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1.  Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease: The effects of gluten free diet on metabolic control 
World Journal of Diabetes  2013;4(4):130-134.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus is associated with celiac disease, with a prevalence that varies between 0.6% and 16.4%, according to different studies. After a diagnosis of celiac disease is confirmed by small bowel biopsy, patients are advised to commence a gluten-free diet (GFD). This dietary restriction may be particularly difficult for the child with diabetes, but in Europe (and in Italy) many food stores have targeted this section of the market with better labeling of products and more availability of specific GFD products. Treatment with a GFD in symptomatic patients has been shown to improve the symptoms, signs and complications of celiac disease. However, the effects of a GFD on diabetic control are less well established. Initial reports of improved hypoglycemic control were based on children who were diagnosed with celiac disease associated with malabsorption, but there have subsequently been reports of improvement in patients with type 1 diabetes with subclinical celiac disease. There are other studies reporting no effect, improved control and an improvement of hypoglycemic episodes. Moreover, in this review we wish to focus on low glycemic index foods, often suggested in people with type 1 diabetes, since they might reduce postprandial glycemic excursion and enhance long-term glycemic control. In contrast, GFD may be rich in high glycemic index foods that can increase the risk of obesity, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease, worsening the metabolic control of the child with diabetes. Hence, it is important to evaluate the impact of a GFD on metabolic control, growth and nutritional status in children with type 1 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3746085  PMID: 23961323
Adolescents; Celiac disease; Children; Glycemic control; Type 1 diabetes
2.  Insulin Pump Therapy in Children with Type 1 Diabetes: the Dark Side of the Moon 
PMCID: PMC3879777  PMID: 23911194
childhood; continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion; insulin pump therapy; insulin therapy; pump malfunction; type 1 diabetes
3.  Gut and mesenteric lymph node involvement in pediatric patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus 
The gastrointestinal tract is a primary target for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV infection causes a depletion of CD4+ T-lymphocytes in gut-associated lymphoid tissue and affects gastrointestinal mucosal integrity and permeability. The gastrointestinal tract has also been suggested as the main reservoir of HIV despite highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). We performed a prospective case-control study to assess gut involvement in HIV-infected patients, either naïve or on HAART, using noninvasive methods such as bowel ultrasound and fecal calprotectin.
Thirty HIV-infected children and youth underwent the following tests: CD4+ T-cell count and HIV viral load, fecal calprotectin, and bowel ultrasound, with the latter evaluating bowel wall thickness and mesenteric lymph nodes. Fecal calprotectin and bowel ultrasound were also assessed in 30 healthy controls matched for age and sex. Fecal calprotectin was measured using a quantitative immunochromatographic point-of-care test, and concentrations ranging from 0 to 200 μg/g were considered to be normal reference values in children.
Fecal calprotectin was normal in 29 HIV-infected patients and was not significantly different from controls (mean values 63.8±42.5 μg/g and 68.3±40.5 μg/g, respectively; P=0.419), and did not correlate with HIV viral load, CD4+ T-cell absolute count and percentage, or HAART treatment. No significant changes were found on bowel ultrasound except for enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes, which were observed in seven HIV-infected patients (23.3%) and two controls (6.6%). This finding was significantly correlated with high HIV viral load (P=0.001) and low CD4+ T-cell percentage (P=0.004).
HIV-infected children did not have significant biochemical or ultrasonographic signs of bowel inflammation. A few patients showed enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes, which correlated with uncontrolled HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC4020886  PMID: 24855391
children; human immunodeficiency virus; fecal calprotectin; bowel ultrasound
4.  A case of tinnitus induced by chlorpromazine in a pediatric patient 
Chlorpromazine is a well-known antipsychotic agent that binds with a variety of receptors in the central nervous system. To date, chlorpromazine has never been associated with onset of hearing disorders and tinnitus. We report on an unexpected suspect adverse reaction to chlorpromazine that occurred in a 12-year-old boy, affected by severe generalized anxiety disorder. After treatment with chlorpromazine, the patient experienced an enhanced sensitivity to sounds accompanied by perception of noises of the buzzing or ringing type. This clinical case is of great clinical interest as chlorpromazine is not currently included among potentially ototoxic drugs.
