Saturday, March 13, 2010

Find out the Latest about the AOA

The American Optometric Association News Blog.

The American Optometric Association News on Twitter.

The AOA on Facebook.

The AOATV Facebook Page.

Watch AOATV.

Tour de Optometry

COVD created the Tour de Optometry to educate and excite optometry students about behavioral and developmental vision and vision therapy.

COVD: Social Media

An important part of COVD is increasing the public awareness of developmental optometry and vision therapy. With that in mind, COVD hosts two public blogs that are filled with the latest information on vision developments and research in the science of vision. These blogs are a portal for members and non-members to access the latest information in developmental optometry and vision therapy.

A Randomized Clinical Trial Treatments for Symptomatic Convergence Insufficiency in Children Video

Vision Symptoms Checklist

When Is Learning Difficulty Due to a Vision Problem?

While learning occurs through a number of complex and interrelated processes, vision plays a key role. Many signs, symptoms, and behaviors associated with learning disabilities are similar to those caused by vision problems. This is why it is so important that a comprehensive vision examination be part of the interdisciplinary evaluation of all children who are failing to succeed in school.

Here are some signs and symptoms to look for that may indicate a vision problem.

Learning to See

Eye Examinations for Babies

Your baby should have his or her first visual exam at 6 months of age or sooner if a problem is evident. If you notice your baby's eyes turning outward or inward (lasting more than a few seconds) or any other signs of eye problems, Locate a Doctor who is experienced in comprehensive exams for infants. You may also contact the good folks of the InfantSee program. DM

Eye Exams for Children

Child Development Timeline

As a parent, it is important to know how your child's vision development is affected as they grow....Following is a quick activity reference guide to ensure your child's vision develops in a healthy and timely fashion.


Comments: To read all the details, click on the title above. DM

Encourage Your Child's Vision Development

Any activity which creates sensory awareness on the part of infants, toddlers, preschoolers (and adults) sets the stage for learning and development. Once something catches our attention, we can then begin to explore how it impacts our senses (what does it look like, feel like, smell like, taste like, sound like …) and how we might respond to it. This response could involve avoidance, fear, attraction, further exploration, interaction, even memory of the same or similar experiences. The more positive experiences we have, the more likely we are to explore with confidence, interact creatively and learn from new experiences. In this way infants, toddlers and preschoolers are very much like older children and adults....

Friday, March 12, 2010

Israeli Optometry

Optometry & Vision Development's latest issue (vol 41 #1) features several articles and research papers by Israeli optometrists at The Hadassah Academic College Department of Optometry including:

A History of Israeli Optometry – 10 Year Updateby Kenneth Koslowe, OD, MS, FCOVD-A; Gene Stollman OD, MAS

The Hadassah Academic College Department of Optometryby Dinah Paritzky, BSc, MCOptom; Ariela Gordon-Shaag, PhD; Rachel Eichler, OD

The Effect of Test Sequence on Measurement of Positive and Negative Fusional Vergence
by Ofra Sassonov, BOpt; Yisrael Sassonov, BOpt; Kenneth Koslowe, OD, MS, FCOVD-A; Einat Shneor, BOpt, PhD

Accommodative Amplitude Determination: Pull-away versus Push-up Method
by Kenneth Koslowe, OD, MS, FCOVD-A; Tanya Glassman, BOpt; Chana Tzanani-Levi, B Opt; Einat Shneor, BOpt, PhD

The Relationship between the Heterophoria and Visual Organization in First and Second Grade Children on the Gesell Copy Form Test
by Kenneth Koslowe, OD, MS, FCOVD-A; Nechama Bienenfeld, BOpt; Shira Tanamai, BOpt; Einat Shneor, BOpt, PhD

A New Concept in Heterophoria Assessment: The Koslowe Monocular Straw Test and its Implications
by Kenneth Koslowe, OD, MS, FCOVD-A; Dikla Miller, BOpt; Yarden Weinberger, BOpt; Einat Shneor, BOpt, PhD

You will also find editorials, literature reviews and more. Go to to read this peer reviewed open access journal right now!

