Saturday, November 1, 2008

Norway Lecture Special Needs Patients


Today I lectured on Special Populations for more than 8 hrs....not only did I survive....but my Norwegian colleagues seemed to actually enjoy themselves! Tomorrow I lecture again for a couple of hours on binocular vision dysfunction....diagnosis and treatment and will be reviewing the CITT trials. Dr. Mitch Schieman let me borrow his presentation from COVD and I will give a shorter overview of this clinical trial and how it supports optometric vision therapy. DM

Friday, October 31, 2008

Diarrhea Bug Are Now in All 50 States

The nation's epidemic of the nasty superbug Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, will likely get worse before it gets better...Cases of the potentially dangerous diarrhea bug have now been seen in all 50 states, ...Most cases of C. diff occur in people taking antibiotics. Spores enter the body through the mouth, which is the entryway for the gastrointestinal tract. The overgrowth of the C. diff bacteria in the colon, or large intestine, can cause diarrhea, which is often severe and accompanied by intestinal inflammation known as colitis...

Comments: I know...this is the last place you'd expect to see information about diarrhea...but it is a major health issue for us and out patients....wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands! I always wash my hands ini front of the patient before doing an examination....many patients notice this and tell me how much they appreciate it! Dm

Role Of Notch1 In Plasticity

Experience-dependent plasticity is exemplified by shifts in ocular dominance produced by monocular deprivation during the critical period of development. This plasticity depends on structural changes, including growth and loss of neurites and dendritic spines. One might expect, therefore, that molecules that regulate morphological development are also important in experience-dependent plasticity. ...

Comments: Neuroplasticity is a major topic of discussion and research in several disciplines. In optometry its major importance is in amblyopia....but also in the effectiveness of optometric vision therapy in our chronologically enhanced patients...DM

Studying A Brain As It Learns To See

A brain isn't born fully organized. It builds its abilities through experience, making physical connections between neurons and organizing circuits to store and retrieve information in milliseconds for years afterwards...

Comments: This is something many of our OMD colleagues need to know and what optometry has been saying for years...we learn how to see and the environment plays a major role. DM

Memory Function Varies After Damage To Key Area Of The Brain

Scientists .. have discovered dramatic differences in the memory performance of patients with damage to the hippocampus, an area of the human brain key to memory....The hippocampus is part of the medial temporal lobe, known to play a major role in conscious memory. Damage to the medial temporal lobe due to illnesses such as Herpes Simplex Encephalitis, Meningitis and Alzheimer's disease, can cause loss of memories acquired prior to brain damage known as retrograde amnesia - and an inability to acquire new long-term memories known as anterograde amnesia....

Moles' Poor Eyesight Genetically Explained

Due to their underground habitats, moles' eyes have been modified by natural selection in ways very different from those of surface-dwelling animals. New research, published in the open access journal BMC Biology, features a detailed anatomical and genetic examination of the changes that result from living life in the dark. ...

Comments: Even though I see many unusual patients.....I usually do not see too many moles. However, if we can understand how moles have adapted to the dark....perhaps we can understand human vision a bit better as well. DM

Newly Discovered Mechanism Can Explain The Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome

Researchers ... have discovered a mechanism that silences several genes in a chromosome domain. The findings, published in ... Molecular Cell, have implications in understanding the human disorder Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome....

Comments: I've seen 2-3 children with this disorder, and although this research is important to our understanding of this syndrome...Chromosome region 11p15.5 harbors a number of genes involved not only in neoplasms but in the genetic disease Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome as wellwe have a long way to go. DM

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Alternative Medicine And Heavy Metal Poisoning

Many Ayurvedic medicines can contain dangerous quantities of heavy metals, including lead, mercury, thallium and arsenic, according to clinical toxicology specialists in London writing in the International Journal of Environment and Health... It is a basic principle of Ayurveda that practitioners can use anything as a drug. Heavy metals are generally not present as contaminants but practitioners add them intentionally. In Ayurveda a balance of the metals, including lead, copper, gold, iron, mercury, silver, tin, zinc are considered to be essential for normal functioning of the human body and an important component of good health....

Comments: Many of our patients use CAM therapies....we should advise them of the risks associated with some of these alternative approaches...DM

Autism Support Network Launches, Offers Free Online Support Community

http://www.AutismSupportNetwork.com. The online service - rapidly growing already with thousands of members around the world - connects families and individuals touched by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with each other, provides support and insight, and acts as a resource guide for treatments, strategies and therapies...

Comments: If you are taking care of a family with autism....you might want to tell them about this resource. DM

Tennis call 'brain bias' found

...Tennis line judges are more likely to make mistakes when calling balls "out" rather than "in", say researchers. ...Californian scientists found that of 83 incorrect calls, 70 of the errors were wrong "out" calls. This was down to a time lag of a few hundred milliseconds between an image hitting the retina and the viewer processing it, the team said. ...this means a ball which bounces on the line could actually be perceived by the line judge or umpire as slightly further away and called "out" as a result....

