Since studies on gastric motor activity in ageing are scarce and have produced conflicting results, this work aims at assessing a number of variables concerning gastric motility (accommodation to food, slow phasic activity of the proximal stomach, postprandial antral contractility and gastric emptying) using non-invasive scintigraphy in healthy aged people. The results will be compared to those from a control group, comprised by young and middle-aged healthy volunteers. Using the data obtained in both groups, we will attempt to validate and standardize an innovative technique for determining the "Center of Activity" (CA) of the distribution inside the stomach of the ingested meal, a parameter that has been shown to provide information on gastric accommodation.Healthy aged (65 - 80 hears old) and young or middle-aged (20 - 40 yrs) already participating in another study will provide data for the current work. Subjects will undergo a scintigraphic study after the ingestion of a standard liquid meal labeled with 99m Technetium -phytate. Images obtained at scintigraphy will be exported in DICOM format and processed in a MATALAB software; this will also be used for processing "activity versus time" curves so as to provide data for analysis of the relevant variables.
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