Saturday, February 6, 2010

Epigenetics

... the term epigenetics refers to changes in phenotype (appearance) or gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence, hence the name epi- (Greek: επί- over, above) -genetics. These changes may remain through cell divisions for the remainder of the cell's life and may also last for multiple generations. However, there is no change in the underlying DNA sequence of the organism;[1] instead, non-genetic factors cause the organism's genes to behave (or "express themselves") differently.........

Comments: Have functional optometrists been practicing "epigenetics" since the 1930's by altering the environment so that gene expression changed resulting in a better functioning visual system? DM

Infl ammation in Alzheimer’s disease: relevance to pathogenesis and therapy

Evidence for the involvement of inflammatory
processes in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been documented for a long time. However, the infl ammation hypothesis in relation to AD pathology has emerged relatively recently. Even in this hypothesis, the inflammatory reaction is still considered to be a downstream eff ect of the accumulated proteins (amyloid beta (Aβ) and tau). This review aims to highlight the importance of the immune processes
involved in AD pathogenesis based on the outcomes of the two major inflammation-relevant treatment strategies against AD developed and tested to date in animal studies and human clinical trials - the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and immunisation against Aβ.

Scientists identify one genetic cause of long-sightedness.

From AOA First Look:

Australia's Sydney Morning Herald /AAP (2/3, Rose) reports that Australian scientists "have identified one of the genetic causes of long-sightedness, a breakthrough that could lead to the development of a drug to treat vision loss." Researchers "identified changes in the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) gene which...are now suspected of playing a disruptive role in the proper development of the eye."

Heavy Backpacks Affect Children's Spines

Heavy backpacks place a measurable strain on the spines of children, with heavier loads causing greater spinal strain and increased back pain,....Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans show compression of the spinal discs and spinal curvature caused by typical school backpack loads in children...

Elevated Brain Levels Of Magnesium Enhance Learning And Memory

...New research finds that an increase in brain magnesium improves learning and memory in young and old rats. The study, ...suggests that increasing magnesium intake may be a valid strategy to enhance cognitive abilities and supports speculation that inadequate levels of magnesium impair cognitive function, leading to faster deterioration of memory in aging humans. ...

Wakeful Resting Linked To Improved Memory

New research from the US shows that resting while awake appears to strengthen memory, revealing new insights into how forms of rest other than sleep, affect the memory consolidation process. The findings suggest that even though it may not look like it, when we rest while awake, our brains are still working, something we may find hard to accept in an information technological world that is on the go 24/7.........

Comments: Well, now I can tell Dr. Kent Daum, my Dean at the Illinois College of Optometry, that not only am I doing work while drinking coffee...but also when I'm resting in a wakeful state! DM

Helmets Reduce The Risk Of Head Injuries Among Skiers And Snowboarders By 35%

...Helmets reduce the risk of head injury among skiers and snowboarders by 35% with no evidence of an increased risk of neck injury...

Hunger For Stimulation Driven By Dopamine In The Brain

...Our need for stimulation and dopamine's action upon the brain are connected, which explains why people who constantly crave stimulation are in danger of addictive behaviour such as drug abuse and gambling....The urge to actively seek out new experiences is a personality trait that psychologists have known about for years, but up until now scientists have been unable to prove how this urge relates to hormonal activities in the brain. ...

Surprises About How Sound Is Processed: Seeing The Brain Hear

...New research shows our brains are a lot more chaotic than previously thought, and that this might be a good thing. Neurobiologists ... have discovered information about how the brain processes sound that challenges previous understandings of the auditory cortex that suggested an organization based on precise neuronal maps. ...

Babies' Brains Tuned To Sharing Attention With Others

...Joint attention - where two people share attention to the same object - is a vital human social skill necessary for many types of human behaviour such as teaching, collaboration, and language learning. Impairments in this skill are one of the earliest signs of autism. ...

Distance Education For Parents Of Children With Autism Found Effective

Through the use of instructional DVDs, parents of children with autism can learn how to teach their child to communicate and improve their behavior, .........

Neural Processing Differences In ADHD In Individuals With And Without Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

...The adverse effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on behavioral, cognitive, and social development can lead to a range of symptoms referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Attention and cognition problems seen in individuals with a history of prenatal alcohol exposure often resemble those linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). An assessment of these disorders has found that while children with FASD may meet the behavioral criteria for ADHD, their attention difficulties differ in subtle but important respects...

