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Electrochemical cycling behaviour and shape changes of Zn electrodes in mildly acidic aqueous electrolytes containing quaternary ammonium salts
Benedetto Bozzini, Marco Boniardi, Tommaso Caielli, Andrea Casaroli, Elisa Emanuele, Lucia Mancini, Nicola Sodini, Jacopo Strada, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Secondary Zn–based batteries are a valid alternative to Li for stationary storage, but commercial devices are not yet available, chiefly owing to anode shape-change and passivation issues. Mildly acidic aqueous solutions are actively studied, since they seem to limit unstable growth of Zn, with respect to the alkaline ones, customary for primary batteries. Additives can further improve the performance of mildly acidic electrolytes. In this work we focus on the impact of a series of quaternary ammonium salts (TBAB, CTAB, DMDTDAB, BDMPAC, BPPEI, PDADMAC), selected to represent a comprehensive range of molecular functionalities. Electrochemical measurements (cyclic voltammetry, chronopotentiometry and galvanostatic-cycling in split-cells), combined with 2D and 3D imaging techniques (SEM, stereomicroscopy and in situ tomography) were adopted for the assessment Zn behaviour. This multi-technique approach pinpointed TBAB as the single most effective additive for low-current density operation, while at high current densities the additive-free electrolyte allows better cycling performance, coherently with similar results for alkaline electrolytes.
Keywords: battery, electrolyte, electrochemical measurements, quaternary Ammomium salt, X-ray computed microtomography, mobility
Published in DiRROS: 06.07.2023; Views: 149; Downloads: 49
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Impact of motor-cognitive interventions on selected gait and balance outcomes in older adults : ǂa ǂsystematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Kaja Teraž, Luka Šlosar, Armin Paravlić, Eling D. de Bruin, Uroš Marušič, 2022, review article

Abstract: Background: Efficient performance of most daily activities requires intact and simultaneous execution of motor and cognitive tasks. To mitigate age-related functional decline, various combinations of motor and cognitive training have shown promising results. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was to evaluate the efficacy of different types of motor-cognitive training interventions (e.g., sequential and simultaneous) on selected functional outcomes in healthy older adults. Methods: Six online academic databases were used to retrieve eligible RCTs up to April 2021, following PRISMA guidelines and PICO criteria. A random-effects model was used for all meta-analyses conducted on selected functional outcomes: single- and dual-task gait speed, the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG), and Berg Balance Scale (BBS) score. Effect size (ES) was calculated as Hedges' g and interpreted as: trivial: <0.20, small: 0.20–0.60, moderate: 0.61–1.20, large: 1.21–2.00, very large: 2.01–4.00 or extremely large >4.00. Results: From 2,546 retrieved records, 91 RCTs were included for meta-analysis (n = 3,745 participants; 64.7–86.9 years). The motor-cognitive interventions included differed according to the type of training (e.g., sequential, simultaneous with additional cognitive task or exergame training. The results showed that motor-cognitive interventions can improve gait speed under single-task conditions (small ES = 0.34, P = 0.003). The effect of the intervention was moderated by the type of control group (Q = 6.203, P = 0.013): passive (moderate ES = 0.941, P = 0.001) vs. active controls (trivial ES = 0.153, P = 0.180). No significant effect was found for dual-task walking outcomes (P = 0.063). Motor-cognitive intervention had a positive effect on TUG (small ES = 0.42, P < 0.001), where the effect of intervention was moderated by control group [passive (moderate ES = 0.73, P = 0.001) vs. active (small ES = 0.20, P = 0.020)], but not by the type of training (P = 0.064). Finally, BBS scores were positively affected by motor-cognitive interventions (small ES = 0.59, P < 0.001) with however no significant differences between type of control group (P = 0.529) or intervention modality (P = 0.585). Conclusions: This study provides evidence for the effectiveness of various types of motor-cognitive interventions on performance-based measures of functional mobility in healthy older adults. With respect to significant effects, gait speed under single-task condition was improved by motor-cognitive interventions, but the evidence shows that this type of intervention is not necessarily more beneficial than motor training alone. On the other hand, motor-cognitive interventions are better at improving multicomponent tasks of dynamic balance and mobility function, as measured by the TUG. Because of substantial heterogeneity and the current limited availability of different types of interventions, the conclusions should be interpreted with caution.
Keywords: motor-cognitive interventions, dual-task, elderly, mobility, postural control
Published in DiRROS: 21.06.2022; Views: 341; Downloads: 244
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Does cognitive training improve mobility, enhance cognition, and promote neural activation?
Uroš Marušič, Joe Verghese, Jeannette R. Mahoney, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: A close inter-relationship between mobility and cognition is reported in older adults, with improvements in gait performance noticeable after cognitive remediation in frail individuals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of computerized cognitive training (CCT) on mobility in healthy, independently living older adults, and to determine whether CCT is associated with changes in neural activation for mobility-related brain processes. Using a randomized single-blind control design, sixty-three non-demented adults age 60 y and older (mean age = 67 y; 76% female, mean Montreal Cognitive Assessment [MoCA] score = 27) were recruited from a local Senior Activity Center. Participants were randomly assigned to either a 2-month CCT program (8 weeks, 3x/week, 40 min/session) or a wait-list control group. Primary outcome was self-selected gait speed during single- and dual-task walking. Secondary outcome was executive function on Trail Making Test (TMT), Part B. Neural activity was assessed via electroencephalography/event-related potentials (EEG/ERPs) targeting lower-limb performance. Results from a linear mixed effect model, adjusted for baseline MoCA score, age, gender, and study completion revealed that compared to controls, CCT improved gait speed during the dual-task (p = 0.008) but not during the single-task walking condition (p = 0.057). CCT also improved executive function (p = 0.024). Further, shorter foot reaction time responses (p = 0.019) were found with enhanced neural activation over sensorimotor areas, with shorter ERP latencies during the P2 component (p = 0.008) and enhanced motor responses (p = 0.009) also evident in the CCT group after the intervention. Overall, the electrophysiological findings suggest possible neural adaptations that could explain improvements in mobility and executive functions associated with CCT in healthy older adults.
Keywords: visual evoked potentials, motor-related cortical potentials, executive control, cognitive-motor brain networks, healthy aging, sensorimotor integration, functional mobility
Published in DiRROS: 24.05.2022; Views: 390; Downloads: 292
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