Thursday, July 3, 2008

Saccadic movements using eye-tracking technology in individuals with autism spectrum disorders: pilot study

OBJECTIVE: To verify differences in the visual scanning strategies between pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) and controls when they are observing social and non-social pictures.
METHOD: PDD group (PDDG) comprised by 10 non-retarded subjects (age from 4 to 41) and age-matched control group (CG). Nine social pictures with human beings (including two pictures of cat mask), and 3 nonsocial pictures of objects were presented for 5 seconds. Saccadic movements and fixation were recorded with equipment EyeGaze® (LC Technologies Inc.).
RESULTS: PDDG (mean=292.73, SE=67.62) presented longer duration of saccadic movements for social pictures compared to CG (mean=136.06, SE=14.01) (p=0.04). The CG showed a higher number of fixations in the picture 7 (a women using a cat mask, with the eyes erased) (CG: mean=3.40; PDDG: mean=1.80; p=0.007).
CONCLUSION: The results suggest differences in strategies that PDD explore human picture. Moreover, these strategies seem not to be affected by the lack of expected part of the face (the eyes).

Stem Cell Therapy for Autism

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of neurodevelopmental conditions whose incidence is reaching epidemic proportions, afflicting approximately 1 in 166 children. Autistic disorder, or autism is the most common form of ASD. Although several neurophysiological alterations have been associated with autism, immune abnormalities and neural hypoperfusion appear to be broadly consistent. These appear to be causative since correlation of altered inflammatory responses, and hypoperfusion with symptology is reported. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are in late phases of clinical development for treatment of graft versus host disease and Crohn's Disease, two conditions of immune dysregulation. Cord blood CD34+ cells are known to be potent angiogenic stimulators, having demonstrated positive effects in not only peripheral ischemia, but also in models of cerebral ischemia. Additionally, anecdotal clinical cases have reported responses in autistic children receiving cord blood CD34+ cells. We propose the combined use of MSC and cord blood CD34+cells may be useful in the treatment of autism.

Inhibition, flexibility, working memory and planning in autism spectrum disorders with and without comorbid ADHD-symptoms

...Our findings replicate previous results reporting impairment of ADHD children in inhibition and working memory tasks and of ASD children in planning and flexibility abilities. The ASD + group showed similarities to the ADHD group with regard to inhibitory but not to working memory deficits. Nevertheless the heterogeneity of these and previous results shows that EF assessment is not useful for differential diagnosis between ADHD and ASD. It might be useful for evaluating strengths and weaknesses in individual children....

Genetic aspects of strabismus

Purpose: To evaluate the genetic aspects of strabismus. Methods: Ophthalmic and orthoptic evaluations were performed prospectively on 110 strabismic probands and 478 relatives. We used 3 different criteria in the diagnosis of strabismus: primary diagnosis (dx1) defined as any manifest horizontal or vertical deviation, a secondary diagnosis (dx2) including esophoria (>7 prism diopters) or exophoria (>9 prism diopters), and a tertiary diagnosis (dx3) including abnormal fusional amplitudes, accommodative convergence/accommodation (AC/A) ratio, and/or stereopsis; monofixation syndrome; 4 prism diopters base out; and/or abnormal Maddox test responses. Analyses were carried out within mating types. Results: Hypotheses of autosomal dominant or recessive inheritance with no sporadics were rejected. Based on the dx1, 25% of the families had more than one individual affected and there was vertical transmission in 13%; adding dx2 there were 36% of the families with more than one affected and 21% had vertical transmission; and adding dx3, there were 73% with more than one affected and 51% with vertical transmission. Conclusions: There is evidence for a pattern consistent with an autosomal dominant form of strabismus in most families.