The binocular vision dysfunction pandemic

Optometry & Vision Development It's here! OVD vol 41 #1...
Maino D. The binocular vision dysfunction pandemic. Optom Vis Dev 2010;41(1):6-13....and find that..."In 2010 there will be up to 9 million amblyopes and 18 million individuals with strabismus. For children under 18 years of age that means there will be more than 2 million and millions of children with strabismus. A clinical trial to determine the prevalence of binocular vision dysfunction within the general population suggested the possibility of up to 56% or 60 million men, women and young adults with symptoms associated with a binocular vision (BV) dysfunction, 45 million (61%) with accommodative problems and 28 million (38%) demonstrating various vergence anomalies...." go to

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Premier Edition of AOA TV

Awesome video....tell all your friends!

AOA News on Twitter

AOA TV: Become a Fan!

AOA-TV serves members consisting of optometrists, students of optometry, paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Tune in monthly to ensure you are recieving the most up to date content for the optometric profession.

Mental Activity Could Stave Off Age-Related Cognitive And Memory Decline

....providing the first visual evidence that learning promotes brain health - and, therefore, that mental stimulation could limit the debilitating effects of aging on memory and the mind. ....

Comments: The adage, "You are never to old to learn" should be changed to "You should learn so you do not become old" DM

Ritalin Boosts Learning By Increasing Brain Plasticity

...In animal research, the scientists showed for the first time that Ritalin boosts both (focus and learning) of these cognitive abilities by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine deep inside the brain. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers neurons use to communicate with each other. They release the molecule, which then docks onto receptors of other neurons. The research demonstrated that one type of dopamine receptor aids the ability to focus, and another type improves the learning itself. ...

Why Our Peripheral Vision May Not Be As Random As We Think

...As you read this, you may notice that the word directly in front of you is clear, but all the surrounding words are hard to make out. For most people, this effect - known as 'crowding' - is not a problem. However, for the millions of people worldwide who have lost their central vision through eye disease such as macular degeneration, it can make everyday tasks such as reading or recognising friends a challenge. ...

Overview of the Brain Injury Committee

Find out more by clicking on the title above. DM

Behavioral Optometrist Profiled.

From AOA First Look:

The New York Times Magazine (3/14, 44, Warner) profiles behavioral optometrist Stanley A. Appelbaum, OD, FCOVD, who practices "vision therapy, a combination of in-office and at-home eye exercises," which some "optometrists claim...can offer significant help for problems that go far beyond the headaches, neck aches, eyestrain, and poor posture typically associated with vision problems," such as problems with poor visual memory, eye-movement control, or convergence insufficiency, a condition in which a child's eyes do not converge well while performing close tasks. While some experts consider vision therapy to be controversial, an American Optometric Association press release points out that "studies indicate that 60 percent of children identified as 'problem learners' actually suffer from undetected vision problems."

Prevalence of and Early-Life Influences on Childhood Strabismus

...Three hundred forty-three children had strabismus (of whom 20 [5.8%] had neurodevelopmental/neurologic disorders), giving a total weighted prevalence of 2.1% (95% confidence interval, 1.8%-2.4%). In multivariable analysis, the risk of isolated strabismus was reduced in children of nonwhite maternal ethnicity and was increased in those born after an assisted or cesarean delivery and in those who were of low birth weight and preterm (in particular, late preterm). An increased risk of neurodevelopmental strabismus was independently associated with maternal smoking into later pregnancy, maternal illnesses in pregnancy, and decreasing birth weight for gestational age and sex. Socioeconomic status was associated with isolated (inverse relationship) and neurodevelopmental (U-shaped relationship) strabismus....

New Journal in PubMed: Open Access

The following new journal from The Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology and The Korean Academy of Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Disease has been added to PubMed Central:

Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research

ISSN: 2092-7355 (print) 2092-7363 (electronic)


Archive includes vol. 1 (2009) to 2(1) (2010)

Note: There is no embargo delay for this journal; all articles are Open Access.

ADHD stimulants and their effect on height in children

Click on title above for full PDF of article. DM

Vaccinating Children against Flu Helps Protect Wider Community

...Results of a clinical trial conducted in a largely self-contained religious community during the 2008-09 influenza season show that immunizing children against seasonal influenza can significantly protect unvaccinated community members against influenza as well. The study was conducted to determine if immunized children could act as a barrier to limit the spread of influenza to the wider, unvaccinated community, a concept known as herd immunity....

