Friday, February 19, 2010

Another Study Refutes Vaccination-Autism Link

...Polish researchers compared 96 children with autism with 192 children who did not have the disorder, looking for any relationship between measles vaccination and autism.

They found no evidence that children who were vaccinated for measles vaccine -- either in a separate shot or as part of the MMR vaccination -- were more likely to develop autism. The researchers said they reached their conclusion after adjusting for autism risk factors, including mother's age and education, length of gestation, medications during pregnancy and the child's condition after birth....

Time to Avatest

...optometrist Ruth Perrott, who claims James Cameron’s sci-fi movie picks up eye problems such as strabismus, when the eyes do not align when focusing, or amblyopia, the loss of one eye’s ability to see details.

She said: “About five to ten per cent 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.”

Ruth, a practitioner specially trained to help patients improve their visual performance, said: she understood that to make movies such as Avatar, filmmakers used special 3D cameras that captured two images, simulating the different perspectives of the left and right eye. ...

New PubMed Journal

Aging (Albany, NY)

ISSN: 1945-4589 (electronic)


Archive includes v. 1 (2009) to the current issue

Note: There is no embargo delay for this journal

New Journal from PubMed

African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicines

ISSN: 0189-6016 (electronic)


Archive includes 4(2007) to the present

Note: There is a 12 month embargo delay for this journal

New Journals on PubMed

Head and Neck Pathology
ISSN: 1936-055X (print) 1936-0568 (electronic)
Archive: v. 1 (2007) to v. 3 (2009). Current content is forthcoming with a
12-month delay.

A Randomized Trial Comparing Bangerter Filters and Patching for the Treatment of Moderate Amblyopia in Children

...Because the average difference in visual acuity improvement between Bangerter filters and patching was less than half a line, and there was lower burden of treatment on the child and family, Bangerter filter treatment is a reasonable option to consider for initial treatment of moderate amblyopia....

The Passing of a Great Leader

From the AAO:

Merton Clyde Flom, 83, of Tucson AZ, passed away February 14, 2010 of heart failure. Born August 19, 1926 in Pittsburgh PA to Samuel Jacob and Marie Flom, Mert and his family moved to the west coast when he was ten. He graduated from Los Angeles High School, served in the Navy in World War II (in Guam), and attended UCLA and UC Berkeley, ultimately receiving an optometry degree and a PhD in vision science.

At Berkeley, Mert received support from an Ezell Fellowship and a grant from the American Academy of Optometry. The first faculty member in Optometry at UC Berkeley to receive funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), he continued to receive NIH support for 25 years, primarily for his research on binocular vision, strabismus, and amblyopia. During his 29 years at Berkeley, Mert indulged his passion for teaching as an instructor for vision science and clinical optometry courses. Known as a superb educator and mentor of graduate students, Mert also cared for patients in teaching clinics and private practice. He then accepted an opportunity at the University of Houston to develop the graduate program at their College of Optometry.

Leadership studies and application of its practice were a focus of Mert's academic life. Active as a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, Mert was editor of the Academy's journal and chair of its editorial council; he also served on the Academy's executive council for 16 years and as president for two years. Mert's consuming interest in developing new leaders led to the Academy's Leadership InSight program.

Recognitions from the American Academy of Optometry included Fellowship; Honorary Diplomate of the Section on Binocular Vision, Perception and Pediatric Optometry; Eminent Service Award; Prentice Medal for distinguished research in vision science; and Life Membership. Mert received an honorary doctorate from SUNY; the Glenn Fry Medal from OSU; and Alumnus of the Year and the inaugural Mert Flom Teaching Award from the UC Optometry Alumni Association. He was inducted into the Berkeley and the National Optometry Halls of Fame. The Merton Flom Ezell Fellowship Fund was established in his honor by the American Optometric Foundation to support training in vision science and leadership.

After retiring to Tucson AZ, Mert enjoyed presenting occasional lectures, publishing his research, and viewing the Catalina Mountains outside his window. Qualities that epitomized Mert were his ability to instantly engage with new people, his insatiable curiosity, and his energy for investigating and exploring ideas with colleagues, family, and most everyone he met. He is remembered for his love of food, jazz, and animals, his keen focus, his championing of "underdogs," his commitment to social justice, his generosity in teaching and mentoring, and his ultimate optimism.

Mert is survived by wife Penelope Kegel Flom; sister Patricia Barkan and brother-in-law Harvey Barkan of Studio City CA; son Walter Flom and daughter-in-law Gail Fadenrecht of Phoenix AZ; daughter Roanne Flom and son-in-law Thomas Raasch of Columbus OH; daughter Caitlin Flom and son-in-law Jeffrey Carnegie of Berkeley CA; daughter Megan Flom of Lewisville TX; and grandchildren Zachary Flom, Hannah Fadenrecht, and Alexa Raasch. He is predeceased by parents, first wife Bernice Flom Warnken, and sister Carole Loftis.

