Thursday, December 25, 2008

Caffeine Has Greater Effect On Men, And Starts Only Ten Minutes After Consumption

....A study headed by researchers from the University of Barcelona (UB) shows that caffeine has a greater effect on men than women, and that these effects start just 10 minutes after it is drunk. In addition, contrary to what was previously thought, it has also been shown that decaffeinated coffee also produces an increased state of alertness.....

Comments: I do like my cup of "Joe" in the AM!! DM

Premature Babies Have Altered Sensory Responses In Later Life

...Premature infants who need intensive care or surgery are less sensitive to thermal (hot and cold) sensations later in life.... suggests that pain and injury related to major medical interventions in early development may alter how children respond to painful stimuli much later in life....

Visual Function at 35 and 40 Weeks' Postmenstrual Age in Low-Risk Preterm Infants

...Our findings provide data for visual function at 35 and 40 weeks' postmenstrual age in low-risk preterm infants. The results suggest that early extrauterine experience may accelerate the maturation of aspects of visual function related to ocular stability and tracking but does not seem to affect other aspects that may be more cortically mediated....

Video Games Sharpen Minds

...Paying a strategic video game could help older adults stay mentally fit. A first of its kind study looked at whether interactive video games might help cognitive functions that can decline with age.

During the research, participants played “Rise of Nations”, a video game that rewards nation-building and territorial expansion. The study looked at 40 adults between the ages of 60 and 79. Half of the study participants received over 23 hours of training on the game, while the other half did not receive any training. Researchers assessed the cognitive skills of both groups before, during and after the video game training. They discovered training on the video game did improve performance when it came to executive control functions like the ability to switch between tasks and reasoning skills....

Private prayer as a suitable intervention for hospitalised patients: a critical review of the literature

...The findings indicate that private prayer, when measured by frequency, is usually associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety. Most of the studies that show positive associations between prayer and well being were located in areas that have strong Christian traditions and samples reported a relatively high level of religiosity, church attendance and use of prayer. Church attenders, older people, women, those who are poor, less well educated and have chronic health problems appear to make more frequent use of prayer. Prayer appears to be a coping action that mediates between religious faith and well being and can take different forms. Devotional prayers involving an intimate dialogue with a supportive God appear to be associated with improved optimism, wellbeing and function. In contrast, prayers that involve pleas for help may, in the absence of a pre-existing faith, be associated with increased distress and possibly poorer function....

Comments: Prayer works best seated in the foundation of faith. If you believe it works!! DM

How healthy are chronically ill patients after eight years of homeopathic treatment? - Results from a long term observational study

...A total of 3,709 patients were studied, 73% (2,722 adults, 72.8% female, age at baseline 41.0+/-12.3; 819 children, 48.4% female, age 6.5+/-4.0) contributed data to the 8-year follow-up. The most frequent diagnoses were allergic rhinitis and headache in adults, and atopic dermatitis and multiple recurrent infections in children. Disease severity decreased significantly (p<0.001)>

Comments: Let's see ... allergies, headache, dermatitis were most of the problems....do these tend to improve over time by themselves? I don' t know. DM

New computer software simulates what vision-impaired children can see.

From AOA FirstLook:


On its website, BBC News (12/24) reports that "computer software with the potential to improve the lives of visually-impaired children has been developed by doctors and academics in Glasgow," Scotland. The Sight-Sim program "measures a child's eyes and translates the images on to a screen," so "parents and teachers can...gauge the range of the child's vision and make appropriate changes to the environment around them." Conceived by Professor Gordon Dutton at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, the "software has won a Medical Futures Innovation Award in the ophthalmology category." The software was further "developed by" National Health Service "Greater Glasgow and Clyde clinical scientists, Ruth Hamilton, Michael Bradnam, and Aled Evans, in collaboration with Dr. Paul Siebert, a computing scientist at the University of Glasgow." Professor Dutton explained, "This software...can simply reveal what the child actually sees after the adult has inputted the measurements contained in the letter.

Comments: Maybe. Vision is so much more that visual acuity....if this only shows what the visual acuity is....it will not truly represent what and/or how a child "sees" his or her world. It could a very false sense of what the child sees....it lacks interpretation...DM

Possibility of Topical Antioxidant Treatment of Cataracts: Corneal Penetration of Pyruvate in Humans

...The results demonstrate that topical administration of pyruvate is effective in elevating its concentration in the aqueous humor to a level adequate to offer protection against oxidative stress to the lens and other intraocular tissues. Hence, it should be feasible to carry out clinical trials with this compound aimed at treating diseases such as cataracts and diabetic retinopathy induced by generation of reactive oxygen species and consequent oxidative stress....

Comments: The time for topical treatment of cataracts and diabetic retinopathy may be soon upon us. Let's hope these clinical trials are done soon. The availability of this form of treatment will be a major boon for our patients and optometrists will be able to not only diagnose but treat these disorders for our patients. DM

Development of a ciliary muscle–driven accommodating intraocular lens

...Evaluation of an accommodating IOL that meets the requirements for a spectacle-independent solution to presbyopia showed that the mechanical and optical designs must be further optimized to improve optical quality and functionality...

Comments: So let's see....will our OMD colleagues need to know how to conduct accommodative optometric vision therapy to make these lenses work? DM

Mom's infection raises risk of infant hearing loss

...The risk of hearing loss due to congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is greater when the mother-to-be is infected with the virus in the first three months of pregnancy rather than later in the pregnancy,...

Vision and action: The effect of visual feedback on infants’ exploratory behaviors

...The role of visual feedback during object exploration and manipulation was examined in 8-month-old infants. Infants appeared to maximize the stimulating properties of objects by producing sound when possible, and engaged in more activities in the light compared to the dark....

Comments: Multi-sensory input in the light is better for infant development than when they are in the dark...cool! Keep the lights on....whoa....wasn't there a study that showed a link between a night light and the development of myopia? ...or maybe not . DM

Sex Difference On Spatial Skill Test Linked To Brain Structure

...Men consistently outperform women on spatial tasks, including mental rotation, which is the ability to identify how a 3-D object would appear if rotated in space....a study shows a connection between this sex-linked ability and the structure of the parietal lobe, the brain region that controls this type of skill....

Comments: Take that you woman libbers! We male types know our visual spatial tasks better than you do....nah, nah, nah, nah, nah....!! DM (OK, ok....so you gotta give us something from time to time!)

Flying Champagne Corks Are Bad News For Your Eyes

For most people bringing in the New Year means celebrating with friends and family, champagne toasts and cheer, but if you get hit in the eye with a champagne cork, it may mean a trip to the emergency room to try and save your sight...

Blind Man Navigates Obstacle Maze Unaided

...With a study of a blind man who successfully navigated an obstacle maze unaided, scientists have shown for the first time that it is possible for people who have been left blind after severe brain damage to the visual (striate) cortex to be able to use an ability called "blindsight", where they can detect things in their vicinity without being aware of seeing them....(in Current Biology)

Comments: See "Alesterlund L, Maino D. That the blind may see: A review: Blindsight and its implications for optometrists. J Optom Vis Dev 1999;30(2):86-93 DM

Autism And Schizophrenia Share Common Origin

Schizophrenia and autism probably share a common origin.....both mental diseases have similar physical abnormalities which are formed during the first month of pregnancy.

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish all a very Merry Christmas!
Dominick

Tuesday, December 23, 2008