Comments: Having your children vaccinated is important. Please consider doing so.DM

College of Optometrists in Vision Development Launch New Website!

The College of Optometrists and Vision Development has launched a new and improved webpage. Go to and let them know what you think! DM

World Wide Web as Easy as 1.0, 2.0, 3.0

ASCOTech:World Wide Web as Easy as 1.0, 2.0, 3.0


Geoffrey W. Goodfellow, OD, FAAO
Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A


Optometric Education 61 Volume 35, Number 2 / Winter 2010
pages 62-63

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Mobile Medical Mission Hospital is looking for a Few Good Optometrists

I recently received this email from Dr. Fisch. I haven't had the pleasure going on such a trip....but hopefully will do so in the near future. DM

Greetings from the Mobile Medical Mission Hospital!

We request that you review the web site for Mobile Medical Mission Hospital ( for details of our 23-31 May 2010 EENT primary and surgical care mission in St. Vincent, West Indies. We need several additional optometrists who will be assisted by Indiana University optometry students and several nurses. St. Vincent is English-speaking and is completely safe - medically and politically.

Several options are available regarding cost: 1) round trip airfare is $850, but if it is a financial problem, several of our staff have frequent flier miles you can use, and 2) lodging plus two meals per day varies from $200 to $1400 for 10 days, depending on your choice of lodging. Lunch is provided for free.

Please contact either of our two mission directors, (Ret.) General Joe Scheinkoenig at (262) 748-2391, or Amanda LaPlante at (612) 618-9030, for additional details. We request your firm commitment by the 30th of March.

Thank you very much for your consideration in this matter.

Dr. Robert E. Fisch
President, Eye Care 4 U
Staff, Mobile Medical Mission Hospital

ICO Faculty Shine!!

Attention all Illinois College of Optometry alumni. Faculty & Program Achievements and Activities March 10, 2010

Dr. Zoltoski received word that her R-15 grant, Clinical Observations of Ocular Lens Ultra-structural Changes with Age and Accommodation, has been funded. Dr. Wyles, consultant, and Hodur, collaborator, are also participating as is Dr. Kuszak from Rush University Medical Center.

Hodur N. How should optometric education respond? J Optometric Education 35 Winter 2010; 58-60.

Goodfellow GW, Maino DM. ASCOTech: World Wide Web as Easy as 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 J Optometric Education 35(2) Winter 2010; 62-63.

Congratulations to: Tsang T, Messner LV, Pilon A, Lombardi L. Torpedo maculopathy: In-vivo histology using optical coherence tomography. Optometry Vision Science 2009; 86:1380-1385.

The College has had 14 posters and 1 paper presentation accepted for the ARVO Annual Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, May 2-6, 2010. ARVO is one of the most prestigious vision research meetings in the world. The College will be represented by (Drs. Allison, Block, Collison, Daum, Goodfellow, Kelly, Pang, Roberts, Winters, Wyles, Zoltoski (faculty); Drs. Manastersky, Yevseyenkov (residents); and, Mss. Knighten, Sicks, Nau and Ho and Mr. Collison (students). (This item updated from last report.)

Dr. Maino and "Mr. Fix It" Lou Manfredini will be sharing a stage at the Chicago's Green Family Festival, April 17 & 18, 2010 at The Irish American Heritage Center 4626 N. Knox, Chicago, IL 60630. Dr. Maino I will be speaking right after him on lazy eye and eye turns. Just call Dr. Maino the Dr. Fixit of Eye Problems!

Dr. Newman was cited in the Chicago Tribune February 17, 2010 about vision and eye health.

Drs. Jurkus and Harthan were invited by Teague Training Group to be faciliators for the Industry Toric Workshops that were held at NOVA Southeastern in Fort Lauderdale, FL on February 2nd and 4th, 2010.

Bausch & Lomb has asked Dr. Maino to serve on their Scientific Advisory Board. This board will meet at the end of this March in Dallas, TX to discuss asthenopia, eyestrain and related issues.

