Friday, November 7, 2008

Premature births 'are increasing'

...Tommy's baby's charity highlights NHS figures showing 8.6% of babies were born early in 2006/7, after remaining around 7% for the previous 15 years. It said the increase equated to an extra 10,554 premature births. Babies born early are at increased risk of dying or developing serious problems. Experts said the rise was partly due to more older - and younger - mothers. ...

Comments: This increase means more work for all of us...both to Dx and treat and eye disease associated with prematurity...but to also diagnose and treat all related functional/developmental vision anomalies as well. DM

Association of Ocular Dominance and Myopia Development: A 2-Year Longitudinal Study

...The findings demonstrated no statistically significant effect of ocular dominance on the development of myopia over a 2-year period. There was no sufficient evidence to support the idea that bias is introduced into myopia intervention clinical trials when myopia progression is evaluated without consideration of potential effects of ocular dominance on refractive development.

Dominick & Einar Optometrists Extra-ordinaire!


(Photo Dr. Dominick Maino with Norwegian Optometrist, Einar Engebresten)


Sylvia and I had many trials and tribulations today (which I will comment on later), but one of the wonderful things we did was visit our Norwegian Optometric Colleague, Einar Engebretsen at his office. How absolutely wonderful it is to see another optometrist in a country other than the USA practicing functional/behavioral optometry....and optometry in general, in such a "state of the art" manner. He had all the latest gizmos and computer programs...instrumentation and more. But he also had the desire to never stop learning...he has promised to attend the COVD meeting in Denver in 2009.
I should also mention that his "joy" in doing optometry was most evident as he worked with his patients either in the exam room or in the therapy room. Einar is an optometric colleague of which we can be very, very proud. He is but one example of the many Norwegian and Danish optometrists, therapist and educators I've met on this trip.

I particularly want to mention Norwegian optometrist, Arnulf Mykleburst...who invited me to be the keynote speaker at this year's annual conference. He is a great leader in Scandinavian optometry and has an incredible desire to expand the limits of the profession within these countries of the north. I applaud and support all of his efforts and the efforts of our Scandinavian colleagues.

If you ever have an opportunity to visit Norway....do it! What a wonderful people....a wonderful country. DM

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

In Bergen...leaving for Balestrand


Our Norway adventure continues.....we spent our AM in Bergen taking the cable car to the top of the mountain for a beautiful view of the city....we then left for Balestrand via fast catamaran boat...it was night time when we left so....we didn't see much...the trip was uneventful...this AM we walked around Balestand ... went into a wooden church built in 1898...and bought some art from a local artist...then we took a public bus ride to the Freitham Hotel where we will leave on the flam Railway for Oslo... DM

Pediatric GlC

From AOA First Look:

Researchers examine how copy number variations may play role in pediatric glaucoma.
Medical News Today (11/4) reports that "children with some types of glaucoma end up with missing or extra pieces of DNA" called "copy number variations," according to a study published in Human Molecular Genetics. Researchers from Canada's University of Alberta took "genetic samples from patients living with pediatric glaucoma," and then closely examined "the locations where extra or missing pieces of DNA begin and end." The authors concluded, "Our findings broaden the mechanisms known to cause copy number variations, which improves our understanding not only of pediatric glaucoma, but also of the growing number of genetic diseases linked to copy number variations, including heart disease and psoriasis."

Rainfall autism theory suggested

...Increased rainfall, or something linked to it, may be connected to the development of autism....

Comments: WHAT!!?? I sneezed yesterday. Yesterday someone in the world was Dx with autism....therefore my sneezes cause autism!!? Ah...no! DM

ADHD Affects Movement in Boys

...Researchers tested movement capabilities of 132 boys and girls with ADHD and 146 without the disorder. The children were asked to perform a series of movement tasks including tapping their toes, walking on their heels and maintaining balance. Results of the study revealed girls with ADHD and the control group without ADHD were twice as likely to be able to control their movements for their age compared to boys with ADHD....

Interventions for unilateral refractive amblyopia

...Patching treatment for amblyopia (lazy eye) caused by unequal optical errors in either eye when the (usually) worst eye can fail to develop optimum vision. Amblyopia is a condition where the vision of one (or more rarely both) eyes is reduced because the part of the brain responsible for vision does not develop properly. Amblyopia happens because the brain receives a weaker image from the eye with the greater optical error and prefers the eye with a clearer image. Children who have amblyopia because of optical errors are often given a patch to cover the good eye in addition to their spectacle correction to improve their vision. This review found that for some children with this type of amblyopia a period of spectacles wear can restore normal vision. At present it is not possible to tell at the start of treatment which children will just need spectacles and which ones will need a patch as well. For those children who still have reduced vision even after they have been wearing their spectacles for a while there is evidence that patching therapy further improves their vision. The amount of patching that will be needed for an individual child can not yet be predicted. This is because the effects of factors such as age are not fully understood. These findings are based on the results of six high quality trials....

Comments: I know that this review ONLY looked at Clinical Trials....but it is about time our heads were removed from the Clinical Trial dark space and acknowledge that there are several good (although not clinical trial level papers) that support active therapy for amblyopia....and as far as the role age goes....at the moment any clinician will tell you the only time you cannot treat amblyopia is when the patient is dead!!!

