Friday, April 11, 2008
Comment: I was just lecturing yesterday on this topic to my students....and I've come to a very similar conclusion. DM
Researchers in Singapore say babies who are breastfed may be less likely to become nearsighted children.
Comment: I know this has little to do with children's vision...but I need to show my wife why drinking a bit of wine from time to time is a good idea...now where did I put that wine bottle openner? DM
Subitizing and Visual Counting in Children with Problems in Acquiring Basic Arithmetic Skills
Burkhart Fischer, Dipl. Phys., Christine Gebhardt, Dipl. Phys., and Klaus Hartnegg, Dipl. Phys.
Center of Neuroscience, Optomotor Laboratory, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Federal Republic of Germany
The ability of recognizing a number of briefly presented items without actually counting is called subitizing (from lat. subito = suddenly). Adult subjects can subitize 3 to 4 items. For greater numbers the subjects begin a counting process relying on the visual memory of the test pattern, which needs increasingly more time as the number of items increases. The development of accuracy and speed of subitizing and visual counting was measured for subjects up to the age of 17 years. Furthermore, this study tests the hypothesis that children with difficulties in acquiring basic arithmetic skills exhibit developmental deficits in subitizing and/or counting. The study does not intend to investigate theories on the nature of dyscalculia even though most test children can be classified as dyscalculic.
Methods: Two-hundred-nineteen control subjects and 156 test subjects with problems in arithmetic skills in the age range of 7 to 17 years were given a visual counting task in which 1 to 9 items were presented for 100 ms. The subjects had to press a digit key on a numerical keyboard to indicate the number of items they had seen. Percentages of correct responses and response times were recorded.
Results: The analysis shows systematic differences between control and test children increasing with age. The percentage of test children performing below the 16-percentile of the age matched controls was estimated to be between 40% and 78% (increasing with age).
Conclusions: We concluded that the deficit in a basic visual capacity may contribute to the problems encountered by children with anomalies in acquiring basic arithmetic skills.
Effects of Daily Practice on Subitizing, Visual Counting,and Basic Arithmetic Skills
Burkhart Fischer, Dipl. Phys., Andrea Köngeter, Dipl. Biol., and Klaus Hartnegg, Dipl. Phys.
Center of Neuroscience, Optomotor Laboratory, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Federal Republic of Germany
Background: The ability of subitizing and counting undergoes a long lasting development until
the age of 17 years. Large proportions of children with problems in acquiring basic arithmetic skills exhibit developmental deficits in the correctness and speed of this special visual capacity. The first study described in this paper tests the possibility that subitizing and visual counting can be improved by daily practice. The second study described in this paper shows that basic arithmetic skill were significantly improved in a trained as compared to an untrained
Methods: Altogether, 74 subjects (age 7 to 13 y) participated in the first study. They were given a special task for daily practice during a period of 21 days. Corresponding to the state of the subject under training the difficulty of the task was adapted. For the second study 21 children (aged 7.5 to 9 y), were recruited from a local school. All children had problems in basic mathematics and failed the test of subitizing. The training group (N=10) was given the
required training, while the waiting group (N=11) had to wait. A standard test of basic mathematics (DEMAT) was used to measure basic arithmetic skills before and after the training.
Results: The analysis of the pre-post training data revealed that subitizing and counting were significantly improved in about 85% of the subjects: they reached the normal range of the control subjects (N=133) of the same age. The second study shows that basic arithmetic skills were significantly improved in a trained as compared to an untrained control group.
Conclusion: Since the result of the second study of this paper shows a transfer from improvements in subitizing to improvements of basic arithmetic skills one may conclude that the basic visual capacity of subitizing and visual number counting contributes to the problem encountered by children with dyscalculia.
In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that I am the editor of Optometry & Vision Development, the official journal of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. DM
Topiramate, an oral sulphamate medication, is primarily licensed for treating epilepsy, though it is increasingly being used for treating migraine 1 . Studies have also established its role in treating cocaine addiction 2 . Topiramate is thought to potentiate the activity of GABA ( -aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitter by blocking the glutamate receptors 3 . It also has a weak carbonic anhydrase inhibitory activity. We describe a case of acute myopia and angle closure glaucoma secondary to topiramate, used for the treatment of migraine.
Comment: Many of my patients take Topomax. It's use is spreading for many disorders and diseases. Always assess refractive error and IOP on these patients. DM
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Bentham notes that:
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Publishing in an open access journal caters to an extensive audience allowing anyone with an interest in your work to read it and there by translate it into increased usage and impact.
All articles are deposited in at least one major international open digital repository (such as PubMed Central).
All articles are indexed by Google and Google Scholar which offers additional massive world wide web exposure.
Journals of interest to optometrists may include: The Open Aging Journal, The Open AIDS Journal, The Open Allergy Journal, The Open Behavioral Science Journal, The Open Neurology Journal, The Open Ophthalmology Journal, The Open Optics Journal, The Open Sports Medicine Journal, and many, many more....
There is one catch.....the author has to pay to see his/her article in print....and the costs range from $600 to $800!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Vertical accommodative vergence is an unusual synkinesis in which vertical vergence is modulated together with accommodation. It results from a supranuclear miswiring of the network normally conveying accommodative convergence. So far, it is unknown whether this condition is congenital or acquired. We identified an otherwise healthy girl who gradually developed vertical accommodative vergence between five to 13 years of age. Change of accommodation by 3 diopters induced a vertical vergence of 10 degrees. This observation proves that the miswiring responsible for vertical accommodative vergence must not necessarily be congenital, but can be acquired. The cause and the mechanism leading to vertical accommodative vergence are yet unknow
Dynamic Fusional Vergence Eye Movements in Congenital Esotropia
pp.9-14 (6) Authors: Yair Morad, Horace Lee, Carol Westall, Stephen P. Kraft, Carole Panton, Ruth Sapir-Pichhadze, Moshe Eizenman doi: 10.2174/1874364100802010009
Purpose: To evaluate whether a selected group of 9 children with history of congenital esotropia is capable of producing vergence eye responses to fusional disparity stimuli.