10. Program Activity. Elective courses for the spring quarter 2010 include:
• Planning/Managing Debt and Career Goals (1 CH), Mr. Zeki Nur (Extension 7025)
• Gas Permeable Verification and Modification (1 CH), Dr. Zanna Kruoch (Extension 7292)
• Electrophysiology of Vision (1 CH), Dr. Mary Flynn Roberts (Extension 7309)
• Illinois Optometry Law (1 CH), Mr. Anthony Longo, Attorney
• Coding, Billing and Reimbursement (1 CH), Ms. Letitia Patterson, LetitiaP@ATT.NET
• Minor Surgical Procedures for Optometrists (1 CH), Dr. Elizabeth Wyles, Dr. Richard Castillo
• Journal Club Elective: The Major Studies (1 CH), Drs. Conley and Tyler

Dr. Jurkus is working with the AOA & TVCI regarding their sponsoring the Career Advocate program. The material presented is a significant part of our practice management curriculum. This year there will be 145 students attending on April 29-30, 2010 with Dr. Brad Williams giving the presentation.

Dr. Goodfellow, Education Trustee for the IOA, has published a column about continuing education opportunities in the IOA E-Newsletter 7(2), 2010 ( ).

Ms. Beth Knighten who is presenting a poster with Dr. Zoltoski at ARVO in May 2010 has received a Travel Grant from ARVO and NEI. She plans to attend the ARVO Reception Honoring Travel and Research Grant Awardees.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Illinois College of Optometry 2010-11 Residents

ICO matched all positions with excellent residents. If you see any of these fine folks, make sure you tell them congratulations!

Primary Care
Chris Borgman (ICO)
Jessica Condie (ICO)
Jeremy Keith (PUCO)
Ellen Nguyen (UH)
Ashley Scheurer (ICO)

Cornea and Contact Lenses
Ileen Huh (ICO)

Low Vision Rehabilitation and Ocular Disease
Eliot Masek (UMSL)
Matthew Twardowski (ICO)

Pediatrics/Binocular Vision
Dena Weitzman (IU)
Erica Zeiders (MCO)

Refractive Surgery Co-management and Anterior Segment Disease (Davis Duehr Dean)
Jennifer Groehler (PUCO)

Corneal and Refractive Eyecare (Minnesota Eye Consultants)
Jaclyn Morin (SCCO)

Ocular Disease and Low Vision Rehabilitation (Jesse Brown/Hines VA)
Anjali Desai (PCO/Salus)
Saurin Patel (SUNY)
Sonal Patel (Nova)

Look Close into my Eye!

Are You Smarter than a 2 Year Old?

As a Professor of Optometry I try to teach my students many things. Some of these things include:

1.Parents know their children. Trust what they say over what you observe during the few minutes you have while conducting an examination.

2.) Parents are smart.

3.) We need to become at least as smart as the child in our interactions with the child during the examination process.

Watch this video and you will know what I mean. DM

Prevalence of Amblyopia and Strabismus in Young Singaporean Chinese children

...The amblyopia prevalence in children aged 30 to 72 months was 1.19% (95% confidence interval, CI, 0.73-1.83) with no age (p=0.37) or gender (p=0.22) differences. Unilateral amblyopia (0.83%) was twice as frequent as bilateral amblyopia (0.36%). The most frequent causes of amblyopia were refractive error (85%) and strabismus (15%); anisometropic astigmatism >1.50D (42%) and isometropic astigmatism >2.50D (29%) were frequent refractive errors. The prevalence of strabismus in children aged 6 to 72 months was 0.80% (95%CI 0.51-1.19), with no gender (p=0.52) or age (p=0.08) effects. The exotropia: esotropia ratio was 7:1 with most exotropia being intermittent (63%). Of children with amblyopia, 15.0% had strabismus, while 12.5% of children with strabismus had amblyopia....

