Saturday, July 11, 2009

A great image!

When I saw this image of Susan Barry, PhD and the Marsden Ball, I just had to put it here. When you conduct optometric vision therapy it takes time and determination, but often ends with good result! Check out her book, Fixing My Gaze today!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Postoperative outcomes in children with intermittent exotropia from a population-based cohort.

Ekdawi NS, Nusz KJ, Diehl NN, Mohney BG. Postoperative outcomes in children with intermittent exotropia
from a population-based cohort.
J AAPOS. 2009 Feb;13(1):4-7. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

PURPOSE: To describe the long-term surgical outcomes in a population-based cohort of children with intermittent exotropia. METHODS: The medical records of all children (<19>/=10(Delta) of misalignment after the first surgery was 54% by 5 years, 76% by 10 years, and 86% by 15 years. CONCLUSIONS: In this population-based study of surgery in children with intermittent exotropia, although only 1 in 5 received a second surgery, after a mean follow-up of 8 years, approximately half were successfully aligned and 45% had high-grade stereopsis.
Comments: I think I commented on this once before....but it's worth pointing out again. This paper seems to think a 20% failure rate (those that needed a 2nd surgery) was a good thing. How sad. If other surgeries had such a high failure rate do you think anyone would have them done? Do you think 3rd party payors would pay for them? Sad. DM

Headaches After Brain Injury Common Among Returning Vets

...Soldiers who had mild head trauma while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan are returning to the U.S. with a high prevalence of headache, researchers here said. ...Nearly 98% of soldiers who'd had a concussion, head injury, or blast exposure on duty reported having headaches, ...

Oculomotor Anomalies in Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence for Deficits in Response Preparation and Inhibition

Comments: My colleague, Dr. Barry Tannen sent this interesting abstract to me. This was published in J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, 2009;48(7):749-756. by E. MARK MAHONE, PH.D., STEWART H. MOSTOFSKY, M.D., ADRIAN G. LASKER, M.S.,

ABSTRACT Objective: To examine patterns of executive and oculomotor control in a group of both boys and girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Method: Cross-sectional study of 120 children aged 8 to 12 years, including 60 with ADHD (24 girls) and 60 typically developing controls (29 girls). Oculomotor paradigms included visually guided saccades (VGS), antisaccades, memory-guided saccades, and a go/no-go test, with variables of interest emphasizing response preparation, response inhibition, and working memory. Results: As a group, children with ADHD demonstrated significant deficits in oculomotor response preparation (VGS latency and variability) and response inhibition but not working memory. Girls, but not boys with ADHD, had significantly longer VGS latencies, even after controlling for differences in ADHD symptom severity. The ADHD subtypes did not differ on response preparation or inhibition measures; however, children with the Inattentive subtype were less accurate on the working memory task than those with the Combined subtype. Conclusions: Sex differences in children with ADHD extend beyond symptom presentation to the development of oculomotor control. Saccade latency may represent a specific deficit among girls with ADHD.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Brain Malformations Significantly Associated With Preterm Birth

...New research out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine provides for the first time a solid scientific answer for the long-standing question of whether there is an association between preterm birth and brain malformations.

In a study of more than 1,000 preterm infant autopsies, researchers found that there is a strong association between congenital brain defects and preterm birth, leading investigators to believe that something about the brain malformations may be causing preterm birth and providing a possible study path toward a better understanding of the problem....

Scientists Uncover Patterns Of Genetic Changes In Mental Retardation

Researchers at Radboud University Medical Centre, together with UK Medical Research Council scientists at Oxford University, have uncovered some of the central characteristics of genes underlying mental retardation. The research, which shortens the list of genes whose changes lead to this disorder from thousands to several dozen, is published June 26 in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics.

Pilot Study Confirms That Children With Autism Need To Be Taught In Smaller Groups

...Since the 1970s, there has been much debate surrounding the fact that individuals with autism have difficulty in understanding speech in situations where there is background speech or noise.

