Thursday, July 29, 2010

ICO/IEI Chicago Public Schools Eye and Vision Care Program

Comments: My friend and colleague, Dr. Sandra Block will be leading the ICO/IEI Chicago Public Schools Eye and Vision Care Program and be conducting research as well. See info below! Congratulations to Dr. Sandra Block!

Dr. Block has been named the Medical Director of School-based Services and Director of School-based Research for the community-based eye and vision care program that ICO/IEI will pilot with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) this fall. Currently, a substantial portion of the 425,000 children enrolled in CPS do not receive any eye and vision care. With Dr. Block taking a leadership role, this program has potential to impact the vision, as well as the academic achievement, of thousands of children in Chicago.
Dr. Block’s team will include a number of faculty, students and staff from the College working with administrators from CPS. Patients are already being scheduled for comprehensive examinations beginning in November 2010 and initial plans suggest about 100 children per day will attend the year-round clinic. The program is being designed to evaluate the outcomes of the intervention and may provide a model for vision care in similar, large urban school systems. There are many areas of investigation available within the program, as well as opportunities to collect unique data for scientific analysis. The program may also substantially advance the College’s educational objectives in the area of pediatrics.

Dr. Block is presently the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the College and has more than 30 yrs of experience providing eye and vision care in pediatrics. She received her O.D. from ICO in 1981, completed a clinical fellowship at ICO in 1982 and received her Master of Education degree in 1988. Dr. Block is a Fellow and Diplomate in Public Health of the American Academy of Optometry as well as a Fellow in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Dr. Block was recently inducted into the National Academy of Practice. She is a Global Clinical Advisor, Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes Vision Program, Special Olympics, International, Washington, D.C. Dr. Block has published many refereed publications, made a large number of presentations at scientific meetings and has received many grants recognizing her contributions to science.

Music Training Primes Nervous System And Boosts Learning

.....Now a data-driven review by Northwestern University researchers published July 20 in Nature Reviews Neuroscience pulls together converging research from the scientific literature linking musical training to learning that spills over to skills including language, speech, memory, attention and even vocal emotion. The science covered comes from labs all over the world, from scientists of varying scientific philosophies, using a wide range of research methods. .....

Comments: Have your children learn a musical instrument....have them sing in the church is what's good for ya! DM

Relationship between Environmental Phthalate Exposure and the Intelligence of School-Age Children

....Concern over phthalates has emerged because of their potential toxicity to humans, especially children. ....The Full-Scale IQ and Verbal IQ scores were negatively associated with the DEHP metabolites but not with MBP metabolites. There was also a significant inverse relationship between urine concentrations of DEHP and DBP metabolites and children’s vocabulary subscores. .... The authors conclude that there is an inverse relationship between phthalate metabolites and IQ scores....

NFL Steps Up Warnings to Players on Head Injury Risk

...National Football League teams will be hanging a poster in their locker rooms this season, describing symptoms of concussions and, for the first time, warning of the potential long-term consequences...."A Must Read for NFL Players," it declares in large letters. "Let's Take Brain Injuries Out of Play."...The poster is the latest step by officials at the NFL's headquarters to persuade players and coaches to take head injuries more seriously than they once did....

Comments: TBI/concussion can result in numerous vision problems. Be careful. Have an eye examination if you suffer a brain injury/concussion. DM

Privacy, professionalism and Facebook: a dilemma for young doctors

...Young doctors are active members of Facebook. A quarter of the doctors in this survey sample did not use the privacy options, rendering the information they revealed readily available to a wider public. This information, although it included some healthy behaviours, also revealed personal information that might cause distress to patients or alter the professional boundary between patient and practitioner, as well as information that could bring the profession into disrepute (e.g. belonging to groups like 'Perverts united'). Educators and regulators need to consider how best to advise students and doctors on societal changes in the concepts of what is public and what is private....

Comments: If you are a doc or "doc soon to be" be very careful about the image you place into cyberspace.DM

When to Test for ADHD

A parent writes...our kid has a classic case of ants in the pants. And he never seems to listen or follow directions. You've been hoping he'll outgrow it, but you have a nagging suspicion that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be to blame. Is it time to find out for sure?...

