Saturday, December 6, 2008

VTOD.org

I've mentioned this before....but it's worth telling you again and again...VTOD.org offers many resources for the optometrist interested in optometric vision therapy. Click on the title to learn more....DM

Cover test simulator

Eye on Techs offers several simulations including the cover test, retinoscopy, pupil assessment, and anatomy. Here's more: Hirschberg, Worth 4 Dot, and oculo-motility.

Most of this is pretty basic....but check it out anyway! DM

Brain Fitness Research

marbles the brain store

Holiday shopping doesn't need to be mind-numbing this year. There is a new store in Chicago with something for brains of all ages.

marblesTM the brain store
55 W. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
312-494-7769

http://www.marblesthebrainstore.com/

Comments: This place looks like a cool place with cool stuff.....I am going to try to visit it and get back to you .... DM

Do individuals with autism process words in context? Evidence from language-mediated eye-movements.

Brock J, Norbury C, Einav S, Nation K.Do individuals with autism process words in context? Evidence from language-mediated eye-movements. Cognition. 2008 Sep;108(3):896-904. Epub 2008 Aug 8.Click here to read

It is widely argued that people with autism have difficulty processing ambiguous linguistic information in context. ...we recorded the eye-movements of 24 adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and 24 language-matched peers as they monitored spoken sentences for words corresponding to objects on a computer display.... Contrary to predictions, the two groups evidenced similar effects of context on eye-movements. Instead, across both groups, the effect of sentence context was reduced in individuals with relatively poor language skills. Implications for the weak central coherence account of autism are discussed.

Exploration of core features of a human face by healthy and autistic adults analyzed by visual scanning.

Hernandez N, Metzger A, Magne R, Bonnet-Brilhault F, Roux S, Barthelemy C, Martineau J. Exploration of core features of a human face by healthy and autistic adults analyzed by visual scanning. Neuropsychologia. 2008 Nov 5; [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by disorders in social interaction and emotional reciprocity which can be explained by impairments of the ability to understand the mental states of others ("theory of mind") and recognition of facial expressions..... The aim of this study was to quantify ocular behaviour in 11 adults with autism and 23 healthy subjects (15-35 years) while exploring neutral faces and faces expressing an emotion using an eye tracking method. .... All healthy subjects significantly began their exploration of a face by looking at the eye in the contralateral visual field to their dominant eye. This strategy seemed to be impaired in patients with autism. To conclude, these results contrast with earlier reports regarding the lack of interest in the eye region in patients with autism, and demonstrate for the first time that perception of the face is dependent on eye dominance.

WebMD on Headaches

MDs often forget about vision related headaches....and yet, I have patients tell me every day about how they develop headaches without their glasses...or when they read more than their eyes can handle .... Vision related headaches are often easy to "fix"....a near add (reading glasses), a correction for astigmatism or other refractive error....or a bit of optometric vision therapy....all can take care of these vision related headaches....got a headache...??? See your developmental/functional/behavioral optometrist today!! DM

The Institute on Disability and Human Development

The Institute on Disability and Human Development (IDHD) at the University of Illinois at Chicago invites you to read our Alert newsletter on Support Services (in PDF, or Word format ). We hope you will find our newsletter to be a good resource. Please pass it on to others who may find the information useful as well.
Please share your opinions about the Alert newsletter in a web survey, following this link:
Feel free to visit our website: www.idhd.org
IDHD at UIC is the federally designated University Center for Excellence, Education, Research and Service (UCE) in Developmental Disabilities for the state of Illinois. Authorized under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (Public Law 106-402), the IDHD is part of a network of sixty-one university-based centers in every state and territory of the United States.
Sincerely,
Vladimir

More info from Janet Hughes....

Good news! Santa joined the Kids Eyes Count Campaign! Read all about at Janet's Journal. Your comments are welcomed and greatly appreciated! http://janetsjournalblog.com/2008/12/03/santa-joins-campaign/

Santa's post also made the front page of Care2 News Network (C2NN) as a popular story for the Health and Wellness category: http://www.care2.com/news/member/988028690/972700?REPOST=5085802b701e0bc057f05ee32bbd9c73

We need your help in raising awareness of this important cause. The "Kids Eyes Count Campaign" by Vision First is a winning action plan.