...Speaking at the conference, Dr. John J. Foxe, Professor of Neuroscience at CCNY said: "Sensory integration dysfunction has long been speculated to be a core component of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) but there has been precious little hard empirical evidence to support this notion. Viewing a speaker's articulatory movements can greatly improve a listener's ability to understand spoken words, and this is especially the case under noisy environmental conditions....

Treatment of severe amblyopia with weekend atropine: Results from 2 randomized clinical trials

...Weekend atropine can improve visual acuity in children 3 to 12 years of age with severe amblyopia. Improvement may be greater in younger children...

Magnetic brain stimulation improves skill learning

....The use of magnetic pulses to stimulate the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) region of the brain results in an improved ability to learn a skilled motor task. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Neuroscience show that skilled movements can be stored as memories in the PMd and that magnetic stimulation of this area can facilitate this learning process.....

Background. Following practice of skilled movements, changes continue to take place in
the brain that both strengthen and modify memory for motor learning. These changes represent motor memory consolidation a process whereby new memories are transformed from a fragile to a more permanent, robust and stable state. In the present study, the neural correlates of motor memory consolidation were probed using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd). Participants engaged in four days of continuous tracking practice that immediately followed either excitatory 5 HZ, inhibitory 1 HZ or control, sham rTMS. A delayed retention test assessed motor learning of repeated and random sequences of continuous movement; no rTMS was applied at retention. Results. We discovered that 5 HZ excitatory rTMS to PMd stimulated motor memory consolidation as evidenced by off-line learning, whereas only memory stabilization was noted following 1 Hz inhibitory or sham stimulation. Conclusions. Our data support the hypothesis that PMd is important for continuous motor learning, specifically via off-line consolidation of learned motor behaviors.

Evidence-based information about complementary and alternative medicine treatments now available

...More than one-third of Americans use complementary or alternative medicine (CAM). The vast majority of patients use CAM in addition to, rather than instead of, a conventional medical regimen.

With more and more conversations about CAM taking place at the point of care, "The ACP Evidence-Based Guide to Complementary & Alternative Medicine" is a welcome resource for clinicians and patients.

"The book is a comprehensive analysis of CAM treatments that busy clinicians can use to incorporate evidence-based information into point-of-care discussions with patients," said co-editor Katherine Gundling, MD, FACP.

Organized according to medical condition, "The ACP Evidence-Based Guide to Complementary & Alternative Medicine" focuses on the safety and efficacy of a full range of CAM therapies, providing "at-a-glance" answers to the questions clinicians are often asked....

Illinois College of Optometry Faculty Achievements

Comments: As you may know, I am a faculty member at the Illinois College of I do not even pretend not to be biased. I think we have the best faculty anywhere. From time to time Dr. Kent Daum, our Dean let's us know what our faculty are up for all ICO folks out there here's an edited version of that update. Be proud you are an ICO grad! DM

Illinois College of Optometry
Faculty & Program Achievements and Activities

Faculty Achievement. Mr. Dujsik’s retirement sparked comment from the National Libraries of Medicine, Midwest Region: “Jerry Dujsik Retires from Illinois College of Optometry” (

Faculty Achievement. Dr. Block has been named to the World Congress of Optometry Public Health committee.

Program Activity. Ciba Vision has very generously extended their grant to fund the Cornea Contact Lens Residency 2009-10 ($16,500.00)

Program Activity. The 2009 Chicago VisionWalk (June 14, 2009) was a huge success thanks to support from ICO faculty and students, particularly the LEO club (Dr. Block, advisor). The event raised over $225,000 for retinal research. ICO participants included Alicia Nehls, Poonam Patel, Annie Yeh, Priyanka Patel, Doan Huynh, Roxana Colon, Eric Woo, Jessica Hontz, Jamie Samson, Japjeet Gill, Jennifer Winn, Louis Lee, Karina Nikogosian, Lindsay Sicks, Mark Burke and his wife Lisa, Viktoria Milunas, Dr. Ruth Trachimowicz, Dr. Rebecca Zoltoski and Dr. Sandy Block (Leo club advisor). The ICO group raised more than $500 for Foundation Fighting Blindness. Congratulations to the ICO Leo Group for a successful event.