COMPARISON OF VISUAL ACUITY IN REDUCED LUMINATION AND FACILITY OF OCULAR ACCOMMODATION IN TABLE TENNIS CHAMPIONS AND NON- PLAYERS

A table tennis player should fixate at different distances; track the objects with different speed, and in different visual environment. Their visual skills must be well developed for these capabilities. Therefore, visual acuity in reduced lumination and facility of ocular accommodation those are two criteria for visual skills have been compared in table tennis players and normal non-players. Twenty-nine young table tennis champions and 29 normal matched non-players (did not take part in any racket sports game) were evaluated. Basic visual and eye examinations were done for both of them. Normal results in basic examination were fundamental requirement for all the subjects. +/-2.00 sphere lenses for accommodation facility are used. An electrical current regulator changed the output light intensity of a conventional chart projector (Topcon). Light intensity decreased to 10 cd·m-2 and visual acuity tested. In comparison of visual acuity in reduced lumination and facility of ocular accommodation in table tennis champions and non-players there are significant differences (p <>

Vision therapynext term for oculomotor dysfunctions in acquired brain injury: A retrospective analysis

...Nearly all patients in the current clinic sample exhibited either complete or marked reduction in their oculomotor-based symptoms and improvement in related clinical signs, with maintenance of the symptom reduction and sign improvements at the 2- to 3-month follow-up. These findings show the efficacy of optometric previous termvision therapynext term for a range of oculomotor abnormalities in the primarily adult, mild brain-injured population. Furthermore, it shows considerable residual neural plasticity despite the presence of documented brain injury....

A psychophysical study of human binocular interactions in normal and amblyopic visual systems

...we find that for the group as a whole the amblyopic eye does not benefit when the fellow eye views a dichoptic stimulus, compared to dark occlusion of that eye. In addition, we found considerable inter-individual variation within the amblyopic group. Implications of these findings for techniques used in vision therapynext term are discussed....

Computer Vision Syndrome: A widely spreading but largely unknown epidemic among computer users

...The present paper is intended to introduce behavioral researchers to Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), a widely spreading but largely unknown epidemic among professional and ordinary computer users, and to call for behavioral research programs to help computer users address this visual epidemic. Beginning with three clinical cases, the paper analyzes the classic definition of CVS, discusses the prevalence of CVS, reviews five major symptoms of CVS (i.e. eyestrain, headache,next term blurred vision, dry previous termeyes,next term and neck/back pain), summarizes five types of contributing factors of CVS (i.e. computer screens, computer environments, human previous termeyes,next term computer users, and computer tasks), and presents basic preventive and treatment strategies. Finally, three future research directions for behavioral science research are briefly discussed....

Spectacle Acceptance among Secondary School Students in Rural China: The Xichang Pediatric Refractive Error Study

...Many families in rural China will pay for glasses, though spectacle acceptance was <50%,> with poor vision. Acceptance could be improved by price reduction, education showing that glasses will not harm the eyes, and parent-focused interventions....

Minus-Lens–Stimulated Accommodative Amplitude Decreases Sigmoidally with Age: A Study of Objectively Measured Accommodative Amplitudes from Age 3

...These data indicate that accommodative amplitude decreases in a curvilinear manner from 3 to 40 years. When combined with data from previous studies, a sigmoidal function describes the overall trend throughout life with the biggest decrease occurring between 20 and 50 years....

The correlation between headache and refractive errors

...Compound and mixed types of astigmatism, anisometropia, and miscorrection of refractive error were found more often in patients with headache than in control subjects....

Comment: They did not access binocular vision problems at all!! Shame on them. Well, at least our ophthalmology colleagues finally recognize that vision problems CAN cause headaches. This is a major step forward. DM

Nearly Half of Eye Injuries Occur at Home

...Fireworks-related eye injuries are a big reason why the Fourth of July holds the distinction of being America's most dangerous holiday. But eye injuries in the home occur every day of the year, and most can be avoided, experts say....A new study shows that nearly half of the 2.5 million eye injuries that occur annually in the U.S. happen in and around the home, and 90% of these injuries could be prevented if more people used protective eyewear....

Get smart about what you eat and you might actually improve your intelligence

...In the study, gerbils were given various combinations of three compounds needed for healthy brain membranes: choline, found in eggs; uridine monophosphate (UMP) found in beets; and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found in fish oils. Other gerbils were given none of these to serve as a baseline. Then they were checked for cognitive changes four weeks later. The scientists found that the gerbils given choline with UMP and/or DHA showed cognitive improvements in tasks thought to be relevant to gerbils, such as navigating mazes. After these tests were concluded, the researchers dissected the mouse brains for a biological cause for the improvement. They found biochemical evidence that there was more than the usual amount of brain synapse activity, which was consistent with behaviors indicating higher intelligence....

