Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Artists of Casa Italia at the Addison Town Hall Rotunda

The Artists of Casa Italia exhibition at the Addison Town Hall Rotunda 2009. Several locally, nationally and internationally known Italian American Artists exhibited their works.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Calling All ICO Alumni

The Illinois College of Optometry is now offering an exciting new service! ICO alumni e-mail addresses are available upon request to ICO graduates and graduates of affiliate colleges (NICO, CCO, and MCO). ...The format for all alumni e-mail addresses is Messages from your new alumni account will automatically be forwarded to your existing (yahoo, hotmail or gmail) account.

Meetings You Should Attend: COVD October 13-17, 2009

Denver Marriott Tech Center Denver, Colorado

This year's COVD program in Denver will feature:

Dennis Levi, OD, PhD Neural Plasticity in Amblyopia

James E. Sheedy, OD, PhD Vision and Speech: Foundations for Mind and Behavior well as...

Therapy with a Vestibular Twist
Behavior, and Traumatic Brain Injury
Transformation... The Power of Visualization
and Autism - Visual Evaluations and Therapeutic Options: Lenses, Prisms, and Vision Therapy

..and even more....

Applied Concepts & VT Courses
Visual Information Acquisition
Information Processing
Fellowship Preparation
Therapuetic Lens Prescribing
Vision Therapy 201
COVD/OEP SymposiumAdditional continuing education for Vision Therapists
Clinical Discussion Forum

Be there!

Meetings You Should Go To: AAO November 11-14, 2009

Ok, ok....I admit it! I'm very biased because I want you to attend at least 2 of them is by me...

BV-05 Neuroplasticity - A Paradigm Sea Change
Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAOA sea change is a change of such magnitude that it alters the very nature of the subject. Our understanding of neuroplasticity has undergone such a sea change paradigm. This course reviews the current research on neuroplasticity and specifically how it affects the diagnosis, prognosis and management of our patients.

1 hourNovember 12, 11:00 AM

...but the other one is..

2009 Monroe J. Hirsch Memorial Research SymposiumTeaching the Brain New Tricks
Thursday, November 12, 8:00-10:00 AM
There remains a great deal we do not yet understand about the development of the visual system, particularly its ability to adapt to devastating changes in visual and auditory input. The 2009 Monroe J. Hirsch Research Symposium -- titled "Teaching the Brain New Tricks" -- focuses on the cortex and how it responds to various forms of deprivation, including deafness and macular degeneration, particularly during adulthood. It is known that the visual system responds in interesting and sometimes unexpected ways, and the practicing clinician often deals with patients who are experiencing these changes. The symposium examines issues of cortical reorganization, recovery of function, blindsight, plasticity, effects of training on visual function, and rehabilitative technologies and strategies.

Hopefully between these 2 presentation....optometry can catch up to everyone else in our understand of neuroplasticity and how it applies to our patients... I'm going to be at both presentations .... won't you? DM

Blood Test Can Detect Brain Damage In Amateur Boxers

...The results of the study ...published in the current issue of the scientific journal Brain Injury...The findings constitute further evidence that repeated blows to the head may damage the brain. [Duh!]...
'The blows seem to lead to a deterioration of nerve cells that lasts for a relatively long time. It is important that this is made known to participants in sports that involve kicks and blows to the head and to parents who let their children participate', ...

go to for abstract

U.S. life expectancy hits a new high of 78

...U.S. life expectancy is the highest it has ever been at 77.9 years, according to government statistics released on Wednesday.
Both men and women gained, but women still live on average more than five years longer than men, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported....

Comments: It's good to know that I have a few years left! DM

Are we entering a post-antibiotic era?

Are we entering a post-antibiotic era?
...About 50% of pneumococci strains express some levels of penicillin resistance, 50% of hospital-associated S. aureus strains are methicillin-resistant and about 30% of enterococci are vancomycin resistant,...

Comments: I know that trying to get an antibiotic out of my family doc is harder and harder these days. Is this a good thing? DM

Melatonin Aids Sleep in Children with Autism and Fragile X

...Melatonin can improve the sleeping patterns of children with autism, fragile X syndrome, or both, .... In a small, randomized cross-over study, the medication helped children go to sleep more quickly and sleep longer, compared with placebo, ...

'Take-Home Lead' Tainted Car Seats

...Six young children in Maine had elevated levels of lead in their blood after exposure to so-called "take-home lead" from a parent's workplace that found its way into the family car and the children's own car seats, the CDC reported.The six children -- ages four to 28 months -- were the first reported cases of lead poisoning caused by elevated lead dust associated with child safety seats, the CDC noted in its Aug. 21 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report....