Faculty Achievement. ICO students played crucial roles in the AOA Advocacy Conference prior to Optometry's Meeting in Washington DC, June 23-24, 2009. Student participants included: Steve Hass, Nicole Vasilnek, Sarah Peterson, Laura Gengelbach, Anna Birgin, Bart Higley, Roman Gerber, Tommy Elton, Erik Mothersbaugh, Sarah Rowe, Lindsay Sicks, Kristin Bertelson, Casey Bartz and Mark Burke.

Program Achievement. ICO student Lindsay Sicks finished in the top four of the Varilux Essilor Optometry Super Bowl at the Annual Meeting of the American Optometric Association, Washington, DC, June 24-28, 2009.

Faculty Achievement. Drs. Augsburger, Block, Chaglasian, Colip, Daum, Maino and Goodfellow participated as delegates in the AOA House of Delegates at the Annual Meeting of the American Optometric Association, Washington, DC, June 24-28, 2009.

Faculty Achievement. Dr. Augsburger chaired the Joint Board Certification Committee that was primarily responsible for the successful passage of a board certification proposal at the Annual Meeting of the AOA, June 24-28, 2009. This legislation has the potential to alter the landscape of the profession and may be one of the most significant achievements of the AOA.

Program Achievement. The Eyepod was recognized as one of 15 winners of the second annual PRO AV Spotlight Awards program ( . The Spotlight Awards recognize the best professional audio/video installations designed for corporate, educational, and other non-residential applications.

Program Activity. Dr. Elizabeth Wyles and ICO have partnered with Vistakon to conduct a comprehensive vision screening at The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.

Faculty Achievement. Dr. Steve Beckerman was quoted and pictured in Optometry Times, June 2009, titled, ‘Sports vision services afford patients "good game"’.

Faculty Achievement. Dr. Maino will be lecturing at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Optometry in Orlando, FL: BV-5_Dominick Maino, Neuroplasticity, A Paradigm Sea Change. AAO Lecture, Thursday, 11AM, 11/12/09.

Faculty Achievement. Congratulations to Dr. Maino on his publications: Maino D. Borg Certification: Resistance is Futile. Optom Vis Dev 2009;40(2):70-71; and Maino D. Experiment. Optom Vis Dev 2009;40(1):6-10.

Faculty Achievement. Congratulations to Dr. Allen on her publication: Allen MS. Skew deviation: report of a case spectacles. Opt Vis Dev 2009;40(2):94-99.

Faculty Achievement. At the Annual Meeting of the AOA, ICO Faculty members Dr. Steve Beckerman and Dr. Janis McMahon received the Editor's Commendation Award for the most cited paper published in Optometry, the Journal of the American Optometric Association.

Faculty Achievement. At the Annual Meeting of the AOA, ICO Faculty member Dr Geoffrey Goodfellow was recognized by the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) for his outstanding liaison work with the AOSA.

Faculty Achievement. Congratulations to all: Haro J, Drey E, Sclafani L, Saidel M. Fuchs’ superficial marginal keratitis: A rare clinical case. Optometry (2009) 80:287-288.

Faculty Achievement. Vanderah A, Gruszka M, Scott-Weideman J. “I’m not a type A, I just have asthma!” Corticosteroid and its relationship to ICSC. Optometry (2009) 80:304-305.

Faculty Achievement. Schara J, Adams C, Allison C. Floppy eyelid syndrome in an infant with Down’s syndrome. Optometry (2009) 80:308.