Effect of Progressive Addition Lenses on Myopia Progression in Japanese Children: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-Masked, Crossover Trial

...The use of PALs slowed myopia progression, although the treatment effect was small, as previously reported in ethnically diverse children in the United States. The significant treatment-by-period interaction suggests that early application of PALs would probably be more beneficial for these age and refraction ranges...

Persistent mydriasis after botulinum toxin injection for congenital esotropia

We report the case of a 3-year-old boy who developed persistent unilateral mydriasis after the injection of botulinum toxin in both medial rectus muscles. The mydriasis was still present at the last documented visit 9 months after the procedure.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Role of Near Work in Myopia: Findings in a Sample of Australian School Children

...Although myopia was not significantly associated with time spent in near work after adjustment for other factors, there were significant independent associations with close reading distance and continuous reading. These associations may indicate that the intensity rather than the total duration of near work is an important factor. ...

Comments: Optometrists and those scientists investigating near work and myopia have noted for decades and association between the two. There is something....and we are not quite sure what...although accommodation seems to play a role (retinal defocus)...that links intesive near work with myopia.... DM

Abnormalities of coherent motion processing in strabismic amblyopia: Visual-evoked potential measurements

...Coherent motion responses of patients with mild to moderate strabismic amblyopia were compared to those of normals using visual-evoked potentials (VEPs). ...

Progressive supranuclear palsy with wall-eyed bilateral internuclear ophthalmoplegia syndrome.

...This is the first reported case of a patient with PSP presenting with WEBINO syndrome. Because bilateral medial longitudinal fasciculus lesions are commonly observed in PSP as clinical and pathological findings, particular attention should be given to WEBINO syndrome in patients with PSP....

Ocular anomalies in premature babies

Modrzejewska M, Kot J, Grzesiak W, Karczewicz D [The appearance of refractive errors and eyeballs position disorders in the group of premature babies treated at the Chair and Clinic of Ophthalmology of the Pomeranian Medical University in the years 1999-2005] .Katedra i Klinika Okulistyki Pomorskiej Akademii Medycznej w Szczecinie al. Powstancow Wlkp. 72, 70-111 Szczecin.

...Hypermetropia and astigmatism could be more often observed in the group of premature babies in whom pathological ocular fundus lesions or a low stage of advancement of retinopathy of prematurity susceptible to self-regression were not recognized. Myopia was more often identified in the group of babies with an active stage of retinopathy of prematurity as well as in those in whom laser treatment was required. Eyeballs position disorders in the form of strabismus and nystagmus were more frequent in the group of babies with an active stage of retinopathy of prematurity in whom diode laser treatment was applied....

Visual Cues May Aid Assessment of Smell, Taste in Kids

...Using the visual cues, children ages five to seven identified smells with about 90% accuracy and tastes with 82% to 89% accuracy, David George Laing, Ph.D., of the University of New South Wales, and colleagues reported in the July issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery...

Pain Often Untreated for Youngest Infants in Intensive Care

...Neonates in intensive care often undergo painful procedures -- and rarely receive analgesia, according to a large observational study. ...

Antipituitary antibodies after traumatic brain injury: is head trauma-induced pituitary dysfunction associated with autoimmunity?

....This study shows for the first time the presence of the APA (antipituitary antibodies) in TBI patients 3 years after head trauma. Moreover, present investigation indicates preliminary evidence that APA may be associated with the development of TBI-induced pituitary dysfunction, thus suggesting that autoimmunity may contribute in the development of TBI-induced hypopituitarism. The presence of the association between APA and TBI-induced hypopituitarism may provide a new point of view in this field and promote further clinical and experimental studies. ...

Effect of pine bark extract (Pycnogenol®) on symptoms of knee osteoarthritis

...Pycnogenol® in patients with mild to moderate OA improves symptoms and is able to spare NSAIDs...

Comments: I always like to look at alternative ways of treating disease and dysfunction. It looks like "pine bark" is something I should look into .... DM

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Nearly half of eye injuries occur at home

...Concern about eye injuries may surface with Fourth of July fireworks, but it's more likely for such injuries to occur at home in the kitchen, garden or garage, an eye doctors' association reports today....