A Celebration of Life will be held Monday March 1, 2010 at 10:30 am at the Saddlebrooke Preserve Clubhouse, Tucson AZ. The family requests donations in his honor be made either to the Merton Flom Ezell Fellowship Fund or to the Martin Luther King, Jr National Memorial. Additional details can be found here.

Comments: I had a chance to talk to Mert several times. He was always gracious and kind even to the "newbies" on the optometric block. I will miss him....and so will the profession. DM

VISION THERAPY: Experts don't see eye to eye on treatment

...You're making a lot of mistakes at work. You feel clumsy. You have trouble copying notes from a blackboard. You read slowly, and sometimes see double. But at your regular eye exam, the optometrist says you have 20/20 vision. ..

Comments:This story tends to be support of optometric vision therapy except for a comment by an ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists do not have any training in or exposure to vision therapy. They are welcome to their opinion....but it is just an opinion. If you want the facts, check this blog...go to PubMed for the latest clinical trials.

Fix Things For Free

...Having problems with your computer or your car? Need help getting on Facebook or Twitter? There's someone who will help for free. ...

Aging "Cocktail" Could Maintain Youth

...Results show the cocktail -- which includes vitamins B1, C, D, E, acetylsalicylic acid, beta carotene, folic acid, garlic, ginger root, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, green tea extract, magnesium, melatonin, potassium, cod liver oil and flax seed oil -- increased activity of mitochondria, which supply energy to the body, and reduced output of free radicals. Free radicals are thought to be the basic cause of aging....

Commments: This was done in mice....but hey, if it works I will don my Mickey Mouse Ears right now! DM

Primary Care for Children with Autism

...The earliest sign of autism in children is the delayed attainment of social skill milestones, including joint attention, social orienting, and pretend play. Language impairment is a common, but less specific, sign of autism. Repetitive behaviors and restricted interests may not be noted until after social skill and communication impairments are exhibited. Physicians should perform developmental surveillance at all well-child visits, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends administering an autism-specific screening tool at the 18- and 24-month visits. A referral for comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is appropriate if concerns arise from surveillance, screening, or parental observations. The goals of long-term management are to maximize functional independence and community engagement, minimize maladaptive behaviors, and provide family and caregiver support. Physicians play an important role in coordinating care through an interdisciplinary team; referring families for specialized services; and treating children's associated conditions, including sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, and hyperactivity. Autism is a lifelong condition, but early recognition, diagnosis, and treatment can improve the prognosis, whereas associated medical conditions, psychiatric conditions, and intellectual disability can worsen the prognosis....

Comments: Full PDF available by clicking title. This otherwise good article doesn't even mention the role vision may have on children and adults with autism. That needs to change! DM

Autism's Earliest Symptoms Not Evident in Children Under 6 Months

...A study of the development of autism in infants, comparing the behavior of the siblings of children diagnosed with autism to that of babies developing normally, has found that the nascent symptoms of the condition -- a lack of shared eye contact, smiling and communicative babbling -- are not present at 6 months, but emerge gradually and only become apparent during the latter part of the first year of life...

Multiple Risk Factors Existed in 78 Percent of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Cases

...more than 96 percent of infants who died of SIDS were exposed to known risk factors, among them sleeping on their side or stomach, or exposure to tobacco smoke, and that 78 percent of SIDS cases contained multiple risk factors. The study, "Concurrent Risks in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome," was published online February 15 by Pediatrics and will appear in the journal's March print issue....

Green Tea: The Eyes Have It

...researchers fed laboratory rats green tea extract and then analyzed their eye tissues. The results showed that different parts of the eye absorbed varying amounts of catechins. The area with the highest concentration of catechins was the retina, which is the light-sensing tissue that lines the back of the eye. The area with the least absorption of catechins was the cornea, which is the clear, outer layer of the eye....

Famous AOA Library Now Gone: Not Forgotten

In August, 2009 the International Library, Archives and Museum of Optometry was replaced by the Research and Information Center. It is no longer a loaning library and is focusing on surveys and data. The museum was packed up when the lobby was to be painted.

Comments: I had a very close working relationship with the wonderful folks at the AOA library (ILAMO.)As technology advanced and I could easily obtain the articles and information I need via the web, I relied less and less on this fine institution. I wonder where the history of the AOA and the profession will now be housed? DM

2010 “Eye” Ball Benefiting the Charitable Services of the Illinois Eye Institute

2010 “Eye” Ball Benefiting the Charitable Services of the Illinois Eye Institute

Date/Time: Saturday, March 13, 2010, 7:00 - 11:00 p.m.

Location: Four Seasons
120 E. Delaware Place

Room: Grand Ballroom, 8th Floor

Event: Reception, silent auction, dinner and dancing to City Lights Orchestra

Purpose: To support the charitable services of the Illinois Eye Institute. The Illinois Eye Institute (IEI) is a non-profit, multi-specialty eye center that provides comprehensive eye care to individuals of all ages from the Chicago area and beyond, regardless of their financial status. It is designed and staffed to meet general ocular health and visual needs and provide highly specialized optical services. The IEI has over 90,000 visits annually from a largely low-income, medically underserved patient population and provides charitable services and outreach programs to assist people in need. The Illinois Eye Institute’s ability to offer these programs and services depends largely on the support of generous donors and friends.

