Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Autism diagnoses may drop by a third under new guidelines: study

Autism diagnoses may drop by a third under new guidelines: study 

".....New guidelines for defining autism spectrum disorders may reduce the number of diagnoses by almost one-third, according to new research from Columbia University.
A review of relevant literature and data, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, raises questions about the future of children who have developmental delays, but no longer meet criteria for an autism diagnosis...."

Comments: I have always had concerns about the high percentage of "autism" within various populations being reported in the scientific and lay media. If any other disorder had this exponential rise in prevalence, the numbers would be questioned again and again. By manipulating the definition of autism, you control the numbers reported, the interest in the disorder, and the political/scientific/fiscal support given. So what is the incidence/prevalence of autism and why should we be aware of what really determines these numbers? DM

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Special glasses may ease migraine pain

Special glasses may ease migraine pain


"....Clinical trials will begin on the glasses this spring in Utah with a group of about 50 patients.  Several companies already sell tinted lenses for migraine sufferers, but researchers hope to meet the criteria for FDA approval, so they are doing the necessary studies.......

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Evidence-based cognitive rehabilitation after acquired brain injury: A systematic review of content of treatment

Evidence-based cognitive rehabilitation after acquired brain injury: A systematic review of content of treatment

"......We reviewed all randomised trials on cognitive rehabilitation in order to determine the effective elements in terms of patients' and treatment characteristics, treatment goals and outcome. .....Most studies had been conducted on language (n = 25), visuospatial functioning (n = 24), and memory (n = 14). Stroke patients were the commonest subjects (57%; overall mean age = 52.2, SD = 15.0 years). ..... With 95 RCTs there is a large body of evidence to support the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation, and the current study can serve as a database for clinicians and researchers. But most studies have given little information about the actual content of the treatment which makes it difficult to use the studies when making treatment decisions in daily clinical practice. We suggest developing an international checklist to make standardised description of non-pharmacological complex interventions possible...."

Friday, September 26, 2014

Eyejusters Changing The Vision In The Developing World

Eyejusters Changing The Vision In The Developing World


".....Eyejusters has created a new technology for those folks that need glasses to see. The technology they’ve developed is called “SlideLens” technology. This allows the user to change the actual lens within the glass frame. Say you need one strength of reading glasses in the light, and another when it’s not so light. This can be achieved by simply turning a dial....."


Thursday, September 25, 2014

3-D movies leave many feeling sick

3-D movies leave many feeling sick


"......The most common gripes among moviegoers watching 3-D movies were that their eyes felt tired or they had a headache. But nearly 11 percent felt like they wanted to puke.
If you found yourself feeling a little woozy while watching 3-D films like "Avatar" or "Tron," you won't be surprised to hear this. More than half the people who put on the special glasses and caught a showing of a 3-D flick reported the movie made them feel sick to some degree, a new study suggests.
Roughly 55 percent of viewers had at least one physical complaint after the experience, according to research recently published in the journal PLoS ONE...."

Read: 


 by clicking the title above.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cognitively demanding visual motor task can identify those at high risk for Alzheimer's disease

Cognitively demanding visual motor task can identify those at high risk for Alzheimer's disease


"......The study, Visuomotor Impairments in Older Adults at Increased Alzheimer's Disease Risk, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, found that 81.8 per cent of the participants that had a family history of Alzheimer's disease and those with MCI displayed difficulties on the most cognitively demanding visual motor task......."

Comments: Once again visual/cognitive processing, visual motor  and optomotor problems have been shown to affect performance.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

It’s all in the eyes: Heather Nuske on tracking emotional processing in autism

It’s all in the eyes: Heather Nuske on tracking emotional processing in autism


".............Reading and understanding emotion is a skill most people begin to develop during infancy, such that by adulthood they are better equipped to deal with social interactions. However individuals with autism are often found to struggle with processing emotions expressed by others, though familiarity is suggested to help mitigate this. In a recent study in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Heather Nuske, Giacomo Vivanti and Cheryl Dissanayake from La Trobe University, Australia, set about measuring the effect of familiarity on emotion processing in autism. Utilising eye-tracking pupillometry they investigate how autistic children respond to expressions of fear in familiar versus unfamiliar people. Here Nuske explains what their findings suggest about the neurological basis of autism, and how this may aid clinical assessment and management......"

Comments: Interesting! Anyone else out there using this technology? Read full article by clicking here: http://www.jneurodevdisorders.com/content/6/1/14     DM

Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study

Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study 

"...........This study of Autism Spectrum Disorders strengthens the evidence linking neurodevelopmental disorders with gestational pesticide exposures, and particularly, organophosphates and provides novel results of ASD and DD associations with, respectively, pyrethroids and carbamates. ...."

Comments: Autism is much more mystery than fact....this NIH sponsored study helps to gather facts so that we can better diagnose and treat this significant disorder. For more information about the etiology of autism please see:

Maino DM. Viola, SG, Donati R. The Etiology of Autism. Opt Vis Dev 2009:(40)3:150-156.

Viola SG, Maino DM.  Brain anatomy, electrophysiology and visual function/perception inchildren within the autism spectrum disorder. Opt Vis Dev 2009;40(3):157-163. 

Other resources: Optometry & Visual Development: Autism

Click on the title above to download the full article. DM

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why Strabismus Surgery Should Probably Not be Your First Option for Treatment









Richard Bruenech, PhD
During the 2014 International Congress of Behavioral Optometry, Jan Richard Bruenech PhD (Director of the Biomedical Research Unit and professor in ocular anatomy at Buskerud University College in Norway) noted that:

 " since the proprioceptors in the muscle tendons play a role in feedback to the brain of where the eyes are pointing, we may want to do something OTHER than surgery to treat strabismus, because these fibers are right where [the ophthalmic surgeons] make the cut.   Cutting the proprioceptors may hinder the straightening of the eye because the brain does not know where the eye is."

There are many reasons why the patient should not consider eye surgery as the first option for strabismus


(Please see: The Number of Placebo Controlled, Double Blind, Prospective, and 

Randomized Strabismus Surgery Outcome Clinical Trials: None!  and Strabsmus Surgery Outcomes ).

Current and ongoing oculomotor muscle research like that of Dr. Bruenech  suggests even more reasons for using optometric vision therapy before any surgical intervention.


I noted in the above paper that:



It is the standard of care in medicine in many specialty areas to conduct one or more non-surgical interventions prior to determining the actual need for surgery and all of its associated risks. Why is this not the standard of care when it comes to strabismus surgery?

Anytime anyone recommends strabismus surgery to you as the first option when it comes to treating strabismus, ask them why.

For doctors who can help you arrive at informed and perhaps better decisions when it comes to strabismus surgery and other concerns of functional
vision problems diagnosis and treatment, go to The College of Optometrists in Vision Development, and The Optometric Extension Program Foundation.