If possible, please forward this email to your friends. I'd like to personally invite them to join us in our mission and sign-up in this Kids Eyes Count group.

Your help and support is greatly appreciated.

Thank you! Together, we are making a difference in the eyes of a child.
All the best,
Janet

Let's bring children's vision into the 21st century:
Urge Illinois to Accept Vision First Form for Eye Exams:

PAVE-Sanet Seminar

Dear Doctors, Therapists and Students:

Comments: Saw this on the VTOD list and just thought I'd pass it along. I have not been to the seminar....but hear good things about it. I have no $$$ interest in this program. DM

As you know PAVE-Sanet Seminar Series #1 was sold out more than a month ago, with many people put on a waiting list. So we decided to open a second seminar series ands we have been receiving a steady stream of registrations. Seminar Series #2 is now about 2/3 full, and we're hoping to fill it up before the early registration deadline on December 15th.


There has been significant interest in the courses from Optometry students and VT Residents. Since many students and Residents have requested a reduced fee, we have agreed to offer 1/2 price registration to students and Residents and we are pleased that many have already registered for the seminar series.
Attached is the final announcement for the Seminar Series #2 which will begin in February, 2009.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Linda Z. Sanet, COVT
RSANET@CS.COM

Friday, December 5, 2008

New study suggests vision therapy is for real

This story (and the three prior) came from the COVD News Brief for December 5, 2008

More on Convergence Insufficiency in this Daily Herald's news story:

A new National Institutes of Health study is lending credence to vision therapy as a treatment for convergence insufficiency, a vision disorder that may affect one of every eight people across the United States. Convergence insufficiency occurs when the eyes have difficulty looking at objects close up because they drift, causing double vision and other reading problems. ...Jill Buss, the mother of three grade-school children in north Orem, said reading was always an uphill battle for her seven-year-old son. He underwent three eye surgeries in the first years of life to correct congenital problems before they tried vision therapy.

Comments: This story goes on to say that optometric vision therapy is "new" (it is not new...vision therapy has been around at least since the time of Leonardo Da Vinci....but mostly since the 1800 and early 1900's) and that it is controversial....it is NOT conversial in the area of convergence insufficiency. The clinical trials show it is an effective treatment. No ifs. No butts. No maybes. Some of our eyecare colleagues need to get past their biases and outdated beliefs. Optometric vision therapy works. Period. DM

Study backs vision therapy route

A Courier Post story....

....Keypoint:
Convergence insufficiency is a major cause of eyestrain, blurred vision, double vision and headaches when reading. It can interfere with the ability to read, learn and work at close distances. It is a common condition and the study showed vision therapy is very effective. The basic vision screening by a pediatrician or school nurse is not adequate for detection. A person can have 20/20 vision and still be diagnosed with convergence insufficiency.

Testing for eye-convergence insufficiency

...Sometimes stumbling blocks to reading development can't be attributed to a learning disability or concentration issues. A recent government report found that one in 20 students may suffer from a childhood eye-muscle coordination problem called convergence insufficiency, or CI. This disorder may be the reason reading activities are problematic for some children. Children with CI find it difficult to make their eyes focus inward or converge -- which is necessary for reading and other close-up activities....

Comments: See this Scripps News Story about convergence insufficiency. DM

Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial Study Video Interview with Dr. Scheiman

Watch the COVD interview with Dr. Scheiman

Watch this interview and find out what Convergence Insufficiency is and why parents and educators need to know more about it.

Dr. Mitchell Scheiman, FCOVD, completed a major study that was funded by the National Eye Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to determine the most effective treatment for Convergence Insufficiency.

It was a collaborative study with both optometrists and ophthalmologists in 9 sites throughout the U.S., including the Mayo Clinic, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and The Ratner Children's Eye Center.