Children?s Vision Care – Keep Their Focus on Fun

...The American Optometric Association suggests that young children have a comprehensive vision examination when they are six-months-old, this should be followed up when they reach three-years-of age and again when they are five-years old. In particular, children should receive a thorough eye examination during the summer before starting kindergarten. After testing is completed, an expert will review the data and then write a comprehensive report. Children’s vision care examinations can reveal that children suffer from one of several types of eye conditions....slightly more than 10% of the entire U.S. population suffers from Binocular Vision Impairment, which can be detected via children’s vision care. It causes the two eyes to not function collectively and as a consequence the child will experience a partial or complete inability to function simultaneously. People who suffer from this condition are not be able to view and gauge depths nor are they able to see in three is vitally important to detect if your child has learning-related visual problems as soon as possible....

Comments: Just have yourself and yourfamily examined by an optometrist today. For info on binocular vision problems go to

3-D and big-screen films give a few unlucky viewers real motion (picture) sickness

...Motion-sick movie buffs might find themselves battling 3-D-induced queasiness more often this spring, since a dizzying array of 3-D flicks is on the horizon. "Alice in Wonderland" in 3-D opened Friday, and "Clash of the Titans" (April) and the new "Harry Potter" epic also will employ the shape-shifting visual technology. You can't escape it at home, either, as 3-D technology now is available on DVD and Blu-ray....

...Dr. Melissa Barnett, an optometrist at UC Davis Medical Center, says the problem for people whose binocular vision has been impaired comes from the two slightly different 2-D images projected onto the screen. The use of special 3-D glasses is supposed to mitigate the binocular disparity and give the appearance of depth to the viewer.

"What a person needs to do is focus and fuse those images wearing polarized lenses, which filter light," Barnett says. "The two lenses are different, 90 degrees apart. You need both eyes to be working together and fusing the image to get the 3-D effect."

When the eyes don't work together, headaches and nausea can ensue.

"Any abnormality in binocular vision can result in eye strain, headache or double vision," she says. "You may not even be able to see the effects in the movie at all."...

Comments: I think I will hang outside the movie theaters that are showing these movies and just hand out my professional cards! DM

Special Needs Kids Often Underinsured

..........Nearly a third of children with special healthcare needs are underinsured, and where a child lives strongly influences whether he or she will have adequate healthcare coverage, a new study found.

The unadjusted proportion of underinsured special-needs children varied strongly by state, ranging from 24% in Hawaii (standard error=1.75) to 38% in Illinois (SE=2.13), found the study published online March 8 in Pediatrics. After adjusting for factors such as age, race, and poverty level, the proportion of children without adequate healthcare coverage ranged from 23% (SE=1.89) in Hawaii to 38% in New Jersey (SE=2.21)...

Comment: It is even worse for adults with special needs. I have one patient that has been told by Medicare that he doesn't exist....strange because he is easily seen by myself and my students. DM

New Journal from PubMed

The following new journal from The Population Association of America has been added to PubMed Central.


ISSN: 0070-3370 (print) 1533-7790 (electronic)

Archive includes 45 (2008) to the present

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

Dark Chocolate Takes Bite Out of Stress

..Those stress-induced chocolate cravings may be justified after all. A new study shows that eating dark chocolate may lower levels of stress hormones in people feeling stressed out.

Researchers found that eating the equivalent of one average-sized dark chocolate candy bar (1.4 ounces) each day for two weeks reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the “fight-or-flight” hormones known as catecholamines in highly stressed people.

The findings add to a growing number of recently discovered potential health benefits of dark chocolate. For example, cocoa has been found to be rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been linked to a number of health benefits....

Comments: Hurray! Way to go Chocolate!Dm

2010 IEIF Eye Ball

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

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

2010 “Eye” Ball: IEI Foundation

The Illinios Eye Institute Foundation supports Numerous Community Outreach and Charitable Services Programs such as the:

Vision of Hope Health Alliance – Reaching out to those who cannot afford health care
VOHHA provides comprehensive eye care to uninsured, low-income adults – largely referred to the IEI by partner agencies – and helps to connect these patients as needed to primary healthcare providers. VOHHA patients receive comprehensive examinations, follow-up care including diagnostic testing, eyeglasses/ other devices, and personalized health information.

VSP Pediatric Outreach Program – Helping children to succeed through healthy vision
The VSP POP provides comprehensive vision care for high-risk children from birth to five years of age at early intervention programs throughout Chicago. Once per week, faculty and students visit an agency to perform eye examinations to measure visual acuity, eye teaming skills, refractive condition and ocular health. Any prescribed eyeglasses are delivered to the children at their agency. VSP has made a multi-year commitment to this program.