Comments: If you do sports vision, you might want your tennis players to know this so they can use it to their advantage....DM

Supermarket lights affect veg quality

Exposure to light in supermarkets reduces the quality of a number of vegetables including cauliflower and broccoli, the results of new research indicates....

Comments: My colleagues who are into syntonics will enjoy reading this. Light as therapy makes sense....we use it for babies with jaundice and depression....why shouldn't it affect vegetables? Should we use it as a part of our OVT prgram? Maybe. We certainly need more research on this. DM

Part-time occlusion therapy for amblyopia in older children

...All grades of part-time occlusion are comparable to full-time occlusion in effectiveness of treatment for mild to moderate amblyopia in children between 7-12 years of age unlike in severe amblyopia, where six hours and full-time occlusion were more effective than two hours occlusion therapy...

Comments: I find that for most amblyopes you need no more than 2 hrs of occlusion. One hr passive....watching TV, playing vido games.....one hr active....lots of hand eye activities, home optomteric vision therapy techniques .....HTS, CAVT, other OVT software. DM

A Randomized Trial of the Effect of Soft Contact Lenses on Myopia Progression in Children

These data provide reassurance to eye care practitioners concerned with the phenomenon of "myopic creep." Soft contact lens wear by children does not cause a clinically relevant increase in axial length, corneal curvature, or myopia relative to spectacle lens wear.

Comment: Basically they are saying CLs do not slow "myopia creep". Multifocal lenses can and so can pirenezine....DM

Leangkollen Hotel


Well, we made it to the Leangkollen Hotel. Arnulf picked us up at the airport and took us to Asker. Sylvia and I are tired...as far as we can tell...so far Norway is much like Chicago in the late fall early winter...a bit cold, a bit snow, cool crisp air! Here's a pic of me at the hotel resting a bit...DM

At Gordon Ramsay's Heathrow




We landed in London after a 7.5 hrs for a 2hr layover before continuing on to Oslo. We decided to have a bite at Gordon Ramsays Plane Food (bad pun...equal to food) at the airport. The water glass had dishwasher residue on it....the eggs I ordered were cold....Gordon better start cussing about this! Flight to Oslo uneventful! DM

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

McCain Supports Dr. Maino's Trip to Norway


I'm sitting at OHare waiting for my flight to London and then Oslo...when lo and behold Sen. McCain drops by to wish me luck as the Keynote Seaker at a conference in Norway! What a great guy! I think I'll vote for him!! I'm typing this on my lap...top (literally) so excuse all typos....I will try to keep all updated about my trip....stay tuned for the straight scoop about our OD colleagues in Norway!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sports Vision Therapy in the News

...To the average person, 20-20 vision is just fine. But for athletes to succeed, their vision must be much sharper. That's why many are turning to sports vision therapy to stay on top of their game...

Best Treatment Determined For Childhood Eye Problem, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Oct. 21, 2008) — Mayo Clinic researchers, as part of a nine-site study, helped discover the best of three currently-used treatments for convergence insufficiency in children. Convergence refers to the natural ability of the eyes to focus and align while viewing objects up close.....Children with convergence insufficiency tend to have blurred or double vision or headaches and corresponding issues in reading and concentrating, which ultimately impact learning. The findings show children improve faster with structured therapy sessions in a doctor's office, with reinforcement eye exercises at home.

Comment: Click on title to read full story

Kids' eye problems often emerge in homework battle

The news media is picking up on the importance of diagnosing and treating CI:

Kids' eye problems often emerge in homework battle
By LAURAN NEERGAARD –

WASHINGTON (AP) — Your 9-year-old's eyes hurt during homework? Your teen's a slow reader plagued with headaches? They may have a common yet often missed vision problem: Eyes that don't turn together properly to read.
As many as one of every 20 students have some degree of what eye doctors call "convergence insufficiency," or CI, where eye muscles must work harder to focus up-close. And those standard vision screenings administered by schools and pediatricians won't catch it — they stress distance vision.


When symptoms such as eye strain, headaches, double vision or reading problems trigger the right diagnosis, doctors prescribe any of a hodgepodge of exercises designed to strengthen eye coordination. Now a major government study finally offers evidence for the best approach: Eye training performed in a doctor's office for 12 weeks....

See complete story by clickin title above.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Heart of St. Bartholomew


At the recent Heart of St. Bartholomew Dinner Dance and Silent Auction, I had a chance to meet with Zoraida Sambolin, Chicago NBC news anchor and reporter. She was the mistress of ceremonies during this event.

See more pictures at my Flickr page.