Honoree: Illinois State Representative Sara Feigenholtz

RSVP: February 26, 2010

Contact Info: Online:
Phone: (312) 949-7070 Email: Fax: 312 949-7640

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Contact These Fine Optometric Organizations for the Information You Need!

Contact These Fine Optometric Organizations for the Information You Need!

American Academy of Optometry...301-984-1441
American Optometric Association ..800-365-2219 Fax: 314-991-4101
Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry ..301-231-5944
College of Optometrists in Vision Development….. 330-995-0718
Heart of America Contact Lens Society ......918.341.8211
Illinois College of Optometry ..312-949-7000
IL Dept of Financial & Professional Regulation......217-785-0800 312- 814- 4500
IOA 800-933-7289h217-525-8012hFax: 217-525-8018 Email:
ILAMO (International Library, Archives & Museum of Optometry) 800-365-2219
Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry 704-970-2710
Optometry Schools and Colleges
Alabama (UAB) ..............205-325-8620
California-Berkeley (UCB)......510-642-9537
Ferris (FSU) (MI)................231-591-3703
Houston (UH) ..................713-743-2040
Illinois (ICO) ....................312-949-7000
Indiana (IU) ....................812-855-4447
New England (NEWENCO) ...617-266-2030
New York (SUNY) ............800-291-3937
Ohio (TOSU) ....................614-292-2647
Oklahoma (NSU) ............918-456-5511
Pacific (PUCO) ..............503-352-2208
Pennsylvania (PCO) ......215-780-1300
Puerto Rico School of Optometry...787-765-1915
St Louis (UMSL) ................314-516-5606
Southeastern (NOVA) ....800-541-6682
Southern California (SCCO) .....714-870-7226
Southern (SCO) ..............901-722-3366

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Interviewed by ABC TV

(Photo on top: Ms Christine Tressel, ABC WLS TV news Health Beat segment Producer and Dr. Dominick Maino getting ready for the interview)

I Just spent almost 2 hrs with a news crew from ABC TV News in Chicago (Channel 7)( We talked about how binocular vision dysfunction can affect watchng 3D movies. It should air on Thursday Feb 25th during the 10PM news in their HealthBeat segment. I had a wonderful time working with the news team. They were very professional and yet, we managed to have a bit of fun while taping this. DM

The 1969 Amulet

TV Interview

In about an hour or so, I will be interviewed (along with one of my patients) at the Illinois Eye Institute by ABC TV News here in Chicago (Channel 7 Health Beat) on the topic of "Avatar 3D Syndrome". I will keep all posted about when this may air on television. DM

Monday, February 15, 2010

...and now for something completely different...

It is 1969. The halls of Lockport West High School (now Romeoville HS) echo with the foot steps of many students. Two of these students are somewhat unique in that they are twins...and co-editors of LWHS first literary/art magazine. Take a journey back in time to experience teenage angst, love and a way to look at life that we all to soon loose. Click on the title above to begin this journey. DM

Green Family Festival

In response to families seeking healthy, natural ways to raise their children and positively impact their communities and the planet, Green Parents Network announces the Green Family Festival, hosted by Chicago’s Irish American Heritage Center on April 17-18, 2010. The Green Family Festival will feature experts, celebrity chefs, demonstrations and exhibitors all focused on the importance of raising children in a balanced, holistic way.Activities will feature panel presentations, healthy cooking demonstrations and exercise, lectures and children's activities.

The day will be filled with entertainment, live music, family activities and food. The Green Family Festival will be open on Saturday, April 17 from 10am to 6pm and Sunday, April 18 from 10am to 5pm.

For additional information, visit the Green Family Festival website at

Comments: I will be speaking at this conference on Saturday April 17th from noon to 12:30pm on strabismus and amblyopia (eye turns and lazy eye) and how we can treat these disorders. DM

Moms Fighting Autism Webinar

New Webinar February 16, 2010 Time: 6PM

Topic: Vision and Living Within the Autistic Spectrum, including Vision Therapy

Speaker: Carl G. Hillier, OD

Description: Dr. Hillier will be discussing “Vision and Living Within the Autistic Spectrum,” including Vision Therapy. Vision Therapy is an individualized, supervised, treatment program designed to correct visual-motor and/or perceptual-cognitive deficiencies. Vision Therapy sessions include procedures designed to enhance the brain’s ability to control:

* eye alignment,
* eye tracking and eye teaming,
* eye focusing abilities,
* eye movements, and/or
* visual processing.

Click on title to register for webinar.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Double agent: Glial cells can protect or kill neurons, vision

...Scientists have identified a double agent in the eye that, once triggered, can morph from neuron protector to neuron killer. The discovery has significant health implications since the neurons killed through this process results in vision loss and blindness. ...