While there have been hundreds of optometric studies over the years, this is the first scientific study to look at these treatment protocols. The study, Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT), found that approximately 75 percent of those who received in-office therapy by a trained therapist plus at-home treatment reported fewer and less severe symptoms related to reading and other near work after the office-based vision therapy."There are no visible signs of this condition; it can only be detected and diagnosed during a comprehensive eye examination," said Dr. Scheiman. "However, as this study shows, once diagnosed, CI can be successfully treated with office-based vision therapy by a trained therapist along with at-home reinforcement."If you think you or your child has convergence insufficiency, ask your eye doctor's office manager if they provide an in-office vision therapy program. If they do not, find an optometrist that does below.

Locate a Doctor near you for a comprehensive eye exam

Learn more about Convergence Insufficiency

Read the CITT article in Archives of Ophthalmology

No Time Limit on Starting Stroke Rehab

...Stroke patients can be effectively rehabilitated long after the generally accepted three-to-six-month rehabilitation window, researchers said here. Eight weeks of hand-grip exercises, begun more than six months after a stroke, resulted in significantly increased activity in the cortex, the area of the brain that corresponds with hand use, Aria Tzika, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital, told attendees at the Radiological Society of North America meeting. "It is a simple but novel thought," she said, noting that this is the first study to use functional MRI to map the brain in order to track stroke rehabilitation. ...

Comments: I wrote a review paper for the Review of Optometry which will be published in January on neuroplasticity....what I found out was that treatment can be done for our patients AT ANY AGE! Let us treat amblyopes of any age....let us treat those with TBI at any age....and no matter how post trauma event they may be....We can build new neurons and synapes...do it. DM

Child Abuse Is Widely Under-Reported

...Child abuse is more pervasive than records from child-protection services indicate, demonstrating the need to redouble efforts to combat it.... Official rates of substantiated child maltreatment in high-income countries represent less than one-tenth of the actual burden .... Each year, 4% to 16% of children suffer physical abuse and about 10% are neglected or fall victim to emotional abuse ....Between 5% and 10% of girls and 1% to 5% of boys are exposed to penetrative sexual abuse during childhood, although figures that include any form of sexual abuse are much higher. ...By the time they turn 18, up to 30% of girls and 15% of boys have experienced some form of sexual abuse, they found....

Comments: ANY suspected abuse should be reported immediately! No ifs. No buts. You report it. For toll free hotlines click here. DM

Many consequences seen with traumatic brain injury

...Traumatic brain injury may lead to an increased risk of developing symptoms like those of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other disorders .... there is evidence that such injuries at moderate and severe levels may leave a person at higher risk for dementia like that experienced by people with ... Alzheimer's disease..... these injuries at moderate and severe levels can make someone more likely to get symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease, which affects nerve cells in the brain that control muscle movement. ... [they] ... also may be linked to increased risk of seizures, aggressive behavior, depression, and memory and concentration problems.....

Happiness is contagious

.....Happiness is contagious... [researchers have] shown that the more happy people you know, the more likely you are yourself to be happy....And getting connected to happy people improves a person's own happiness...

Comments: I have been accused for being "happy". I must confess...if I have a choice I'd rather be enthusiastically happy....then not! Smile. Pass it along! DM

The Prevalence and Risk Indicators of Uncorrected Refractive Error and Unmet Refractive Need in Latinos: The Los Angeles Latino Eye Study

...The data suggest that the prevalence of uncorrected refractive error and unmet refractive need is high in Latinos of primarily Mexican ancestry. Better education and access to care in older Latinos are likely to decrease the burden of uncorrected refractive error in Latinos. ...

Comments: Refractive care (best given by optometrists) is finally being recognized as an important part of a comprehensive eye examination. The service we give is safe, cost efficienct, and effective. DM

Complimentary Near Pocket Card from Precision Vision®

If you are a COVD member....Precision Vision has a special "thank you" for you. DM

On behalf of everyone at Precision Vision, thank you for visiting our booth during the COVD Palm Springs Meeting. It was a pleasure meeting you. As a thank you for your time, we welcome you to visit our website and receive a complimentary Near Pocket Card of your choice.

Please visit: http://precision-vision.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.display&page_id=35&grp=covd

to select the pocket card of your choice and at your convenience peruse our website.

We are committed to providing you with the highest level of quality and customer satisfaction possible. If for any reason you have questions or comments, we are delighted to hear from you. Call our toll-free number, 800.772.9211, or send us e-mail at info@precision-vision.com. You can expect us to respond to your e-mail within 24 hours.