Do retinal hemorrhages occur in infants with convulsions?

...Convulsions alone are unlikely to cause retinal haemorrhages in children under 2 years of age....

The 1000+ Page Health Reform Bill

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
James Madison (1751-1836)

Chicago 1948: We've changed since then!

I love Chicago. It's an awesome city....although this video is from 1948 and Chicago has changed a bit since will find this interesting if you like Chicago as much as I do.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The relationship between preoperative alignment stability and postoperative motor outcomes in children with esotropia

...Among subjects with infantile esotropia, median 6-week postoperative deviation was 2Δ, 6Δ, and 2Δ for subjects with stable, uncertain, and unstable preoperative alignment, respectively (p = 0.73 for stable vs unstable). Median 6-month postoperative deviation was 1Δ, 9Δ, and 1Δ for stable, uncertain, and unstable, respectively (p = 1.00 for stable vs unstable). Among subjects with acquired esotropia, median 6-week postoperative deviation was 6Δ, 4Δ, and 4Δ for subjects with stable, uncertain, and unstable preoperative alignment, respectively (p = 0.69 for stable vs unstable). Median 6-month postoperative deviation was 8Δ, 4Δ, and 6Δ for stable,uncertain, and unstable, respectively (p = 0.22 for stable vs unstable)....

Comments: I'm not a statistician, but aren't those P values large? Is any of this data statistically significant? DM

Minimum age for LASIK may be reduced in some low myopes

...The minimum age at which some low myopes may undergo LASIK may be reduced from 20 years to 18 years because refractive error is not likely to progress, according to a study....

Comments: The major issue for when to have LASIK done may not how soon or at what age, but rather what happens to the patients 50,60 or more years down the road. We know as we age our corneas change. Are we dooming some of senior patients to severe corneal problems yet unforseen? At this time we do not know. DM

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Do Brain Waves Run Our Attention Clock?

...New research from the US suggests that when we look for something in our environment, our attention scans one thing at a time, using a serial as opposed to a parallel process whose clock speed is controlled by brain waves or "neuron population oscillations". ...

New Evidence-Based Research Shows That Universal Comprehensive Eye Exams Would Help More Children Succeed In School

...Even though universal comprehensive eye exams for children prior to starting school would result in more children being diagnosed and successfully treated for vision problems and eye diseases, requirements vary widely from state to state and only three states require eye examinations for school-age children, according to a new report from the National Commission on Vision and Health....

Comments: Your children are important. Get them to an eye doctor right now! DM

Patients With Downs Syndrome To Have Regular Sight Tests

...The European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) has called for patients with Down's Syndrome ensure that vision needs are regularly monitored ...people with Down's Syndrome ...are more likely to suffer from eye conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye), near or long-sightedness, and an increased risk of cataracts. This research demonstrates that patients often have problems with both the lens of the eye and the cornea and, despite correction through the use of spectacles, often fail to achieve optimum visual acuity.

Comments: Have children and adults with Down syndrome examined yearly. They have many eye and vision problems that can often be corrected. DM

New Research Methods Needed To Build Evidence Base On Effectiveness Of Popular Complementary Therapies

...Despite the increasing popularity of treatments like acupuncture, reflexology and osteopathy, the evidence as to whether and how they work is scarce, leaving the practices open to criticism. But lack of agreement on the best methods to test the efficacy and effectiveness of complementary therapies has proved an obstacle to addressing this problem. ...

Children's Swine Flu Vaccine Trials to Begin

...The two trials will be conducted through the agency's nationwide vaccine research network and will evaluate the candidate H1N1 vaccine ...The first trial,... will evaluate two different strengths of vaccine -- 15 and 30 mcg.
It will include as many as 650 children, ages 6 months to 17 years, who will receive two doses of vaccine three weeks apart....The second trial will include a similar number of children and will determine whether the H1N1 vaccine is safe and effective when given before, after, or along with the seasonal flu vaccine....

Nonpharmacologic Treatment for Fibromyalgia: Patient Education, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Relaxation Techniques, and Complementary and Alternative

...The importance of including exercise in the treatment of fibromyalgia (FM) has been substantiated in several studies. In addition to exercise, patient education, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), relaxation, biofeedback, and other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches are gaining empiric support and should be considered. This article is a brief overview of these techniques and the evidence for their inclusion as fundamental elements of FM treatment....