PMCID: PMC4008917  PMID: 24799822
Adverse drug reaction; chlorpromazine; tinnitus
5.  Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in Pregnancy: Can Genes Help Us in Predicting Neonatal Adverse Outcome? 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:276918.
Lots has been written on use of SSRI during pregnancy and possible short and long term negative outcomes on neonates. the literature so far has described a various field of peripartum illness related to SSRI exposure during foetal life, such as increased incidence of low birth weight, respiratory distress, persistent pulmonary hypertension, poor feeding, and neurobehavioural disease. We know that different degrees of outcomes are possible, and not all the newborns exposed to SSRIs during pregnancy definitely will develop a negative outcome. So far, still little is known about the possible etiologic mechanism that could not only explain the adverse neonatal effects but also the degree of clinical involvement and presentation in the early period after birth. Pharmacogenetics and moreover pharmacogenomics, the study of specific genetic variations and their effect on drug response, are not widespread. This review describes possible relationship between SSRIs pharmacogenetics and different neonatal outcomes and summarizes the current pharmacogenetic inquiries in relation to maternal-foetal environment.
PMCID: PMC3913519  PMID: 24524073
6.  Pidotimod: the past and the present 
At the end of 1990s, acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs) were called the 'forgotten pandemic’, with a clear dichotomy between developing and industrialised countries in mortality and morbidity, the main outcomes associated with ARTIs. This definition still applies 20 years later, when the introduction of new and safe antibiotics and vaccines has certainly contributed to controlling the most life-threatening ARTIs, but has not had a major impact on viral ARTIs in paediatric age. One functional approach to preventing and treating ARTIs is non-specifically increasing the immune response or enhancing the children’s innate defence mechanisms. Different kinds of biologically active substances – called immunostimulants – of natural and synthetic origins and with different mechanisms of action have been introduced in some countries for the prevention of ARTIs in children. Recently, research focused on one of these compounds, Pidotimod, has attempted to better clarify and define its mechanisms of action both in vitro and in vivo. In this paper, we critically examine the most recent findings on Pidotimod. Certainly the improvement of research methodology in the last 20 years and the acquired knowledge in various fields of clinical immunology should be the starting point for research on Pidotimod. Preclinical research will be essential to better understand the mechanisms of action of this compound. However, in vivo studies, especially randomised control trials, will be necessary to establish the real efficacy of Pidotimod in the prevention of ARTIs in paediatric age.
PMCID: PMC4028890  PMID: 24314100
Pidotimod; Recurrent respiratory infections; Immunostimulants
7.  Gluten-Free Diet in Children: An Approach to a Nutritionally Adequate and Balanced Diet 
Nutrients  2013;5(11):4553-4565.
Gluten-free diet (GFD) is the cornerstone treatment for celiac disease (CD). GFD implies a strict and lifelong elimination from the diet of gluten, the storage protein found in wheat, barley, rye and hybrids of these grains, such as kamut and triticale. The absence of gluten in natural and processed foods, despite being the key aspect of GFD, may lead to nutritional consequences, such as deficits and imbalances. The nutritional adequacy of GFD is particularly important in children, this the age being of maximal energy and nutrient requirements for growth, development and activity. In recent years, attention has focused on the nutritional quality of gluten-free products (GFPs) available in the market. It is well recognized that GFPs are considered of lower quality and poorer nutritional value compared to the gluten-containing counterparts. The present review focuses on the nutritional adequacy of GFD at the pediatric age, with the aim being to increase awareness of the potential complications associated with this diet, to identify strategies in order to avoid them and to promote a healthier diet and lifestyle in children with CD.
PMCID: PMC3847748  PMID: 24253052
celiac disease; gluten-free diet; children; nutritional complications; balanced diet
8.  New insights into rotavirus vaccines 
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics  2012;8(8):1022-1028.
Rotavirus vaccines have shown to be effective and well tolerated in clinical trials. However it’s crucial to point out that immunization occurs in “real-word” conditions different from ideal clinical trial settings. Thus, the impact of rotavirus vaccines in terms of effectiveness and safety needs to be evaluated in real-world conditions. Post-licensure data regarding vaccine impact, effectiveness and safety under routine use are now available and provide a “real-world view.”