Sincerely,
Laura E. Rodriguez

Precision Vision

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The National Fragile X Foundation

If you work with children and adults with developmental disabilities, you've examined patients with Fragile X syndrome and may not even have known it. Although it is becoming better known, it is still a developmental disability that needs better exposure in both the lay and professional realms. Click on the title to learn more.

Take a look at these additional organization as well:

FraXA


CDC Fragile X

March of Dimes

Medline Plus

I'll keep you posted on news about Fra X so visit here often! DM

Vision and Learning Organization

The Vision and Learning Organization is for parents and educators...lots of good info supportive of those of us who diagnose and treat functional disorders of the visual system....take a look. DM

ASCO Eye on Education News Letter

If you teach in any of the schools or colleges of Optometry, you want to take a look at ASCO's Eye on Education News Letter...tells you the latest news concerning the organization and all of optometry's academic insitutions... DM

From Epocrates Pulse

Google Flu Trends

This year Google launched a new web tool that aims to display flu outbreak patterns weeks before the CDC reports them. Google.org, the company’s philanthropic arm, found a historical correlation between Google search engine queries for flu-related terms and physician visits for influenza-like symptoms. Because online search trends are captured daily, Google was able to estimate influenza activity a week or two ahead of CDC surveillance reports. Early detection might help focus public health efforts on regions that need it most as well as provide advance warning in the event of a future pandemic. They teamed up with the CDC to publish their results in the journal Nature. Check out Google Flu Trends online, and see how your state is faring this influenza season.

Lea Hyvärinen's Homepage

Lea (of Lea Symbols fame) has a webpage with lots of goodies on it...check it out by clicking on the title above. DM

Dysfunctional Prefrontal Cortex May Preserve Bad Memories

...Patients with stress-related psychiatric disorders sometimes have difficulty suppressing traumatic memories .... The culprit may be a dysfunctional prefrontal cortex, Nivedita Agarwal, M.D., of the University of Udine in Italy, said .... "There is a circuitry that helps us to forget," Dr. Agarwal said. "It's been suggested that the prefrontal cortex … can suppress the hippocampus, which stores memory." ...

Study shows school-based program enables children and adolescents to better manage chronic disease

...A new study has found that a school-based asthma education program conducted in the Oakland, California school district was shown to reduce symptoms and increase the number of days that children who suffered from asthma were able to go to school. ...

Outpatient evaluation of vision and ocular motricity in 123 children with cerebral palsy

...Visual and oculomotor tests are of significant importance in children with CP and provide relevant information for creating a rehabilitation programme aimed at the individual as a whole....

HealthFirst-Vision therapy

Vision therapy may be commonly used for kids, but that doesn't mean it's just for kids. A Flint doctor is helping 73-year-old Marion Bristol's dream come true.


Comments: This is a video that shows individuals of any age can benefit from optometric vision therapy. DM

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Caesarean Babies Linked to Increased Risk of Asthma

...Among 2,917 Dutch children followed from birth through age eight, the odds ratio for developing asthma was 1.79 (95% CI 1.27 to 2.51) for those with a Caesarean delivery compared with vaginal births...

The effects of health status on the utilization of complementary and alternative medicine

...An estimated 34.4 per cent of US adults used at least one of four CAM therapies in the two years prior to the survey. Although CAM use was higher among those who perceived themselves to be in excellent or very good health relative to those in fair or poor health, the difference was not statistically significant after adjustments were made. The results, however, showed that those who lacked access to conventional care due to cost and those who had lower satisfaction with the quality of conventional care were more likely to use CAM. ...

New Cognitive Telerehabilitation Program Uses Virtual Reality

...The Guttmann Institute, the Biomedical Engineering Research Center (CREB) and the Department of Software of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), as well as other science and technology partners, are working on a telerehabilitation program for treating people with cognitive deficits caused by acquired brain damage. A three-dimensional space has been designed to help these people improve their functional capacity in daily life activities.The Guttmann Institute, the Biomedical Engineering Research Center (CREB) and the Department of Software of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), as well as other science and technology partners, are working on a telerehabilitation program for treating people with cognitive deficits caused by acquired brain damage. A three-dimensional space has been designed to help these people improve their functional capacity in daily life activities....