Comments: Of course in the MDs response no where is it mention that the child should have a comprehensive vision evaluation....ADHD and Convergence Insuffiency seem to go together or are often confused with each other as the cause of the attentional issues seen in the child. Have your child evauated to make sure no vision problems are involved! DM

Children with brain injuries have problems with story-telling

...Children with brain injuries have difficulty developing story-telling skills even though other language abilities, such as vocabulary, tend to catch up with other children as they mature, research at the University of Chicago shows.

"Our findings suggest that there may be limitations to the remarkable flexibility for language functions displayed by children with brain injuries," said Özlem Ece Demir, a researcher at the University of Chicago and lead author of a paper reporting the research. It is estimated that 1 in 4,000 infants has a brain injury known as pre- or perinatal brain lesions, mainly as a result of stroke, with risk factors involving both mothers and babies....

New Open Access Journals

The following new journals from BioMed Central have been added to PubMed Central:

Genome Integrity
ISSN: 2041-9414 (electronic)
Archive includes 1(2010) to the present

Note: There is no embargo delay for this journal

Molecular Autism
ISSN: 2040-2392 (electronic)

Archive includes 1(2010) to the present

Note: There is no embargo delay for this journal

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

HIPPA Violations Could Cost You!

The quality assurance guru at ICO sent this out. Thought I'd share this with you as well. I did edit it a bit. DM

Rite Aid Agrees to Pay $1 Million to Settle HIPAA Privacy Case
Company agrees to substantial corrective action to safeguard consumer information

July 27, 2010

Rite Aid Corporation and its 40 affiliated entities have agreed to pay $1 million to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today. .... Rite Aid, one of the nation’s largest drug store chains, has also agreed to take corrective action to improve policies and procedures to safeguard the privacy of its customers when disposing of identifying information on pill bottle labels and other health information. .....OCR, which enforces the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, opened its investigation of Rite Aid after television media videotaped incidents in which pharmacies were shown to have disposed of prescriptions and labeled pill bottles containing individuals’ identifiable information in industrial trash containers that were accessible to the public. These incidents were reported as occurring in a variety of cities across the United States. .... Disposing of individuals’ health information in an industrial trash container accessible to unauthorized persons is not compliant with several requirements of the HIPAA Privacy Rule and exposes the individuals’ information to the risk of identity theft and other crimes. ....

For additional information and to read the Resolution Agreement, visit

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nonarteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy Research at ICO/IEI

If you are a Chicago area OD or OMD you might be interested in the following:

The Illinois Eye Institute has entered into a prospective case-crossover study sponsored by Eli Lilly, under the guidance of Kendle International, Inc.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the possible association between the use of PDE5 inhibitors and the risk of acute nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION).

The principle investigator at our facility Dr. Leonard Messner, along with Dr. Wendy Stone, is in need of your assistance in identifying and providing patients who meet this criteria.

Participants must be male > 18 years of age who have experienced abrupt visual loss in one eye within the past 45 days. Exclusion criteria includes: previous history of NAION; clinical or diagnostic testing evidence of temporal arteritis; glaucoma in one or both eyes; multiple sclerosis or diagnostic testing evidence of optic neuritis; participation in other non-observational studies within 3 months of NAION onset.

If you are aware of patients meeting the above criteria, please contact me at 312.949.7211 or via e-mail at . In addition, please feel free to share this request with others who might have access to providing us with these patients.

Thank you in advance!

Mary Podgers
Administrative Assistant to Dr. Leonard V. Messner,
Vice President for Patient Care Services and
Executive Director Illinois Eye Institute
3241 South Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60616
phone: 312-949-7211 fax: 312-949-7338

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Investigating Eye Glass Chains

A friend of mine sent this my way. It is a video of an ABC TV report about Walmart, Target and Costco and how well they make glasses. Many patients believe that if they go to various chains that they will save on the cost of their glasses. This usually is not necessarily true and you also need to consider quality. No matter where you get your glasses from just about all of us want to do the best job we can. If there is a problem...let the maker of the glasses know right away. I've had patients tell me that 2 years ago they got a pair of glasses and never could get used to them. They couldn't tell me why they waited so long to express their concerns.....tell us when we don't quite get it right....most of us will make it right. DM