Study shows higher prevalence of amblyopia among white preschool-aged children

>>>National population projections suggest that manifest strabismus affects about 677,000 preschool children and amblyopia affects 271,000 children>>>

Comments: Do these statistics include one of your children? Have them examined today by a doc who works with children. Check out http://www.covd.org. DM

Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy and Amblyopia

...The mean spherical equivalent (SE) in all 72 hyperopic eyes (47 patients) was +3.42 diopters (D) (range 0.00 to +12.50 D) preoperatively and +0.59 D (range −1.25 to +2.00 D) 1 year postoperatively. After LASIK, 41.7% of eyes had improved corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA). No patient had reduced CDVA or loss of fusional ability; there was a 25.0% improvement in stereopsis at 1 year. The mean anisometropic difference in the hyperopic anisometropic amblyopia subgroup (18 eyes, 10 patients) was 4.39 D (range +1.75 to +7.75 D) preoperatively and +0.51 D (range 0 to +0.875 D) at 1 year. One year postoperatively, 83% of anisometropic eyes were within ±1.00 D of the fellow eye and 94.0% were within ±3.00 D. Postoperatively, 64.7% of eyes had improved CDVA with no reduced CDVA or loss of fusional ability; there was a 22% improvement in stereopsis at 1 year....

Comments: If I am reading these results correctly then...59% did not have improved CDVA, 75% had no improvement in stereopsis and after 1 yr 36% did not have improved visual acuity and 78% did not have an improvement in stereopsis! So you subjected these children to surgery....in which you really have no idea what will happen to their eyes 20 to 60 years down the road...for not a whole lot of improvement! Ok so tell me about the risk vs benefit ratio when standard amblyopia therapy gives just as good or better results without the potential risk? DM

When Your Child Doesn't Want to Read There May Be an Underlying Vision Problem

...Our optometrist told us that many children are misdiagnosed with Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) when it is really a vision problem that is impairing the signal between the eyes and the brain. In the end, vision therapy wasn't the only solution to my son's vision problem. He now wears bifocal glasses to help his eyes focus and work together. He has never complained about wearing glasses. In fact, when we drove away from the doctor's office, he exclaimed, "Look, there's a stop sign!" when we were still a half a block away. I said, "Didn't you see that before?" He said, "I couldn't see it clearly until I got close to it."...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Lancet retracts 1998 study linking autism to MMR vaccine

...The Lancet has retracted a study published in 1998 that suggested an association between autism and childhood vaccination with the measles-mumps-rubella MMR vaccine,...The retraction came after several years of debate on the issue and in the wake of an embargoed commentary in BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal, which called on The Lancet to retract the findings....Additionally, the U.K. General Medical Council found that the primary researcher in the 1998 study, Andrew Wakefield, MD, and two colleagues, acted “dishonestly” and “irresponsibly” in conducting research....

Medical journal retracts study linking autism to vaccine: CNN Video


...The medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday retracted a controversial 1998 paper that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism.

The study subsequently had been discredited, and last week, the lead author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, was found to have acted unethically in conducting the research. ...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

InfantSEE® joins Facebook

InfantSEE® joins Facebook—become a fan today
February 2, 2010

In just over one week more than 100 people have become fans of InfantSEE® on Facebook. Become a fan of InfantSEE® and help spread the word about the program to your friends, colleagues, InfantSEE® families—everyone with young children in their lives.

Our first goal is to reach 5,000 (or more) fans by June 8, 2010, InfantSEE®’s 5th Birthday.

If you are already on Facebook, simply enter InfantSEE® into the search to become a fan. For those who are new to Facebook, visit www.facebook.com, create an account and join the InfantSEE® Fan Club today.

3-D Avatar sickness a public health concern...signs of an underlying vision problem.

Friend and colleague, Dr. Dan Fortenbacher notes that:.....Thanks to Avatar, binocular vision problems that cause stereo blindness are now gaining more public awareness. Yes, the stereo blind individual not only "can't see it" (3-D), but for 165 minutes of this movie they will have a "blurry" or "smeary" visual experience. Thus, for the stereo blind, Avatar is just not enjoyable because it just looks out of focus.

However, for those who have another common binocular vision problem, Convergence Insufficiency (CI), Avatar may make them sick! Yes, Avatar can actually be a "health hazard" for those with weak binocular vision ability. ...


Comments: Read his blog. You will find it interesting. DM

Avatar, 3D Movies, and Our Sense of Identity.

Since I was cross-eyed and stereoblind until I underwent optometric vision therapy at age 48, my friends keep asking me this question. Yes, I saw Avatar, and I saw all the 3D. What I particularly liked was the way the forest appeared to recede far into the distance and the way the seeds of the Tree of Life floated forward in the space between me and the movie screen. Those seeds reminded me of the lovely comb jellies or "sea walnuts" that inhabit the waters around Woods Hole, MA in late summer. Sea walnuts are bioluminescent so at night while swimming you can see them floating at different distances in the dark waters around you....