The joint impact on being overweight of self reported behaviours of eating quickly and eating until full: cross sectional survey

...Eating until full and eating quickly are associated with being overweight in Japanese men and women, and these eating behaviours combined may have a substantial impact on being overweight. ... Click on title for full article.

Comments: If you know me you know that I am a short, round Italian guy....who during the holidays could be a Santa-like fellow (I've also been compare to Yoda....but we won't go there!). I do both of the above (eat fast and eat until full). I guess my wife is right when she says to slow down and to leave the table a bit hungry!! (Don't tell her I said that!!) DM

Lots of TV and Web harms kids' health

...Spending a lot of time watching TV, playing video games and surfing the Web makes children more prone to a range of health problems including obesity and smoking...

Comments: Kick 'em outside to play! Give our kids a chance to be bored. Do you remember how creative we got when bored! DM

Old as you want to be: Study finds most seniors feel younger

... The researchers analyzed the responses of 516 men and women age 70 and older who participated in the Berlin Aging Study, tracking how their perceptions about age and their satisfaction with aging changed over a six-year period...."People generally felt quite a bit younger than they actually were, and they also showed relatively high levels of satisfaction with aging over the time period studied," said Jacqui Smith, a psychologist at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR). Smith conducted the study with colleagues Anna Kleinspehn-Ammerlahn and Dana Kotter-Gruehn at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin....

Comment: OK put me down for 35 y/o. That was a very good year! DM

Old as you want to be: Study finds most seniors feel younger

... The researchers analyzed the responses of 516 men and women age 70 and older who participated in the Berlin Aging Study, tracking how their perceptions about age and their satisfaction with aging changed over a six-year period...."People generally felt quite a bit younger than they actually were, and they also showed relatively high levels of satisfaction with aging over the time period studied," said Jacqui Smith, a psychologist at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR). Smith conducted the study with colleagues Anna Kleinspehn-Ammerlahn and Dana Kotter-Gruehn at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin....

Comment: OK put me down for 35 y/o. That was a very good year! DM

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Long-term follow-up of congenital esotropia in a population-based cohort.

Louwagie CR, Diehl NN, Greenberg AE, Mohney BG. Long-term follow-up of congenital esotropia in a population-based cohort. J AAPOS. 2008 Nov 5; [Epub ahead of print]
Click here to read
...
In this population-based study of children with congenital esotropia, a second surgery was necessary in half the patients after 10 years and was more likely in those patients with a larger presenting angle and a younger age at first surgery. Approximately half of the patients were within 8(Delta) of orthotropia and one-third had measurable stereopsis after a mean of 10.9 years of follow-up.
Comments: For most strabismic surgery....more than one is the rule ... not the exception. DM

Aberrant brain activation during gaze processing in boys with fragile X syndrome

Watson C, Hoeft F, Garrett AS, Hall SS, Reiss AL. Aberrant brain activation during gaze processing in boys with fragile X syndrome. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008 Nov;65(11):1315-23.

Click here to read
...Compared with controls, boys with fraX display distinct patterns of brain activation in response to direct eye gaze. These results suggest that aberrant neural processing of direct eye gaze in subjects with fraX may be related to the associated avoidant response....

Quality of Life in Intermittent Exotropia

Multiple individual interviews revealed specific health-related quality-of-life concerns, such as worry, in children with IXT and their parents. We will use the concerns identified to develop condition-specific HRQOL instruments for IXT.

Ophthalmological Abnormalities In Children With Congenital Disorder Of Glycosylation Type I

Ophthalmic findings are frequent in Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG) syndrome involving both the anterior and posterior segment of the eye. The disorder might lead to abnormal development of the lens or the retina, cause diminished vision, altered ocular motility and intraocular pressure. We suggest routine screening and follow-up for ophthalmological anomalies in all children diagnosed with CDG syndrome to provide early treatment and adequate counseling.

Brain Waves May Measure Autism Severity

...The speed that an autistic child's brain processes sounds, as gauged by magnetoencephalography, may characterize the severity of the condition...

