Thursday, March 26, 2015

Boosting older adults' vision through training

Boosting older adults' vision through training

"...."Our research indicates that the visual system of older adults maintains a high degree of plasticity and demonstrates that training methods can be used to improve visual function," explains psychological scientist G. John Andersen of the University of California, Riverside who co-authored the study with graduate student Denton DeLoss and colleague Takeo Watanabe of Brown University........The data showed that visual training effectively eliminated the age deficit in contrast sensitivity. At the beginning of the experiment, younger adults outperformed older adults on the task; but the older adults improved with training, showing performance similar to that of their younger peers by the end of the 7 days.
Further analyses confirmed that these improvements stemmed from changes in visual processing in the brain and not changes in the eye......"
Comments: Once it has taken science/medicine decades to catch up with an approach that functional/behavioral optometry has taken since the early 1900's. The brain can be changed for the better at ANY age! Click on the title above for more info. DM

Binocular vision in amblyopia: structure, suppression and plasticity

Binocular vision in amblyopia: structure, suppression and plasticity

The amblyopic visual system was once considered to be structurally monocular. However, it now evident that the capacity for binocular vision is present in many observers with amblyopia. .... new treatments are emerging that directly target suppressive interactions within the visual cortex and, on the basis of initial data, appear to improve both binocular and monocular visual function, even in adults with amblyopia. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of recent studies that have investigated the structure, measurement and treatment of binocular vision in observers with strabismic, anisometropic and mixed amblyopia....

Comments: Click on the title above to read the complete article. DM
The amblyopic visual system was once considered to be structurally monocular.
However, it now evident that the capacity for binocular vision is present in many
observers with amblyopia. This has led to new techniques for quantifying suppres-
sion that have provided insights into the relationship between suppression and
the monocular and binocular visual deficits experienced by amblyopes. Further-
more, new treatments are emerging that directly target suppressive interactions
within the visual cortex and, on the basis of initial data, appear to improve both
binocular and monocular visual function, even in adults with amblyopia. The aim
of this review is to provide an overview of recent studies that have investigated
the structure, measurement and treatment of binocular vision in observers with
strabismic, anisometropic and mixed amblyopia
The amblyopic visual system was once considered to be structurally monocular.
However, it now evident that the capacity for binocular vision is present in many
observers with amblyopia. This has led to new techniques for quantifying suppres-
sion that have provided insights into the relationship between suppression and
the monocular and binocular visual deficits experienced by amblyopes. Further-
more, new treatments are emerging that directly target suppressive interactions
within the visual cortex and, on the basis of initial data, appear to improve both
binocular and monocular visual function, even in adults with amblyopia. The aim
of this review is to provide an overview of recent studies that have investigated
the structure, measurement and treatment of binocular vision in observers with
strabismic, anisometropic and mixed amblyopia

Navigational Memory Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Test for Concussion in Children

Navigational Memory Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Test for Concussion in Children


"...Researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -The Neuro, at McGill University and the MUHC, are working to develop a much needed tool for helping diagnose concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries suffered by thousands of young Canadians ---hockey and football players among them. Post-concussion symptoms can include physical ailments, emotional disturbances and sleep disruption. Objective methods for predicting how severely mild brain trauma can affect a young person's brain are sorely needed. The potential for harmful effects is especially real in the case of children and youths - with the higher threat of repeated injury and cumulative effects of concussions (and links to other serious neurological illnesses) - accurate diagnosis and proper follow-up is essential...." quote from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/291074.php?tw

Comments: The most frequently used test now is the King-Devick, which assesses oculomotor function before and after a concussion. This may be another way an individual can be found to have a concussion as well. Click on the title above for link to article abstract. DM

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Identifying and characterising cerebral visual impairment in children: a review

Identifying and characterising cerebral visual impairment in children: a review


"....Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) comprises visual malfunction due to retro-chiasmal visual and visual association pathway pathology. This can be isolated or accompany anterior visual pathway dysfunction. It is a major cause of low vision in children in the developed and developing world due to increasing survival in paediatric and neonatal care. CVI can present in many combinations and degrees. ...This review describes the features of CVI and describes practical management strategies aimed at helping affected children....."

Comments: If you are interested in this topic, I encourage you to attend the Pediatric Cortical Visual Impairment Society's annual meeting in Omaha, NE. Great speakers. Great topics. Sponsored by the Children's Hospital of Omaha. Click on the title above to read the full article. One of the author's is a fine fellow by the name of Gordon Dutton. Although he probably does not realize this, he as functional as many behavioral optometrists. I would also suggest you read his text: 

Visual Impairment in Children due to Damage to the Brain



You may also wish to check out

Kran BS, Girgis N. Vision impairment and brain damage. In Taub M, Bartuccio M, Maino D. (Eds) Visual Diagnosis and Care of the Patient with Special Needs. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. New York, NY;2012:135-146

Monday, March 23, 2015

The iPod binocular home-based treatment for amblyopia in adults: efficacy and compliance

The iPod binocular home-based treatment for amblyopia in adults: efficacy and compliance



"...The home-based dichoptic iPod approach represents a viable treatment for adults with amblyopia...."

Comments: The rest of the world has finally caught up to functional optometry in knowing that amblyopia is not just a visual acuity problem, but rather a binocular brain problem and should be treated as such!! To read the complete paper click on the title above. DM

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Refractive error, binocular vision and accommodation of children with Down syndrome

Refractive error, binocular vision and accommodation of children with Down syndrome


...The development of the visual and oculomotor systems is substantially different in Down syndrome compared with the general population. Assessment and optometric management of this special population need to be directed accordingly....

Comments: Those with Down Syndrome have many systemic and oculo-visual anomalies. We need to treat these individuals medically and functionally so that their quality of life improves. This article provides basic information on what to expect the next time you encounter a patient with Down Syndrome. Click on the title above to read the full article. DM

Friday, March 20, 2015

Joining the Hashtag Party for Brain Injury Awareness Month

Joining the Hashtag Party for Brain Injury Awareness Month


On behalf of COVD, our colleague, Dr. Rochelle Mozlin, has written an excellent blog about March as Brain Injury Awareness Month that incorporates this PSA which should be widely disseminated.

Click the title above to read more and to view the PSA.

The Effect of Bangerter Filters on Binocular Function in Observers With Amblyopia

The Effect of Bangerter Filters on Binocular Function in Observers With Amblyopia


".....Bangerter filters can immediately reduce suppression and promote binocular
summation for mid/low spatial frequencies in observers with amblyopia...."

Comments: Read the full article by clicking on the title above. DM

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

One of the biggest challenges brain injury survivors face is recovering enough to return to work or school. Brain injuries impact people from all walks and stages of life. Some recover quickly and others take years. Optometric vision therapy can make all the difference.
“Vision problems can interfere with the recovery process. Unfortunately many people who have vision problems resulting from head trauma don’t always realize that part of their symptoms are due to a vision problem. In addition, some people are mistakenly told that nothing can be done to help with their symptoms,” shares Dr. Ida Chung, OD, FCOVD, President of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development , “Our message is that help is possible, something CAN be done. In fact, the sooner vision problems are diagnosed and treated the faster the overall recovery. ”
Read more about brain injury by clicking the title above.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Brain Injury Awareness Month: Canary in a Coal Mine

Brain Injury Awareness Month: Canary in a Coal Mine

If you feel you have visual problems after suffering a brain injury, find an optometrist specializing in vision rehabilitation.  Vision should not be an early warning system.  Your vision should support your recovery.

Read more by clicking on the title above.