conditions. Although these cells are actively studied for their therapeutic properties, their role in tumor progression remains unclear. One of the reasons for this is that the aging of MSCs has a direct impact on their behavior and on hematopoiesis. In addition, tumor progression is accompanied by dynamic remodeling of the bone marrow niche that may interfere with MSC functions.
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Topic review
Updated time: 23 Aug 2021
Submitted by: Ladan Rokni
Definition: Green-space exposure can play a crucial role in promoting the health and wellbeing of people. Agritourism is a unique ‘experience’ or ‘activity’ that can allow urban dwellers to participate and reconnect to nature through agriculture on a working farm. Moreover, visiting rural green spaces gives a chance to forget the hectic urban life; it allows the tourist to focus on their own and society’s general wellbeing. Agritourism activities can provide the feel of connection with nature and offer visitors the nostalgia of a “quiet” traditional life. Visiting agritourism sites and engaging in the associated activities can improve the perceived immediate mood. In addition, perceived wellbeing might contribute to such immediate mood-boosting.
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Topic review
Updated time: 29 May 2021
Submitted by: Anil Babu Payedimarri
Definition: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have expanded their utilization in different fields of medicine. During the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, AI and ML were also applied for the evaluation and/or implementation of public health interventions aimed to flatten the epidemiological curve.
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Topic review
Updated time: 14 Sep 2021
Submitted by: František Babič
Definition: Multimorbidity refers to the coexistence of two or more chronic diseases in one person. Therefore, patients with multimorbidity have multiple and special care needs. However, in practice it is difficult to meet these needs because the organizational processes of current healthcare systems tend to be tailored to a single disease. To improve clinical decision making and patient care in multimorbidity, a radical change in the problem-solving approach to medical research and treatment is needed. In addition to the traditional reductionist approach, we propose interactive research supported by artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced big data analytics. Such research approach, when applied to data routinely collected in healthcare settings, provides an integrated platform for research tasks related to multimorbidity. This may include, for example, prediction, correlation, and classification problems based on multiple interaction factors. However, to realize the idea of this paradigm shift in multimorbidity research, the optimization, standardization, and most importantly, the integration of electronic health data into a common national and international research infrastructure is needed. Ultimately, there is a need for the integration and implementation of efficient AI approaches, particularly deep learning, into clinical routine directly within the workflows of the medical professionals.
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