Diplopia and Fluoroquinolones

...A total of 171 case reports of diplopia associated with fluoroquinolones were reported, including 76 men, 91 women, and 4 case reports in which the gender was not specified. The median age was 51.6 years. .... Median time from beginning of therapy to appearance of the ADR was 9.6 days (range 1 day to 5 months). Seventeen subjects also had concomitant tendinitis, 49 patients were 60 years or older, 1 patient had renal cysts, and 4 patients were taking systemic anti-inflammatory steroids. ....

How Meningitis Bacteria Attack The Brain

...streptococcus pneumoniae, commonly known as pneumococcus, is responsible for half the cases of bacterial meningitis in humans...As many as 30 percent of patients can die from this rapidly progressing infection, while half of survivors may be left with permanent neurological problems including deafness, seizures, intellectual deficits or motor disabilities...

Many teens share prescription drugs

...The survey, of 592 12- to 17-year-olds from across the U.S., found that 20 percent admitted to having lent a prescription drug to a friend, while a similar percentage said they had done the borrowing....The most commonly shared prescriptions were allergy drugs and narcotic pain relievers like Oxycontin and Darvocet, followed by antibiotics, acne medications like Accutane, and mood drugs such antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. ...

Comments: Many of these drugs may have ocular side effects....ask your teenage patients if they have borrowed Rx'd drugs from their friends. It could be important. DM

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Optometry: Primary Eye Care Providers

Schedule that Eye Exam NO!!

Ferris Announces Appointment of New Dean for Michigan College of Optometry

BIG RAPIDS - Ferris State University officials announced today (Aug. 12) that Dr. Michael Cron has accepted the position of dean of the Michigan College of Optometry. He will begin his new position Aug. 24. Cron brings 33 years of Michigan College of Optometry experience to the position. This experience includes chief of Pediatric Optometry Services, interim director of the Campus Clinic, and professor and associate dean.

Cron earned his optometry doctorate from the Illinois College of Optometry. He continues to be involved in post-graduate seminars and courses including an M.S. in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis from The University of Michigan, School of Public Health. Cron began his career in private practice establishing and managing a practice in Spring Lake, Mich. He joined Ferris as a clinical associate in the fall of 1977.

In addition to his campus experience, Cron has been active on the state and national level having continued his involvement with the American Optometric Association, Michigan Optometric Association, West Michigan Optometric Association, American Optometric Foundation and the American Optometric Student Association. He has more than 35 publications, including three book chapters and one manual, on topics including pediatric visual acuity, visual information processing, child development, and current literature relevant to developmental and behavioral optometry.

"The appointment of Cron follows the extraordinary involvement of the MCO faculty, staff and students, along with the excellent work of the search committee chaired by Dr. Roger Kamen. Ferris looks forward to continued growth of the Michigan College of Optometry and the realization of the new optometry building," said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Fritz Erickson.

Comments: Congratulations to my friend and colleague Mike Cron! DM

Dominick Maino's Wright Camera Club Gallery

Low Choline Levels In Pregnant Women Raise Babies' Risk For Brain And Spinal-cord Defects

...A newborn’s risk for brain and spinal-cord defects rises if the mother has low blood levels of the nutrient choline during pregnancy...

Parents May Be Misled About How Infants Should Sleep

More than one-third of photographs in advertisements and articles in magazines geared toward women, expectant parents, and parents of young children showed babies sleeping on their sides or stomachs,...Moreover, nearly two-thirds of the photographs depicted infant sleep environments that were unsafe,..."The most important thing for moms to realize is that what they see in magazines may not be what's best for their baby in real life," ...The American Academy of Pediatrics started recommending that babies sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in 1992. It has since advised parents to remove pillows, soft bedding, and other objects from infant sleep areas.

Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabiliation

This is an open access journal with a variety of interesting topics. Take a look! DM

Poll indicates UK parents may be risking children's eyesight by ignoring sun's UV danger.

From AOA FirstLook:

BBC News (8/18) reports that, according to a "poll of 2,000 people" conducted on behalf of the UK's College of Optometrists, "three in four parents" in Britain "are risking their child's eyesight by exposing them to bright sun without appropriate protection," and "nearly a third of not buy their children sunglasses." Of the parents who do purchase sunglasses, almost "half put price before protection, and only a quarter buy sunglasses from a trusted brand." Optometrist Dr. Susan Blakeney, of the College of Optometrists, explained that "sunglasses don't need to be expensive to offer good protection, but it is important for parents to check that the pair they buy carry a CE Mark," which certifies that the product has met Economic Union health, safety, and environmental requirements. BBC News adds that "UV rays from sunlight can damage the retina and the lens of the eye and can lead to long-term damage."