Comment: If your eye is red, painful and/or itchy. If your eye hurts. If your vision is reduced. If anything is weird, strange or unusual with regards to how you see....it's God's way of saying get to an eye doctor IMMEDIATELY! Don't wait. Call your optometrist. See him/her right away. DM

10 Vaccine Myths -- Busted

...Sitting through your baby's immunization-induced meltdown can be as painful for you as it is for her. That is, if the nagging worry that these routine shots could do more harm than good doesn't get to you first. No wonder a recent study from the University of Michigan found that 93 percent of pediatricians had at least one parent who refused a vaccination for their child during the past year. ...Why are vaccines under fire? Some experts say it's due to their success. "It's the natural evolution of a vaccine program," says Paul Offit, M.D., chief of infectious diseases and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "As you eliminate the diseases, people are not as compelled to get vaccines." Adds Kathryn Edwards, M.D., spokesperson for the National Network for Immunization Information, "Many diseases are out of sight and then out of mind. So people don't see the value of vaccines." ...

Kids With Special Needs Face Bumpy Transition To Adult Health Care

...As medical advances help more children with serious illnesses survive into adulthood, more will make the passage from pediatric physicians and payment programs to adult providers and insurance. A new study suggests that this transition might not always be smooth....

Comments: I am seeing more and more adults with developmental disability than ever before....and their access to health care is very poor. Problems with transportation, funding and just finding good doctors to care for these individuals continue to inhibit access to health care. DM

Parenting Style And Baby's Temperament Predict Challenging Behavior In Later Childhood

...The results indicate that both maternal ratings of their infants' temperament and parenting styles during the first year are surprisingly good predictors of maternal ratings of child conduct problems through age 13 years. Less fussy, more predictable infants, as well as those who were more intellectually stimulated by their mothers in their first year of life, were at low risk of later childhood conduct problems. Another observation the researchers made was that early spanking predicted challenging behavior in Non-Hispanic European American families, but not in Hispanic families. ...

New Report Explores The Damaging Effects Of Child Protection Policies

...Titled Licensed to Hug, the report, which will be published by independent think-tank Civitas on 26 June, goes on to suggest that in a climate where many adults feel uneasy about acting on their healthy intuition, they are now wary of interacting with any child other than their own. Consequently, the generations are drifting further apart, as adults suspect each other and children are taught to suspect adults....

Comment: As a pediatric optometrist....and being Italian....giving folks a hug from time to time is essential.....but I am concerned about how this might be interpreted by others. Sad, isn't it!? DM

A Simple Therapy For Brain Injury

...Severe brain injury due to blunt force trauma could be reduced by application of a simple polymer, Polyethylene glycol or PEG, mixed in sterile water and injected into the blood stream - as reported in BioMed Central's Journal of Biological Engineering...

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/112868.php

..."We've developed a very versatile approach to creating synthetic gene delivery vectors," said Geng, a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar and a researcher in the UGA Cancer Center. "Our approach is relatively simple - using simple chemical reactions to create a new class of packaging molecules that wrap up genes on their own - and has the potential to be very useful in real-world, clinical applications." ...

Complementary Medicines Can Help Mild Depression And Premenstrual Syndrome

...St John's wort (hypericum), for example, could help ease mild depression, but it does not help with severe depression. It also probably cannot help with the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) might help relieve PMS. On the other hand, evening primrose oil has not been proven to help. ...

How Ritalin Works In Brain To Boost Cognition, Focus Attention

...Ritalin fine-tunes the functioning of neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) - a brain region involved in attention, decision-making and impulse control - while having few effects outside it. ...

CONCERTA® Now Available For Patients With ADHD Ages 6 To 65 In USA

...Today's approval expands the CONCERTA® indication from children and adolescents into adults with ADHD, and offers these patients a patented once-daily formulation. Using its unique OROS® delivery system, the CONCERTA® formulation delivers an initial dose of medication when the tablet is ingested. Medication is then delivered into the bloodstream at a controlled rate throughout the day. ...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Repeatability of the VMI Supplemental Developmental Test of Visual Perception

I just received my hard copy of Optometry & Vision Development volume 39 #2 in the mail...so watch for it!