Did I ever tell you about the clinical trial concerning the saftey and efficacy of parachutes......they couldn'tdo one ....something about not being able to get anyone to volunteer to be in the control group!! DM

Effect of Amblyopia on Self-Esteem in Children.

...Self-perception of social acceptance was lower in children treated for amblyopia compared with age-matched controls. A reduction in these scores was associated with a history of patching treatment but not with a history of strabismus or spectacle wear....

Monday, November 3, 2008

Augustin Hotel, Bergen, Norway


This is Sylvia (the incredible spouse of that intrepret explorer, international lecturer, and soon to be statesman of reknown [well maybe not that!] Dominick Maino...standing infront of the Augustin Hotel. Today we saw the home of Evard Grieg, King Haakon's Hall, Rosenkrantz Tower and many other areas of Bergen including the Hanseatic buildings. Later we ate dinner at Dickens in the shopping area. Tomorrow we go up the Funicular (cable car) up Mount Floyen. Later we take a fast boat to our next destination....DM

When Homework is a Headache — Literally

...Children who develop headaches while reading or who struggle to complete their homework may be sufferring from an under-diagnosed vision problem. As many as one of every 20 students have some degree of “CI” or “convergence insufficiency,” the AP reports. Standard vision screenings administered by schools won’t catch it, since such exams stress distance vision...

CI News

...Sometimes stumbling blocks to reading development can't be attributed to a learning disability or concentration issues. A recent government report found one in 20 students may suffer from a childhood eye-muscle coordination problem called convergence insufficiency, or CI. ...

Faith and Science in the Autism-Vaccine Controversy

"Death Threats, Hate Mail: Autism Debate Turns Ugly" is the headline on the ABC News website. For members of the autism community, this is not really news - but for ABC readers, the idea that autism advocates are literally threatening violence toward one another must be a bit shocking.....

Comments: Science should rule....not what you believe to be true but what is true should determine your actions. Vaccines do not cause autism as far as we know....their does appear to be a genetic link however. Have your children vaccinated...the medical risk is very small. DM

Mental Illness in Young Adults Who Had Strabismus as Children

...Children diagnosed as having strabismus in this population, especially those with exotropia, were at increased risk for developing mental illness by early adulthood. Patients with intermittent exotropia seemed to be particularly prone to developing significant psychiatric diseases by the third decade of life.

Comments: This is just another example of why children should have eye exams early and often so that these problems can be corrected appropriately. DM

Use of full hypermetropic correction in esotropia supported

When the prescription was reduced by 1 D, the median deviation was 27.5 prism diopters for near vision and 25 prism diopters for distance With full correction, the median angle of deviation was 4 prism diopters for near vision and 2 prism diopters for distance.

Comments: It is best if you can give the full correction....however, you also must make sure the patient can adjust to the Rx quickly....sometimes you should cut plus so the pt can wear the Rx...but put the full corrrection on as soon as possible. DM

Intellectual disability co-occurring with schizophrenia and other psychiatric illness: population-based study

...Overall, 31.7% of people with an intellectual disability had a psychiatric disorder; 1.8% of people with a psychiatric illness had an intellectual disability. Schizophrenia, but not bipolar disorder and unipolar depression, was greatly over-represented among individuals with a dual diagnosis: depending on birth cohort, 3.7–5.2% of those with intellectual disability had co-occurring schizophrenia. Pervasive developmental disorder was identified through the Intellectual Disability Register and is therefore limited to individuals with intellectual impairment. None the less, pervasive developmental disorder was more common among people with a dual diagnosis than among individuals with intellectual disability alone. Down syndrome was much less prevalent among individuals with a dual diagnosis despite being the most predominant cause of intellectual disability. Individuals with a dual diagnosis had higher mortality rates and were more disabled than those with psychiatric illness alone. ..

Comment: Since I work with this population, this topic is near and dear to my heart. Most professionals do not realize how much MI is associated with those with IA. Watch for a paper on DD and symptoms/complaints/pain from Donati/Maino some time soon. DM

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Photos from Norway


I'm currently in Norway....giving some lectures and seeing the country. Click on the title above to see some of the pics! DM

The Drosophila FMRP and LARK RNA-Binding Proteins Function Together to Regulate Eye Development and Circadian Behavior

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of hereditary mental retardation. FXS patients have a deficit for the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) that results in abnormal neuronal dendritic spine morphology and behavioral phenotypes, including sleep abnormalities. In a Drosophila model of FXS, flies lacking the dfmr1 protein (dFMRP) have abnormal circadian rhythms apparently as a result of altered clock output. In this study, we present biochemical and genetic evidence that dFMRP interacts with a known clock output component, the LARK RNA-binding protein. Our studies demonstrate physical interactions between dFMRP and LARK, that the two proteins are present in a complex in vivo, and that LARK promotes the stability of dFMRP. Furthermore, we show genetic interactions between the corresponding genes indicating that dFMRP and LARK function together to regulate eye development and circadian behavior.

Refractive errors and strabismus in Asian patients with Down syndrome.

In Asian patients with Down syndrome, esotropia was more common than exotropia and hyperopia was more common than myopia. The prevalence of exotropia and astigmatism was much higher in this study than has been previously reported.

Comments: They've found what most of us already have noted from past research. It seems to be consistent across the countries.

Just a reminder...if you type in Norway in the search area above you will see some pics from my trip/lecture. DM