Comments: My friend and colleague, Susan Barry, PhD, writes a blog for Psychology Today telling of her experiences in 3D (Stereo Sue). She attained 3D vision as an adult and marvels at this wonderful way to view the world every day. Check out what she has to say about Avatar and 3D vision. DM

Controversial eye surgery put on hold

...A controversial eye surgery for children has been put on hold in Calgary.Emily Funnekotter was born with what is commonly known as a lazy eye.The 9-year-old has undergone treatment to correct the problem but she still struggles with vision in her right eye. ....

Comments: One of the main problems with LASIK for children is that they will be living into their 90's or longer. As we age our eyes change...which includes the thinning of the cornea....so if you burn off corneal tissue when the patient is a child...what will happen to them when they are in their 90's? We do not know. Be careful. LASIK should not routinely be used for children....DM

Consumer Reports Health Blog:Having trouble seeing 3D?


If you weren’t blown away by the three-dimensional effects in James Cameron’s movie "Avatar" or you left the theater with eyestrain or a headache, your eyes might not be 3D-ready. Around 5 to 10 percent of people don’t have true depth perception, and far more may have trouble with their binocular vision, which is needed to see the 3D images in movies or the new 3D TVs on the horizon.....Also consider asking about a referral to a developmental optometrist, a practitioner specially trained to help patients improve their visual performance, which can help with tasks such as seeing 3D.

Northwest Optometric Associates


NWOA offers the finest eye and vision care available in the Chicago-land area. Please feel free to call or email us at anytime with your questions. We believe that there's a person attached to every pair of eyes and it's for that whole person we provide excellent health care services. Thank you for putting your trust in us.

Dr. Denice Rice-Kelly, Dr. Dominick M. Maino, Dr. Cheryl Adams


Comments: This is where I hang out on Wed afternoon and evening...come and "see" us sometime! DM

Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Online



.....This site is aimed at professionals interested in child development and behavior, especially in the medical setting....our focus on primary care development and behavior, especially early identification and screening....The Learning section features the Toolbox, which is your link to special article features, keywords, and evidence.....Explore our Handouts, which include both original and borrowed material, suitable for parents. ...Our new Practice section features practical information and tools to support primary and specialty practice. We include forms, checklists, and other useful practice tools. ...

ADHD, Autism, and Medication

...The use of medication for concerns with attention, impulsivity, staying on task and related issues among children with autistic spectrum disorders is very common. As with many medications, their use depends more on “target symptoms” rather than specific diagnoses. A target symptom is a behavior or symptom that is interfering with the child’s social-emotional status or ability to perform his or her daily responsibilities....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition: Optometry


...Job Outlook

Employment of optometrists is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2018, in response to the vision care needs of a growing and aging population. Excellent job opportunities are expected.

Employment change. Employment of optometrists is projected to grow 24 percent between 2008 and 2018. A growing population that recognizes the importance of good eye care will increase demand for optometrists. Also, an increasing number of health insurance plans that include vision care should generate more job growth....


Comments: Optometry is an awesome profession! Come join us. Have questions? Email me at dmaino@ico.edu DM

Kiplinger Magazine: 13 Careers for the Next Decade

Comment: Optometry is one of the best careers!!

....In these roiling times, what are smart career choices? Of course, the best career for one person can be the worst for another, but I believe these 13 are particularly worthy of attention. From among thousands of occupations, I selected the 13 that rank best overall based on these criteria:

• Likelihood of sustaining at least a middle-class income. This subsumes three factors: likely job growth, income potential and being under the radar (so there's less competition for jobs).

•Socially redeeming. There may be jobs, for example, as casino managers and tobacco executives, but such occupations were immediately excluded from consideration.

•Quality of life. Reasonable work hours, freedom from toxic or noisy work environments, and so on.

•Status. Most Kiplinger readers will not, for example, be attracted to owning gas stations, even though some gas-station owners make a great deal of money.....

2010 Complete Learning Disabilities Directory

I Voted Did You?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lancet: Time to look beyond MMR in autism research

...Is the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine safe? Yes, acceptably so, is the only conclusion possible to reach in the face of the totality of the epidemiological evidence. There are no substantiated data to suggest that the MMR vaccine causes autism, enterocolitis, or the syndrome first described by Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues in The Lancet in 1998. New research from some of the same authors as the 1998 Lancet report, in conjunction with a Dublin group led by Prof John O'Leary, has been published early online in Molecular Pathology. Fragments of the measles virus genome are reported in 75 of 91 children with ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, enterocolitis, and developmental disorder, compared with five of 70 control children. But, crucially, these data do not support any link to the MMR vaccine, since no vaccine-specific strain data are presented for measles, mumps, or rubella. This latest twist has prompted Prof John Walker-Smith to end his silence since the publication of the first 1998 paper, of which he was the senior author.