InfantSEE – Helping infants to establish a lifetime of healthy vision
In order to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness care to improve a child's quality of life, comprehensive infant eye assessments are provided within the first year of life at no cost to the patient/family as a public health service through this American Optometric Association initiative.

Low Vision Rehabilitation Service – Enhancing quality of life for patients with visual impairment
When vision loss cannot be restored through medical or surgical treatment, the LVRS helps such patients attain their highest level of improved vision for independent living despite the visual limitations. Through grant funding, low-income seniors are provided optical and non-optical devices not covered by Medicare to enhance their ability to perform activities of daily living. Additionally, faculty and students make visits twice per year to the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired in Jacksonville, IL to provide low vision services to children.

Vision Therapy Service– Addressing learning-related vision problems
More than just seeing objects clearly, vision involves collecting information through our eyes and processing the information so that it has meaning. The IEI’s Vision Therapy Service offers a progressive program of vision procedures prescribed to help patients develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities, improve visual comfort, ease and efficiency, and/or change how a patient processes or interprets visual information. The faculty in this service have been active in several NIH NEI sponsored research projects that will help improve the care we give to the thousands of children seen in this service.

Developmental Disabilities Service – Meeting the eye care needs of special populations
The DDS is committed to serving developmentally disabled patients (such as individuals with autism) and those with acquired/traumatic brain injury with the fullest extent of services possible and to training future doctors to meet the multiple eye/vision care needs of special populations. Services are provided at the IEI and at the Victor C. Neumann Association. IEI faculty and students also coordinate and participate each year in the provision of vision and eye health screenings as well as eyewear for Special Olympians as well as conduct research that can have a profound impact on the quality of the lives of special needs patients.

Monday, March 8, 2010

ICO FCO Students in Honduras

Students, who are members of the Fellowship of Christian Optometrists, at the Illinois College of Optometry went on a mission to the Honduras to give people a great gift. The gift of sight! These are my students and I am very proud! DM

Common Forms of Childhood Strabismus in an Incidence Cohort

...Six hundred twenty-seven new cases of childhood strabismus were identified during the 10-year study period, including 380 (60.1%) with esotropia, 205 (32.7%) with exotropia, and 42 (6.7%) with hypertropia. The five most common forms of strabismus included accommodative esotropia (27.9%), intermittent exotropia (16.9%), acquired nonaccommodative esotropia (10.2%), esotropia in children with an abnormal central nervous system (7.0%), and convergence insufficiency (6.4%)....

Comments:Few of these children could enjoy Avatar 3D or the new Alice in Wonderland. The most treatable forms of strabimus are intermittent exotropia, accommodative esotropia and convergence insufficiency. DM

Doctors sued over ‘dangerous’ autism treatment

"The father of a 7-year-old Chicago boy who was diagnosed as a toddler with autism has sued the Naperville and Florida doctors who treated his son, alleging they harmed the child with "dangerous and unnecessary experimental treatments."...
The defendants — family-practice physicians Dr. Anjum Usman of Naperville and Dr. Daniel Rossignol of Melbourne, Fla. — are prominent in the Defeat Autism Now! movement, which promotes many of the alternative treatments ...Coman alleged in Cook County Circuit Court that Usman and Rossignol prescribed "medically unnecessary and unjustified" chelation treatments, designed to force the body to excrete toxic metals, even though the child did not suffer from heavy metal poisoning. ....

1 in 4 parents buys unproven vaccine-autism link

...One in four U.S. parents believes some vaccines cause autism in healthy children, but even many of those worried about vaccine risks think their children should be vaccinated....Most parents continue to follow the advice of their children's doctors, according to a study based on a survey of 1,552 parents. Extensive research has found no connection between autism and vaccines....

Deficits in Brain's 'Executive' Skills Common With TIA, Minor Stroke

...Researchers evaluated 140 patients (average age 67) admitted to the Urgent TIA Clinic at the London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario. Within a week of symptom onset, the researchers used a short, easily administered battery of tests that can detect deficits in so-called "executive functions," including speed of mental processing, abstraction and reasoning ability. They found that these functions -- higher-level cognitive skills that control and coordinate other mental abilities and behaviors -- were impaired in almost 40 percent of the TIA and minor stroke patients.....