Some Congressional Democrats consider taxing employees' healthcare benefits.

From AOA FirstLooks:


The Boston Globe (12/1, Wangsness) reported that "some Congressional Democrats in charge of health reform are talking about" taxing healthcare benefits. While Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) "wanted to end the tax exclusion entirely for employer-sponsored insurance," these Democratic lawmakers would limit employee exclusions, "so that those with higher incomes or more generous health benefits might pay taxes on some portion of the income they use to pay for their health premiums." In doing so, they would also limit government expenditures on "more than $300 billion a year in potential tax revenues...one of the few large pools of cash available to help fund a major health reform package." In fact, Sen. Max Baucus's (D-MT) "health policy paper that many see as an important Democratic blueprint for health reform...raises the possibility of capping tax breaks for health insurance premiums." Still, some unions "are wary of any changes since employers provide insurance to the vast majority of their members," and "business groups are...extremely cautious."


Comments: This is the dumbest idea I've ever heard! Do not place on penny of tax on this. DM

Adult Brain Neurons Can Remodel Connections -

...Overturning a century of prevailing thought, scientists are finding that neurons in the adult brain can remodel their connections. ... found that a type of neuron implicated in autism spectrum disorders remodels itself in a strip of brain tissue only as thick as four sheets of tissue paper at the upper border of cortical layer 2....

Comments: See!? What have I been saying?! We are never too old to learn. Get those neurons building and those synapses...connecting!! DM

The Aging Brain Is Easily Distracted: More Evidence

...Canadian researchers have found more evidence that older adults aren't able to filter out distracting information as well as younger adults. ..In an interesting twist, this latest discovery was made because of - rather than in spite of - the noisy environment that research participants must tolerate when having their brains scanned inside a donut-shaped magnet known as a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. While the powerful technology can yield remarkable computerized images of the brain working to form a new memory, enabling scientists to determine with great precision which brain regions become active and for how long they remain active, the high powered magnet has an inconvenient quirk - it's noisy, especially if you're inside it....

Comments: I'll have you know that my aging brain is doing just....is doing ...what am I doing? DM

'Wiring' In The Brain Influences Personality

...Some people are constantly seeking a new kick; some prefer to stick to tried and tested things. Which group you belong to seems to be connected, inter alia, with the 'wiring' of specific centres of the brain. This was discovered by scientists at the University of Bonn using a new method. Even how much acceptance people seek is apparently also determined by nerve fibres in the brain....

Comments: After writing a paper for publication on neuroplasticity....I can say with little doubt that we can interact with our environment in such a way to alter brain function and structure....and therefore our behavior....learn new things....use "motor" to teach your body new things...and new neurons...new synapses will form! DM

Mom Always Said, "Don't Rub Your Eyes." Good Advice For Eye Conditions, Especially Keratoconus

...Presently keratoconus is treated through eyeglasses, hard contact lenses, and a newer treatment, INTACS plastic rings inserted into the mid layer of the cornea to flatten it, changing the shape and location of the cone. In 15-20% of the cases, cornea transplant surgery is necessary..

Comments: Individuals with Down syndrome often have keratoconus. They also have rampant blepharitits...which causes them to rub their eyes a great deal. I treat the bleph VERY aggressively in this population. If all treated this as a major health problem for those with Down syndrome could be significantly cut the incidence of keratoconus in this population?

How We Identify Letters

...The next time you are reading a book, or even as you read this article, consider the words that you are seeing. How do you recognize these words? Substantial research has shown that while reading, we recognize words by their letters and not by the general shape of the word. However, it was largely unknown how we differentiate one letter from another...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Epilepsy Drug, Pregnancy Raise Autism Risk

...Women who take the epilepsy drug valproate while pregnant may increase their child's risk of autism, a new study shows. ...British researchers looked at 632 children, almost half of whom were exposed to epilepsy drugs during gestation. Nine of the 632 have been diagnosed with autism, and one has shown symptoms of the disorder, Rebecca Bromley, a PhD student and one of the researchers at the University of Liverpool...