PMCID: PMC3551871  PMID: 22699445
intussusception; post-marketing surveillance; rotavirus vaccines; rotavirus; safety
9.  Neurocysticercosis in a 14-year-old boy in Italy: An unexpected case 
Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a parasitic infection of the central nervous system caused by larvae of Taenia solium. It represents the most common cause of neurological disease in children living in developing countries. In recent years, NCC is increasingly being diagnosed also in high-socioeconomic countries, mainly due to the high rate of immigration. We describe a case of a 14-year-old Ecuadorian boy living in Italy, who experienced a generalized tonic-clonic seizure and was diagnosed with NCC. The boy was successfully managed with anticonvulsant, anticysticercal and anti-inflammatory treatment. With the present case we would like to emphasize the importance of considering NCC as a possible cause of non febrile seizures in children living in developed countries, particularly in those immigrated from an endemic region or had a long-term stay in an area of high prevalence.
PMCID: PMC4027314
Neurocysticercosis; Seizures; Taenia solium
10.  Probiotics and Atopic Dermatitis in Children 
Pharmaceuticals  2012;5(7):727-744.
There is increasing interest in the potential beneficial role of probiotic supplementation in the prevention and treatment of atopic diseases in children. Probiotics are defined as ingested live microorganisms that, when administered in an adequate amount, confer a health benefit to the host. They are mainly represented by Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. Several epidemiological data demonstrate that intestinal microflora of atopic children is different from the one of healthy children. Many literature data show that probiotics may modulate the intestinal microflora composition and may have immunomodulatory effect. Based on this hypothesis, probiotics are supposed to confer benefits to allergic diseases. Administration of probiotics when a natural population of indigenous intestinal bacteria is still developing could theoretically influence immune development by favoring the balance between Th1 and Th2 inflammatory responses. For this reason, some studies have evaluated the potential impact of probiotics supplementation in the prevention of atopic dermatitis, with contrasting results. Clinical improvement in immunoglobulin (Ig)E-sensitized (atopic) eczema following probiotic supplementation has been reported in some published studies and the therapeutic effects of probiotics on atopic dermatitis seemed to be encouraging. However, as far as the usefulness of probiotics as a prevention strategy is concerned, results are still inconclusive. In fact, the clinical benefits of probiotic therapy depend upon numerous factors, such as the type of bacteria, dosing regimen, delivery method and other underlying host factors, such as age and diet. More studies are still needed to definitively prove the role of probiotics in the treatment of allergic eczema.
PMCID: PMC3763666  PMID: 24281709
probiotics; atopic dermatitis; prevention; treatment
11.  Paroxetine and neonatal withdrawal syndrome 
BMJ Case Reports  2010;2010:bcr12.2009.2528.
We report a case of neonatal withdrawal syndrome after in utero exposure to paroxetine 20 mg/day. The infant’s symptoms, such as poor neonatal adaptation, respiratory distress, decerebrate posturing, irritability and tremors, commenced soon after birth and persisted for 5 days. All neonates exposed to antidepressants, particularly serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), during the last trimester should be followed-up closely for adverse symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3047551  PMID: 22736561
12.  Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum 
Case Reports in Pediatrics  2012;2012:152602.
Necrobiosis lipoidica is a rare disorder that usually appears in the lower extremities and it is often related to diabetes mellitus. There are few reported cases of necrobiosis lipoidica in children. We present an interesting case in that the patient developed lesions on the abdomen, which is an unusual location.
PMCID: PMC3350198  PMID: 22606526
13.  Sustained Viral Response and Hematological Adverse Events in Children With Chronic Hepatitis C 
Hepatitis Monthly  2012;12(3):211-212.
PMCID: PMC3339423  PMID: 22550531
Hepatitis C, Chronic; Child; Interfron-alpha
15.  Towards the eradication of HPV infection through universal specific vaccination 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:642.
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is generally recognized to be the direct cause of cervical cancer. The development of effective anti-HPV vaccines, included in the portfolio of recommended vaccinations for any given community, led to the consolidation in many countries of immunization programs to prevent HPV-related cervical cancers. In recent years, increasing evidence in epidemiology and molecular biology have supported the oncogenic role of HPV in the development of other neoplasm including condylomas and penile, anal, vulvar, vaginal, and oro-pharyngeal cancers. Men play a key role in the paradigm of HPV infection: both as patients and as part of the mechanisms of transmission. Data show they are affected almost as often as women. Moreover, no screening procedures for HPV-related disease prevention are applied in men, who fail to undergo routine medical testing by any medical specialist at all. They also do not benefit from government prevention strategies.