More links on this topic...

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-britain-autism29-2010jan29,0,2589393.story

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/01/panel-says-doctor-claiming-link-between-vaccines-and-autism-acted-dishonestly/1

Brain's Wiring Makes Change Hard

...By the end of January, many New Year's resolutions have been tossed out with the leftover holiday cookies. That's because change is hard -- and neuroscientists are learning why.

Advances in neuroimaging have enabled researchers to peer inside the brains of addicts and patients with addictive behaviors. They can see in real-time what gets patients hooked: how the brain's reward system -- based largely on the neurotransmitter dopamine -- thirsts for more, while inhibitory control centers experience a system failure....

Keyboard shortcut for iPhone

If you alternate between the 2 keyboards (AZ and 123) a lot then you can save some typing by keeping the 123 pressed when you select that keyboard and dragging your finger to the chosen number or punctuation mark. Then let go and you will be returned to the AZ keyboard.

My Trip to the Eye Doctor

Early postnatal growth variables are related to morphologic and functional ophthalmologic outcome in children born preterm

... In very preterm children, early and later postnatal growth is closely related to visual acuity and perception at follow-up. In addition, IGF-1 concentrations and early growth are correlated with head circumference and refraction at follow-up....

No Link Found Between Autism And Celiac Disease

...Researchers compared blood samples of 34 children with autism to samples of 34 children without autism who had been referred to an outpatient clinic of the same hospital. They looked for two antibodies used to help detect celiac disease--anti-gliadin antibodies and anti-endomysial antibodies. Biopsies of the small intestine were offered to children who tested positive for either antibody to confirm the diagnosis. Each group contained 18 boys and 16 girls between the ages of four and 16.

The study found autistic children were no more likely than children without autism to develop celiac disease. ...

Preschool Kids Do Better When They Talk To Themselves, Research Shows

...Early Childhood Research Quarterly showed that 5-year-olds do better on motor tasks when they talk to themselves out loud (either spontaneously or when told to do so by an adult) than when they are silent....

Computer Scientists Use Technology To Help Children With Autism

...computer scientists have devised two tools to help people interact with autistic children. Videotaping interactions allows teachers or parents to replay situations and evaluate the cause of particularly good or bad behavior. Cataloging actual data, rather relying on memory or interpretation, proves to be a more accurate measure of a situation....

Combined Approach May Be Better Way to Treat Autism

...For years, the behavioral and developmental camps have argued over which theory is more effective in teaching communication and other skills to preschool-aged children with autism. Basically, behaviorists believe learning occurs through reinforcement or reward while developmental advocates stress learning through important interactions with caregivers.

But while the theories differ, the actual methods the two camps ultimately use to teach children can be strikingly similar, especially when the treatment is naturalistic, or unstructured...

JRRD TBI Theme Issue

ObamaCare: One MDs View




I got this from Mike Cohen's OD2OD Newsletter....click on title for more info. I did not create the photo....but it does pretty much sum up my feelings about ObamaCare at this time. DM

Optometry at a Crossroad



Do you agree with this publication's vision of optometry?

Optical Illusions




These illusions are awesome! I've recommended them to you before....but I never tire of them! Click on the title for more. Enjoy! DM

3D Image in 2D. Amazing!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

SOVOTO Videos

Convergence Insufficiency Testing


Find more videos like this on Sovoto

Find more videos like this on Sovoto


Neuro-Vision Rehabilitator (NVR). This new device (from HTS Inc) incorporates the Wii technology in conjunction with a sophisticated menu of programs to address oculomotor, visual motor, central peripheral integration and visual-vestibular integration.

Chicago Tribune Election Candidate Endorsements

Angry? Go make history

Comments: I know that this blog is not for the discussion of politics....but this election year, especially in Illinois, appears to be more critical than most. Please read this Chicago Tribune editorial....get angry...and go to the polls and do something about it on Tuesday. DM

...What moves you to demand better of Illinois? Perhaps the deaths of those nine innocents, six of them Willis children, caused by truckers who paid bribes for their Illinois licenses?

How about your lawmakers' foolish spending and borrowing, and the massive debts that you and your grandchildren now have to retire — does that move you? How about tax policy that drives jobs elsewhere, and government insolvency so severe that employers won't want to be here to pay off all the obligations — does that move you? How about the legislators whose votes long enabled then- Gov. Rod Blagojevich? The foisting on you of Sen. Roland Burris? The refusal of incumbent pols to let you recall them, or to let you vote on Barack Obama's successor in the U.S. Senate?...