Don't forget to read....

Repeatability of the VMI Supplemental Developmental Test of Visual Perception

by

Marjean Taylor Kulp, OD, MS, FAAO and Michael J. Earley, OD, PhD, FAAO

The Ohio State University College of Optometry

ABSTRACTVisual perceptual ability has been found to be related to academic achievement. Therefore, the screening of perceptual skills in children should provide valuable information. However, the time requiredto administer and/or score many visual perceptual tests makes them difficult to use as a screening test. The VMI Supplemental Developmental Test of Visual Perception (VP) test 1) has been shown to berelated to academic performance, 2) has an objective scoring system and 3) can be administered and scored quickly and easily. Therefore, the VP test may have the potential to be used as a stand-alone screeningtest of motor-reduced visual perception. However, its repeatability as a stand-alone screening test has not been evaluated.Method: The Ohio State University institutional review board approved the study protocol, advertisements, and informed consent forms. Informed consent was obtained prior to administering any testing. A Modified Clinical Technique vision screening was administered on a different day prior to the perceptual testing. The VP test was administered to second, fourth and sixth grade children (n=171, mean age=10.08 years) from a middle class, primarily white, elementary school near Columbus, Ohio. Children (n=136, mean age=10.10 years) were then retested within one month. Repeatability analysis included McNemar analyses, repeated measures, and plotting the difference versus the mean of the scores obtained at the initial test and retest.Results: The mean +/- standard deviation VP standard score was +115.5 +/- 14.5. For McNemar analyses, failure was defined as a score below one standard deviation below the mean. Analyses using both sample means and published norms revealed that children were referred similarly on test and retest. The mean difference between test and retest scores was similar to zero. The 95% limits of agreement were found to be -3.74 to 3.99.Conclusion: No consistent learning effect appeared to be present upon retest.

If you can't wait for your hardcopy....don't forget OVD is an open access journal.....Go to http://www.covd.org/ to read all the articles in Optometry & Vision Development volume 39 #2

Dominick

Practice Management Conference...

Practice Managment conference...

Since I know many of these fine folks....I suggest you take a serious look at what is being offered! I have no $$$$ interest in this conference. DM

TO REGISTER FOR UPM V: CLICK HERE

In this, the year of the Olympics, as well as the fifth anniversary of the Ultimate Practice Management Conference, I have attempted to put together the best faculty ever for the 2009 Conference! Thanks to all of you who have supported UPM during its amazing growth over the first four years. I think that you will agree that 2009 will be the best yet!
Below is a description of the program in store for you:

H. Morrow Long Keynote Speaker (Director of the Security Office at Yale University)
Identity Theft and You - Notifications of the disclosure of credit card, bank and social security numbers because of lost laptops, "hacked servers" and lost computer tapes are now a daily occurrence. The speaker will address the very real concerns about what you can do about identity theft.

Dr. Mark WrightHiring and Managing Staff -
Managing staff is extremely important to the day-to-day functioning of a successful practice. This course gives you to tools to do everything from identifying the jobs necessary for the practice to conducting effective employee reviews.

Dr. Graham EricksonHow Should I Handle This? -
The theory and practice of doctor-to-patient communication is presented, emphasizing methods to augment skills in patient management and consultation. Verbal and nonverbal communication issues are discussed. Management approaches for problem patients (i.e., angry, talkative or seductive) and difficult situations (i.e., malingering suspect, psychogenic vision loss, issues with minors, psychological challenges) are explored through observation and participation in simulated patient scenarios.

Dr. David Ziegler
Creating a Culture of Excellence in Your Practice - This course will discuss the role that the eye care practitioner must take in the development of a vision statement, understanding the core principles of the practice that support your vision, the way to build great staff that exemplify your core principles, and the development of your leadership ability in the practice.

Dr. John McGreal
Understanding the New Medicare Guidelines: Part II - This course is part two of two parts and will review the latest CMS changes in E/M coding, eye coding, fee schedules, documentation, and compliance. All Medicare providers must comply with these federal guidelines. Learn how to properly charge for services, evaluate your fee schedule, adequately document the medical record, and reduce risk in an audit. Sample forms and case studies will be used for clinical correlation.