Faculty Achievement. Gruszka M, Vanderah A, Scott-Weideman J. An explosive onset: Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy. Optometry (2009) 80:309-310. Figure 7. Drs. Gruszka and Vanderah at the AOA poster

Faculty Achievement. Congratulations to Dr.s Misko, Scharre, and (soon to be Dr.) Walker. For their publication Misko M, Scharre J, Walker M. Things that go bump in the night: a case of retinitis pigmentosa. Optometry (2009) 80:320-321.

Through Her Vision Work, Neurobiologist Finds Way To Retrain The Adult Brain

In a development that could have vast impact on everything from learning disabilities to soldiers returning from war with traumatic brain injuries, Susan Barry, PhD has debunked the scientific and medical community and proven that the adult brain is considerably more flexible than originally thought.

Illinois College of Optometry Hosts Special Summer Program for Minority Students

CHICAGO - Twenty-four college students from across the country are learning about the profession of optometry during the Illinois College of Optometry’s (ICO) “Focus on Your Future” summer program this week. This week-long program, now in its second year, is designed to introduce underrepresented minority undergrads to the profession of optometry.

“This program provides an opportunity for students to meet other people who have similar backgrounds and share the same desire to get into the profession of optometry,” said Teisha Johnson, director of admissions and marketing for ICO. “As one of the world’s leading urban optometric institutions, ICO is pleased to offer this unique summer experience at no cost to the participating students, with the exception of travel and transportation fees.”

Participants attend sample optometry course lectures, about topics such as neuroanatomy and optics, and ICO student panel discussions. They are given an overview of the ICO admissions process and participate in career and leadership development sessions. They also gain valuable clinical experience by observing in the Illinois Eye Institute and experience ICO student life by staying in ICO’s Residential Complex during the program, which ends Friday, July 10.

This experience introduces students to a growing profession. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of optometrists is projected to increase 7 to 13 percent through 2016, as a result of the vision care needs of a growing and aging population.

“Optometry is a great career possibility for me and this program is a great way to get exposed to the profession,” said Nya Randle-El, a sophomore at Moraine Valley Community College and native of Hickory Hills. “My favorite part of the program so far has been the hands-on learning with the instruments, but I have also enjoyed the lectures.”

The “Focus on Your Future” program is open to all undergraduate underrepresented minority students who are currently in their first, second or third year of college. Interested students are required to participate in an application process. They’re also asked to submit a one-page personal essay describing their motivation to participate in the program and the profession and a letter of support from an academic advisor or faculty member.

ICO would like to see participation in O.D. programs better reflect the population, especially with the growth in underrepresented patient populations. Currently, only 3 percent of all optometry students are African American and only 4.5 percent are Hispanic or Latino, according to the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry. “Focus on Your Future” aims to bridge the discrepancy in minority enrollment in O.D. programs compared to the population.

About the Illinois College of Optometry
The Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) provides excellence in optometric clinical education and is one of the world’s leading urban optometric institutions. Since its founding in 1872 by Dr. Henry Olin, ICO has offered aspiring optometrists the education and experience needed to meet the challenges of a changing health care environment and become leaders who will advocate for patients and the profession alike. Located in Chicago, ICO has a long and distinguished legacy as the oldest continually operating educational facility in the world dedicated solely to the teaching of optometrists. For more information about the Illinois College of Optometry, visit

Jennifer Gaster Sopko
Director of Communications/Public Relations
Illinois College of Optometry

Monday, July 6, 2009

KGW investigation: LensCrafters selling used glasses as new?

...It's the nation's largest optical store chain, and it had a secret.

At least until KGW obtained an internal company memo.

Turns out those expensive new glasses you just purchased might have already been worn by another customer.

Dr. Robert Forbes has just started a new optometry practice in Happy Valley, but for more than a decade, he leased office space from the LensCrafters store inside Clackamas mall. He says he left because of what he calls distasteful new business practices inside LensCrafters....

Comments:This is unacceptable. All patients should go to practices they know and trust. DM