Thursday, February 5, 2009

Concussions Appear to Have Lifelong Impact on Brain

In the face of professional hockey and football players retiring after repeated concussions, researchers here described apparently lone events that led to impaired cognitive and motor function later in life. Athletes who had at least one concussion playing college-level sports had greater declines in attention and memory and a slowing of some movements more than 30 years later compared with those who never had a concussion, found Louis De Beaumont, a graduate student at the University of Montreal, and colleagues

All Work And No Play May Impede Learning, Health And Social Development

School children who receive more recess behave better and are likely to learn more, according to a large study of third-graders conducted by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. The study, published in Pediatrics, suggests that a daily break of 15 minutes or more in the school day may play a role in improving learning, social development, and health in elementary school children. The study's principal investigator is Romina M. Barros, M.D., assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Einstein

Feeling Your Words: Hearing With Your Face

The movement of facial skin and muscles around the mouth plays an important role not only in the way the sounds of speech are made, but also in the way they are heard according to a study by scientists at Haskins Laboratories, a Yale-affiliated research laboratory. "How your own face is moving makes a difference in how you 'hear' what you hear," said first author Takayuki Ito, a senior scientist at Haskins.

Eye Ultrasound May Predict Intracranial Pressure in Children

Intracranial pressure in children can potentially be assessed noninvasively by measuring the optic nerve sheath diameter with handheld ultrasound, according to data from a small study reported here. ....Intracranial pressure correlated directly with optic nerve sheath diameter in all planes and with optic nerve sheath area

Do visual impairments affect risk of motor problems in preterm and term low birth weight adolescents?

...Visual impairments influence motor problems in very low birth weight adolescents, whereas motor problems in SGA adolescents seem to be unaffected by visual impairments....

Comments: Click on title for full article. DM

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Scientist creates inexpensive, self-adjusting eyeglasses

From AOA First Look:

The Chicago Tribune (2/3, Goering) reports that "eyeglasses using [a] simple, self-adjusting technology are now poised to revolutionize the way the world's poor -- and quite possibly the rest of us -- see, potentially coming to the aid of billions who struggle to squint enough to farm, study, drive or hold down any job." Joshua Silver, an Oxford University atomic physicist, "was fiddling around one day with a cheap water-filled lens he'd built...when he noticed" that "by adding or removing water he could not only change the power of the lens...but he also could use it to very accurately correct his own nearsightedness when he looked through it." Silver "hopes to find funding to distribute a billion pairs to people around the world too poor to afford glasses or living in places like sub-Saharan Africa, where the ratio of opticians to residents is purportedly one to one million." Thus far, he "has...turned out about 30,000 pairs of the cheap glasses."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stimulant drugs cause cocaine-like brain changes

...A common stimulant drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can cause brain changes in mice similar to those seen in cocaine addiction..... healthy mice exposed to daily injections of the Novartis drug Ritalin, or methylphenidate, developed changes in the reward centers of their brains, and some of these changes resembled those in mice given cocaine. ..."Methylphenidate, which is thought to be a fairly innocuous compound, can have structural and biochemical effects in some regions of the brain that can be even greater than those of cocaine," Dr. Yong Kim of Rockefeller University in New York, whose study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said in a statement...

A Survey of Ophthalmology Residents’ Attitudes Toward Pediatric Ophthalmology

...Although most residents have an overall positive view about pediatric ophthalmology, few indicate interest in pursuing a fellowship. Specifically, most residents reported having a clinical role model in pediatric ophthalmology, perceiving a good job market, and liking strabismus surgery, whereas few residents had interest in further pediatric training and many found pediatric patients difficult to examine and income levels low....

Comments: This is probably true of optometry as well....all though I do not think fiscal issues are the main reason....children can be tough to examine...but I think this trend may be changing. This year we will interview 18 potential residents for only 2 Pediatric/BV Residencies at ICO, up from 12 last year....and each year it appears to be increasing.

I'm curious if it is because more and more women are in optometry these days? What do you think? DM

Prism alleviates symptoms in CI

My colleagues from the Illinois College of Optomtry noted that progressive addition glasses with BI-prism were found to be effective in alleviating symptoms of presbyopes with symptomatic CI.


Teitelbaum B, Pang Y, Krall J.Effectiveness of Base in Prism for Presbyopes with Convergence Insufficiency Optom Vis Sci. 2009 Jan 19.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Effects of concussion last decades

...A single concussion early in an athlete's career can take a toll on memory, attention and reaction time 30 years later, Canadian researchers said on Tuesday.

Compared with athletes with no history of concussion, those who had sustained a concussion had memory and attention problems and had slower reaction times, researchers reported in the journal Brain...

Comments: This means associated TBI vision problems may also be present. DM

New Super Bowl 3D ads put your eyes to the test

Super Bowl XLIII commercials are going 3D. Well at least two of them are. Pepsi and Dreamworks Animations are debuting 3D ads during the game. Dr. Marusich said watching these ads can be fun and a time for screening.

"People whose brains can listen to both eyes at the same time and compare that information, will see the image float out from the screen towards them. And if they cover one eye it'll go flat," said Marusich

Drug combinations key in treating neurodegenerative diseases

Combining the benefits of multiple drugs in a single pill may hold the key to treating neurodegenerative diseases, Medical College of Georgia researchers say

Dr. James Singletary, NFL football player and a gentle optometrist.

A former Indianapolis Colts linebacker who is now an optometrist! Read this story on Next magazine.


Italian Month

I don't usually write about Italians here...but since I am Italian and since my photos are being featured, I thought I would....

The Palatine Public Library has made February an all Italian all the time month. The works of the Artists of Casa Italia (painting, sculpture, and photography) are featured. They will also have Italian authors, chefs and more showing what being Italian is all about. A good friend of mine (Dominic Canderolo, PhD) will be giving a presentation about the video he helped to create called, And They Came to Chicago with a special segment on the various Italian/American neighborhoods in the Chicago-land area on Sat. Feb 28th. This is all free. Go to for more information. Interested in all things Italian? Go to .