Comment: Be careful...one study need not "prove" anything....but the evidence is interesting. DM

Testing for eye-convergence insufficiency

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

This disorder may be the reason reading activities are problematic for some children. Children with CI find it difficult to make their eyes focus inward or converge -- which is necessary for reading and other close-up activities....

Homework Issues May Signal Eye Problems

...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....

Eye Divergence Triples Mental Illness Risk

Children whose eyes are misaligned and point outward are at significantly increased risk of developing mental illness by early adulthood, according to findings of a Mayo Clinic study published this month in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The retrospective study examined the medical records of 407 patients with strabismus and compared them with those of children matched for age and sex but with normal eye alignment. Children with eyes that diverged (exotropia) were three times more likely to develop a psychiatric disorder than were the control subjects, while those with inward deviating eyes (esotropia) showed no increase in the incidence of mental illnesses.


Brian Mohney, M.D., the Mayo Clinic pediatric ophthalmologist who led the study, describes the research findings and the observation that caused the study to be conducted. Click Here for video.

Visual defect in kids may up risk of mental ills

...A study released today suggests that children with "exotropia type" strabismus -- a visual defect in which the eyes are misaligned and turn outward - may be at increased risk for developing mental illness by young adulthood....

Comments: Another good reason to have your children seen by an optometrist who specializes in binocular vision! DM

Physician Gender Affects How Physician Nonverbal Behavior Is Related to Patient Satisfaction

...There was no main effect for patient gender but most coded characteristics showed different relations to patient satisfaction according to physician gender. Analogue patients were most satisfied with female physicians who behaved in line with the female gender role (eg, more gazing, more forward lean, softer voice) while still stressing their professionalism (laboratory coat, medical-looking examination room). For male physicians, satisfaction was high for a broader range of behaviors, partly related to their gender role (eg, louder voice, more distance to patient).... To be satisfied, patients expect female and male physicians to show different patterns of nonverbal behavior. Awareness of these gender-specific expectations should be taken into account in medical training.

Comments: Ahh....let me get this straight....the expectations of us by our patients differs because of gender....so we need to play our gender roles to get better pt response? Interesting. Feminists....pay heed! DM

Instability of Ocular Alignment in Childhood Esotropia

...Ocular alignment instability is common in children with IET, ANAET, and APAET. The impact of this finding on the optimal timing for strabismus surgery in childhood esotropia awaits further study....

Comments: Post surgical alligment of the eyes seems to be quite unstable. When do they look straight? When are they actually straight post-surgically? Are they ever straight with binocular vision? Interesting questions? DM

Traumatic Hyphaema: A report of 472 consecutive cases

...The injuries leading to traumatic hyphaema occur mostly at home and school, and frequently affect children and young adolescents. Over one-third resulted in blindness in the affected eye. The focus should be on prevention of stick-related eye injuries at these locations and improving access to eye health services for patients who sustained eye injuries. ...

Comments: If your child gets hurt in anyway....even a little knock on the head...or poke in the eye....get him/her checked out by you optometrist right away....most times all will be fine....but in those rare instances it is not...well, you could've just saved that child a great deal of pain and visual impairment. DM

My Christmas Present

A shout out to all photograpers out there....I just purchased my Christmas present today. I will soon be the proud owner of a Canon 50D!!

I need all the help I can get when it comes to taking pics....so I hope this helps alot!!

If any of you are shooting a 50D let me know how you like it. If you a considering purchasing a 50D...click on the link above for a review....

You can see some of my pics at http://dmphotoart.blogspot.com/,

http://www.wrightcameraclub.com/Wright_Camera_Club/Image_Gallery/Pages/Dominick_Maino.html ,

and at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmphotoart/

Merry Christmas...

Dominick

Brain Trauma Info from NOVA

Diagnosing Damage
A helmet that gauges the trauma caused by a blow to the head is just one of many possible ways to assess injury.

Ask the Expert
Neurosurgeon Jam Ghajar answers viewer questions about preventing and treating concussions and more severe brain injuries.

Share Your Story
Read the personal stories of viewers who wrote into NOVA about their traumatic brain injury or that of someone they know.

Video Extra
Examine the skull of a person from 5100 B.C. who underwent brain surgery ... twice.