Comments: I wonder how many of these also exhited functional vision disorders? DM

Free Book: Van Noorden 6th Ed. Binocular Vision & Ocular Motility

This classic is now available as an online free text in PDF format. Click the title above or the URL on the right. DM

Sunday, March 7, 2010



Date: Thursday March 18, 7:00 to 9:00 PM

Place: Lecture Hall 3, NECO Beacon Street Campus


Dr. Mitchell Scheiman, Behavioral Optometric Scholar in Residence,
Sue Barry Ph.D., Professor of Neurobiology at Mount Holyoke College
Dr. Richard Laudon, Moderator, Coordinator of Vision Therapy Services, NEE -
Dr. Bruce Moore, Marcus Professor of Pediatric Studies, NECO
Dr. Cathy Stern, Optometrist, Private Practice Limited to Vision Therapy

Vision therapy has been an important mode of optometric treatment for a number of functional visual problems for over seventy years. Despite its effectiveness, it has been considered controversial by some authorities both within and outside of the field of optometry. This symposium will bring together a panel of distinguished optometrists and a well known patient to discuss the past, present and future of optometric vision therapy.

One of the criticisms regarding vision therapy has been the lack of scientific evidence. There has been an extensive but fragmented literature on the topic of vision therapy. In the last five years, there have been a series of peer reviewed articles and studies focused on the efficacy of this treatment approach. Dr. Mitchell Scheiman, our Behavioral Optometric Scholar, is one of the lead investigators in the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT) which has addressed the question of whether or not vision therapy is an appropriate treatment option. All three of their randomized clinical trials, two of which were published in Archives of Ophthalmology, showed OFFICE-BASED optometric vision therapy to be the best treatment for this common condition.

All faculty, students and staff are invited to this exciting and informative seminar. Everyone should feel free to invite a guest or a potential patient as we explore the status of vision therapy with our panel and our Behavioral Scholar for 2010, Dr. Mitchell Scheiman.

No reservation is required. This is a free event.

Alice in Wonderland…the next wave of 3-D movies serves to help find children with Stereo Blindness

My friend and colleague, Dr. Dan Fortenbacher wrote this on the COVD Blog:

Alice in Wonderland…the next wave of 3-D movies serves to help find children with Stereo Blindness

Avatar 3-D has swept the world as the biggest movie of all times largely due to the new 3-D technology used in the production of this block buster film. Yes, 3-D movies have been around for a long time, but what makes Avatar unique is the combination of Polaroid and anaglyph technology in conjunction with an elaborate CG imagery and the new Fusion High Definition Camera system invented by James Cameron, writer and director of Avatar.

This new generation of high definition 3-D cinematography is paving the way for many the future of film making. We will now begin to see a new wave of films with this technology including the latest Walt Disney Pictures: Alice in Wonderland.
Dr. Carl Hillier was recently interviewed on San Diego Living TV-6. In his segment he talks about stereo blindness and a simple test parents can do with their children with the 3-D glasses to determine if they have suppression utilizing the “vis-a-vi” technique.

This was another excellent news segment for parents and teachers to understand the importance of binocular vision and how these new 3-D movies can be not only very entertaining but also help serve to identify a child who has binocular dysfunction.

Binocular vision problems occur in nearly 15% of the population and are usually treatable. All primary care optometrists are trained to diagnose a binocular problem. If your optometrist identifies a problem with your child’s binocular vision, there is help. Office-based vision therapy is safe and proven effective treatment in the majority of cases. If your doctor identifies your child with a binocular vision problem, but does not provide office-based vision therapy, he or she should refer you to a doctor who does. To find a doctor who provides office-based vision therapy go to The College of Optometrists in Vision Development at and click on the Doctor locator. Look for those doctors who are Board Certified Fellows.

Visit the COVD Blog often for more info on binocular vision and vision therapy. Also click here for Dr. Hillier's interview and here for Dr. Maino's television interviews on the topic of 3D Vision Syndrome. DM