A panel of experts convened to focus on scientific, medical, and economic studies, and on the achievements from health organizations’ intervention programs on the matter. One of the goals was to discuss on the critical issues emerging from the ongoing global implementation of HPV vaccination. A second goal was to identify contributions which could overcome the barriers that impede or delay effective vaccination programs whose purpose is to eradicate the HPV infection both in women and men.
The reviewed studies on the natural history of HPV infection and related diseases in women and men, the increasing experience of HPV vaccination in women, the analysis of clinical effectiveness vs economic efficacy of HPV vaccination, are even more supportive of the economic sustainability of vaccination programs both in women and men. Those achievements address increasing and needed attention to the issue of social equity in healthcare for both genders.
PMCID: PMC3751659  PMID: 23845195
HPV infection; Condylomas; Cervical cancer; Genital cancer; Oro-pharyngeal cancer; Anti-HPV vaccines; Universal vaccination; Vaccination programs; Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio
16.  Breakfast: a multidisciplinary approach 
The role of breakfast as an essential part of an healthy diet has been only recently promoted even if breakfast practices were known since the Middle Age. The growing scientific evidences on this topic are extremely sector-based nevertheless breakfast could be regarded from different point of views and from different expertises. This approach, that take into account history, sociology, anthropology, medicine, psychology and pedagogy, is useful to better understand the value of this meal in our culture. The aim of this paper was to analyse breakfast-related issues based on a multidisciplinary approach with input by specialists from different fields of learning.
Breakfast is now recommended as part of a diet because it is associated with healthier macro- and micronutrient intakes, body mass index and lifestyle. Moreover recent studies showed that breakfast improves cognitive function, intuitive perception and academic performance. Research demonstrates the importance of providing breakfast not only to children but in adults and elderly too. Although the important role breakfast plays in maintaining the health, epidemiological data from industrialised countries reveal that many individuals either eat a nutritionally unhealthy breakfast or skip it completely.
The historical, bio-psychological and educational value of breakfast in our culture is extremely important and should be recognized and stressed by the scientific community. Efforts should be done to promote this practice for the individual health and well-being.
PMCID: PMC3726409  PMID: 23842429
Breakfast; Dietary choices; Diet; Multidisciplinary approach; Nutrition
17.  Efficacy and safety of a dual boosted protease inhibitor-based regimen, atazanavir and fosamprenavir/ritonavir, against HIV: experience in a pediatric population 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:179.
Although dual-boosted protease inhibitors regimen is not recommended in children with HIV infection, such a strategy could be useful in subjects with a complex resistance profile. This study was aimed at assessing the long term efficacy and safety of a double-boosted protease inhibitor combination, fosamprenavir (fAVP) and atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r) in a cohort of HIV-infected children and adolescents who had failed with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
Seven vertically infected children and adolescents who had previously failed highly active antiretroviral therapy and were resistant to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, received a dual protease inhibitor (PI) regimen including fAVP plus ATV/r for 42 months. The patients were assessed at baseline, every month for the first 24 weeks of therapy and every 3 months until month 32. Physical examination, CD4+ cell count, HIV-RNA viral load, lipid profile and hepatic function were assessed throughout the follow up.
During the study no serious adverse events were reported. CD4 absolute number increased over-time in all subjects. At baseline the median HIV-RNA was 6562 cp/mL (ranging 1048 -102772 cp/mL) and rapidly decreased below the limit of detection (50 cp/mL) after 2 months of the new treatment and remained undetectable in all cases through the entire study period. At the beginning of the study all cases showed a normal lipid profile. During the study period, 4/7 subjects showed total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein and triglyceride levels >97th cent.le for the males and 94th cent.le for the females. HDL cholesterol showed protective values. Hepatic enzymes remained stable during the entire observation, whereas total bilirubin showed toxicity II/III grade in 6/7 subjects. No change in fat redistribution and insulin resistance was observed.
Dual-boosted protease inhibitor therapy was virologically and immunologically effective and it could be considered as a possible alternative to a rescue regimen in children and adolescents. However, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia need close follow-up and may limit the use of this therapeutic option.
PMCID: PMC3434076  PMID: 22866946

Results 1-17 (17)