Methods: Nine children with history of congenital esotropia and 5 age-matched children with normal binocular vision were examined. Using a full-field target, vergence responses to base out 3 prism diopters placed in front of both eyes were recorded.
Results: In five patients, the initial response was a saccade generated by the dominant eye, followed by a disconjugate movement of one or both eyes. In two patients with long standing uncorrected strabismus, the responses were almost purely saccadic, while in two other patients, in whom early surgery resulted in fusional abilities, smooth vergence movements were recorded.
Conclusion: This study adds further evidence that patients with history of congenital esotropia patients are capable of producing vergence eye movements in response to fusional disparity. The responses usually start with a saccade followed by a vergence response. The preference for initial saccadic or vergence response is correlated with sensorial tests of stereopsis and motor fusion and may be related to the size of the suppression scotoma in the deviating eye, the duration of misalignment, or both.
Comment: Our injured soldiers should have a comprehensive assessment of the medical and functional disorders associated with traumatic brain injury. Many times optometric vision therapy can help our injured soldiers improve their quality of life. DM
Comment: Working memory allows us to function appropriately within our visual world. Eye movements are a part of this process....faulty eye movements may contribute to problems in visual information processing... we can improve oculomotor function with optometric vision therapy. DM
Comment: All kids and adults playing sports should have protective eyeware. Save your loved one from serious injury. Ask your optometrist about what is currently available today! DM
The Analysis Of Frontal Lobe Microstructure May Provide Insight Into The Biological Causes Of Autism
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
The Dublin Institute of Technology offers the only Optometry program in the Republic of Ireland. It is a 4-year undergraduate full-time degree program. This program provides the education and training required for Optometrists and is approved by Bord na Radharcmhastóirí (the Opticians Board) . Graduates must also satisfy the Association of Optometrists Ireland as to their clinical competence. The training of optometrists includes a period of at least 6 months of Supervised Optometric Practice with a practising optometrist. At present this takes place at the beginning of the fourth year of the course.
Further Information Eva Doyle, Head of Department of Optometry
DIT Kevin Street, Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 1 402 4751 Fax: +353 1 402 4915
I will have more information about optometry in the Emerald Isle over the next few weeks. My optometric hosts (Ms. Eva Doyle and Mr. John McGann) were most accommodating....and the optometrists, students, and faculty of the Optometry Department most welcoming.
Comment: This is why amblyopia is MORE than just visual acuity reduction. It affects many systems. Optometric vision therapy is designed to address these issues and to remediate motor, accomodative, visual perceptual, and spatial problems associated with amblyopia. DM
Comment: I've had several post-LASIK patients that developed binocular vision problems including strabismus after the refractive surgery. Online programs should not be used without the guidance of an optometrist who specializes in binocular vision. Members of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and the Optometric Extention Program Foundation should probably be consulted before starting any online programs. DM
Comment: I'm surprised that researchers are surprised about this....the Chinese language is very different from what we use in English....different brain pathways may certainly be used depending upon the language. It should be noted that not all "dyslexia" is language based...there are those who are primarily visually based, mixed patterns....and those with learning related vision problems. There are few children with true dyslexia....but many with reading problems. DM
Comments: As far as we know the benefits of vaccines far out weight any risks. Get you kids vaccinated. Protect them, you and all your neighbors. DM
Comments: Little ones need to be "doing" lots of motor activities....not watching TV. DM
Comment: Are we too ready to medicate our kids? Probably. As with all medications always ask you doctor why the medication is being suggested and what are the alternatives. Medicine can help many children....but should not always be the first approach. DM
Monday, April 7, 2008
[This] list pays no [attention] to the ... debate over whether [doctors] are service providers or professionals, whether those flocking to their offices are consumers, patrons or patients.
For $7 a month, consumers can log-in and grade physicians, hospitals, pharmacists, health insurers, and others. They can submit reports on anyone from their primary care physician to the entire staff of a hospital. Angle's list has 600,000 users nationally.Comment: This is "word of mouth" advertising for the internet age. The feedback from this list should be required reading for all doctors....how do your patients "critique" you?
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Other InfantSee videos:
Live Interview on Fox TV,
Infant Eye Examinations
Comment: I agree....I'm a myope who is not only intelligent but also quite out going!!
In the Basics column in the New York Times (4/1, F2), Natalie Angier explained the phenomenon of "change blindness," that is, "the frequent inability of our visual system to detect alterations to something staring us straight in the face." Angier pointed out that the "mechanisms that succeed in seizing our sightline fall into two basic classes: bottom up and top down." Bottom-up stimuli are "something in our visual field that is the optical equivalent of a shout," and "seem to head straight for the brainstem." In comparison, top-down stimuli require "a decision by the viewer that an item, even in the absence of flapping parts or strobe lights, is nonetheless a sight to behold." According to researchers, "the results of change blindness studies and other experiments strongly suggest that the visual system can focus on only one or very few objects at a time, and that anything lying outside a given moment's cone of interest gets short shrift." In other words, it seems that the brain "is a master at filling gaps and making do, of compiling a cohesive portrait of reality based on a flickering view."