Dr. Scot Morris
Solving the Marketing Mystery: Inside Out! - Dont miss this crash course in dynamic marketing!!!! We will look at how to utilize your staff, boost customer service and how to use what is right in front of you to boost your practice performance. We will also review what really works for external marketing and how to make the most out of every marketing dollar.

Dr. Jim Thimons
The Medical Model For a Successful Private Eye Care Practice - The speaker will describe in detail how he partnered with two ophthalmologists to create a highly successful tertiary care ophthalmic consulting practice. He will review the partnership contract, the system implemented for referrals, staffing logistics, etc.

Magnetic Pulses Zap Migraine Pain

...For patients who get migraine with aura, a hand-held magnetic device about the size and shape of a hairdryer can zap the pain before it starts....

Disabled dolls

...There are 13 distinct physical characteristics of Down syndrome -- like almond-shaped eyes, curving pinkies and a protruding tongue. Keelan the doll has all of them....

Comment: Do we need dolls of kids with Down Syndrome? I don't know. What do you think? DM

Scientists find how neural activity spurs blood flow in the brain

...New research from Harvard University neuroscientists has pinpointed exactly how neural activity boosts blood flow to the brain. The finding has important implications for our understanding of common brain imaging techniques such as fMRI, which uses blood flow in the brain as a proxy for neural activity....

Now Where Was It You Heard About the Autism Epidemic?

From AutismVox blog....

....Several weeks ago I argued that much of the the observed increase in autistic disorder over time can be explained by three phenomenon: (1) Diagnostic criteria have changed over some part of the period during which increases have been observed. The diagnostic criteria for autistic disorder were broadened over time. (2) The average age of diagnosis for autistic disorder became younger. (3) The efficiency of ascertainment (the probability that a true case is identified) has increased with greater awareness of the condition, introduction of new treatments and new resources, advocacy, broadening of diagnostic experience, and changes in diagnostic practices....

Comments: This is a good read. Take a look at it! DM

Angelman Syndrome

...Angelman Syndrome (AS) is a rare neuro-genetic disorder named after an English paediatrician, Dr. Harry Angelman, who first described the syndrome in 1965. The disorder is caused by deletion or disruption of a certain gene or genes located on the lon g arm (q) of chromosome 15. ...

Comment: This is a brief review of Angelman syndrome. Also see Schneider B, Maino D. Angelman syndrome. J Am Optom Assoc 1993;64:502-6. and Libov A, Maino D. Prader-Willi syndrome. J Am Optom Assoc 1994;65:355-59.

Task-Induced Stress and Motivation Decrease Foveation-Period Durations in Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome

...To investigate the effect of visual demand, task-related physiological stress, and motivation on the nystagmus waveform of 19 subjects with infantile nystagmus syndrome (INS). ...

Comment: Let me get this straight.....Our colleagues now note that stress can affect the visual system....way cool! Many of us have been saying this for years! DM

Positive behavioral and electrophysiological changes following neurofeedback training in children with autism

...Two electrophysiological studies tested the hypothesis that operant conditioning of mu rhythms via neurofeedback training can renormalize mu suppression, an index of mirror neuron activity, and improve behavior in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). ...

Autism Vaccination Discussion Continues On

...News of autism and questionable connections to mass child vaccination programs, continue to spark fiery discussions that separate those that feel there is distinct link between vaccination in the development of autism, and those who claim there is no signs to support such accusations. The topic of vaccination and autism is in the news again this weekend as federal health officials reportedly held a meeting today to discuss a case of a nine-year-old girl who became autistic after receiving numerous vaccinations. They are also discussing another case, in which a six-year-old girl from Colorado received a flu vaccine (FluMist) and died after becoming weak, and being hospitalized for surgical intervention....

Oxygen Treatment for Autism

...Autistic children are making huge strides, thanks in part to a hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or H-BOT. This experimental treatment was originally used to cure scuba divers of the bends. Inside the chamber, kids breathe 37% oxygen. The air we breathe is only 22%....