Upcoming Meetings

VT/Visual Dysfunctions
August 27-31, 2009
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Contact: Theresa Krejci

VT/Strabismus & Amblyopia
September 10-13, 2009
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Contact: Theresa Krejci

40th Annual Colorado Vision Training Conference
Sports Vision
September 11-13, 2009
YMCA of the Rockies
Estes Park, Colorado
Contact: Jennifer Redmond, OD, FCOVD

Northeast Congress
September 13-14, 2009
Westford Regency Inn
Westford, Massachusetts
Contact: Dr. Kathleen A. Prucnal

COVD 39th Annual Meeting
College of Optometrists in Vision Development
October 13-17, 2009
Denver Marriott Tech Center
Denver, Colorado

VT/Learning Related Visual Problems
November 5-9, 2009
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Contact: Theresa Krejci

Heart of America Optometric Congress
November 14-15, 2009
Wyndham Garden Hotel
Overland Park, Kansas
Contact: John Metzger, OD

VT/Visual Dysfunctions
December 2-6, 2009
Phoenix, Arizona
Contact: Theresa Krejci

6th International Congress of Behavioral Optometry
April 8-11, 2010
Southern California
Contact: Bob Williams

AOA Congress
June 16-20, 2010
Orlando, Florida

COVD 40th Annual Meeting
College of Optometrists in Vision Development
October 12-16, 2010
Rio Mar Beach Resort
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

AOA Congress
June 15-19, 2011
Salt Lake City, Utah

Monday, August 17, 2009

Convergence Insufficiency Training in Children has Lasting Effects

Previous research from the CITT Investigator Group demonstrated that office-based [optometric] vision therapy is more effective than home-based options for the treatment of symptomatic convergence insufficiency in children. This new report on the long-term effectiveness of these therapies indicates that the success achieved at 12 weeks is sustained in most children one year later.

Long-Term Effectiveness of Treatments for Symptomatic Convergence Insufficiency in Children. Scheiman M; Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial Study Group. Optom Vis Sci. 2009 Aug 7.

Comments: Optometric vision therapy not only works....but the results stick!

Examiner Bio "Fixing My Gaze": Optometric vision therapy led to 3D vision in mid-life for Professor Barry

...Imagine the world you see is flat, compressed. You can tell from visual clues, such as shadows and objects partially obscured by other objects, that it is three-dimensional, but what you see is essentially flat, like a painting. Now imagine that after doing daily eye exercises for many weeks at age 48, suddenly you begin to see objects looming toward you, and you see the space between objects. There is a sense that you are immersed in 3D space. Trees for the first time project upward and outward with leaves in 3D patterns. You are filled with unbelievable joy...

Through vision work, neurobiologist retrains adult brain

...In "Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist's Journey Into Seeing in Three Dimensions," Barry describes how, at 48, she began vision therapy that accomplished what the best scientists of her generation said could never be achieved - a brain that can read eye signals properly and allow sight in three dimensions...

Do you know that eye exams are required to start school?

...If you have child entering kindergarten through high school for the first time, you better put "get eye exam" on your back-to-school to- do list. The laws in both Missouri and Illinois state that children entering private or public schools for the first time must have an eye exam. This exam needs to be performed by an actual eye doctor, an optometrist .... Vision screenings at the pediatrician's office or the school clinic will not suffice.
According to the Illinois Optometric Association, about 25% of all school-age children have vision problems and nearly 60% of children described as "problem learners" have a vision problem that is undiagnosed.

August is National Children's Vision & Learning Month

August is National Children's Vision & Learning Month Please visit:

Make Eye Exams Part of the Back to School Routine

...Many experts believe that approximately 80 percent of learning comes through a child’s eyes. Despite the strong correlation between vision and learning, many Americans underestimate the number of children affected by eye and vision problems. According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2009 American Eye-Q® survey, which assesses public knowledge and understanding of a wide range of issues related to eye and visual health, 88 percent of respondents did not realize that one in four students have a visual impairment....

Study reveals scope for eye care growth

...While 84 per cent of parents agree that improved vision would have a positive impact on their child's performance at school, only half (53 per cent) report that their children have had an eye exam. ...

Comments: What? Eighty-four percent said eye care was important but only 53% had gotten their kids eyes examined?!! I love all my patients and their parents....but I think that there are about 30% of parents out there who need their heads examined!! Get those children in to see your optometrists today! DM