Saturday, August 21, 2010

Birth Dates, School Enrollment Dates Affect ADHD Diagnosis Rates

...Rising rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and large differences in diagnosis rates have led to fears that the condition is often being misdiagnosed. .... The researchers found large discrepancies in diagnosis and treatment rates based on small differences in children's dates of birth....

“Alice in Wonderland syndrome” associated with topiramate for migraine prevention

...Various visual and sensory phenomena have been described in migraine with aura. Among those, the “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome is ... a distortion of the body image with the patient being aware of its unreal nature. ...a 17-year-old girl with migraine without aura ... developed an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ syndrome repeatedly on topiramate ...potential pathophysiological concepts were discussed....

Comments: I am seeing more and more patients on Topomax (topiramate) than every before. These patients include those with intellectual disability/psychiatric illnesses to those with migraine as noted above. This particular drug has been linked to patients going into a myopic crisis and then having a narrow angle attack with IOPs going quite high. I will note that out of all the patients I have seen so far not one has shown this side effect. Watch these patients closely and make sure they know that if their eyes do anything strange, unusual or weird to contact you soonest. DM

MRI Performs Poorly in Infant Abuse Detection

...Whole-body MRI failed to reliably detect highly specific metaphyseal lesions and rib fractures and therefore cannot replace radiography in evaluating potential abuse in young children, a new study concluded. ...

Content of OTC Vitamin D Low, Unpredictable

...The mean vitamin D content from 10 over the counter brands was only 33% of what the label claimed, with the actual content ranging from less than 1% to 82% of the advertised level....Patients taking vitamin D supplements should have serum measurements made after starting therapy to determine whether they are reaching target levels...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Vision Issues on WebMD

Is it ADHD or a vision problem?

A New Focus for Eye Care:Convergence Insufficiency

Recognizing Developmental Delays in Your Child: Ages 3 to 5

Understanding Vision Problems - the Basics

Healthy Vision in Preschoolers
What they forget to mention in this article is that you can receive a no-cost evaluation of your child 6-12 months of age by an optometrist by going to InfantSee which is an optometric public health program for your little ones!

Double Vision (Diplopia)

Safety of Herbal Supplements

...Although often considered harmless by patients, herbal supplements may cause adverse cardiovascular effects ... Herbal stimulants, including bitter orange, ephedra, caffeine, guarana, maté, kola, areca, lobelia, khat, and others are the most common category of herbal therapies to cause cardiovascular effects.... dozens of other herbal ingredients have also been linked to adverse cardiovascular events. ...



Registration for Academy 2010 San Francisco and hotel reservations are now open. As of this writing, the Grand Hyatt San Francisco, Hotel Nikko, Hyatt Regency San Francisco and Parc 55 Hotel - Union Square all have sleeping rooms available throughout the meeting.

New Drug Strategy Against Fragile X Syndrome

...researchers have found that ...phosphoinositide-3 (PI3) kinase inhibitors can correct defects in the anatomy of neurons seen in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome. ... the drugs could restore normal appearance and levels of protein production at synapses, the junctions between cells where chemical communication occurs. The results, published online this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggest that PI3 kinase inhibitors could help improve learning and cognition in individuals with fragile X syndrome. ...

Brain Connectivity Boosted By IBMT Meditation

...Just 11 hours of learning a meditation technique induces positive structural changes in brain connectivity by boosting efficiency in a part of the brain that helps a person regulate behavior in accordance with their goals...

DNA Identified That May Contribute To Each Person's Uniqueness

...In a report published in Cell, the team identified a near complete catalog of the DNA segments that copy themselves, move around in, and insert themselves here and there in our genome. The insertion locations of these moveable segments - transposons - in each individual's genome helps determine why some are short or tall, blond or brunette, and more likely or less likely to have cancer or heart disease. ...

See Mobile Interspersed Repeats Are Major Structural Variants in the Human Genome

New Brain Scan Diagnoses Autism In Adults

...UK scientists have developed a new type of brain scan that only takes 15 minutes and can diagnose autism in adults with over 90 per cent accuracy: they hope to develop it so it can be used to screen children for autism spectrum disorders....

Brain scans could soon be used to determine a person's ideal career

...researchers ....recently used brain scans from 40 volunteers to find out how well the results of eight vocational guidance tests correlated to the distribution of gray matter in their brains. ... brain scans could soon be used to determine a person's ideal career alongside - or even instead of - vocational guidance tests....

Long-term Evaluation of Refractive Status and Optical Components in Eyes of Children Born Prematurely

For...children born prematurely, the development of myopia is mainly affected by anterior segment components, ... hyperopia was mainly attributable to short AL. Astigmatism is primarily cornea–related. .... The presence of ROP may be associated with significantly shorter ACD, thicker lens, and higher myopia and astigmatism....

Misunderstanding use of medications: It may be easy to do

...Large dosing errors (>40% deviation) occurred with 23.3% to 25.8% with the use of dosing cups, compared with 1.7% to 4.6% with the use of a dropper, dosing spoon, oral syringe with bottle adapter or oral syringe. Doses were measured accurately by 30.5% to 50.2% of parents using dosing cups and by 86% to 94.4% of parents using the other dosing devices. ...

Autistic Children Slower to Integrate Multiple Stimuli

...Children with autism spectrum disorders are slower at integrating various types of sensory information than those with a more typical "multi-sensory integration" was also less extensive than in typical children...

Study links pesticides to ADHD

...US researchers found that prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides lead to an increased likelihood of ADHD when children turned five....The effect was more pronounced in boys....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fact or Fiction: Do You Really Need an Annual Eye Exam?


RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif., June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the need for comprehensive eye exams. If I see fine, do I really need to go to the eye doctor on an annual basis? If I wear someone else's glasses will that hurt my eyes? Will wearing glasses make my eyes weaker? To debunk many of the myths surrounding annual eye exams, VSP® Vision Care today released its third online video in the VSP EyeFiles(SM) series starring Emmy award-winning Bill Nye the Science Guy.

During an eye exam, eye doctors do more than just check for a change in prescription, they play a critical role in overall health, as well as preventative health. In fact, eye doctors can detect signs of chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, prior to diagnosis. Under optimal vision plan designs, 60 percent of Americans will see their eye doctor versus 21 percent of Americans that get annual physicals.

VSP EyeFiles featuring Bill Nye, educates Americans on eye health and debunks common myths. As part of the VSP EyeFiles initiative, VSP Vision Care sent an online survey to VSP doctors across the country, asking them for the most common vision-related myths they hear from their patients on a regular basis. Some of the myths related to the importance of annual eye exams included:

* Myth: Wearing glasses tends to weaken the eyes.
o Fact: Glasses do not weaken eyes. Eyes lose the ability to focus on near objects as people get older, a natural digression called presbyopia. Presbyopia, which means "old eye" in Greek, becomes noticeable between the ages of 38 and 42. The bottom line is glasses do not weaken eyes; rather eyes naturally become weaker with age.

* Myth: Children do not need to have their vision tested until they are at least 5.
o Fact: The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends a six-month eye exam to make sure the baby's eyes are developing correctly and to scan for serious problems such as cataracts and tumors. Eighty percent of what we learn is through our eyes, and one in four students has a visual impairment problem. One study shows a whopping 85 percent of America's preschoolers haven't received a vision exam by age five. Experts recommend that children see their eye doctor at six months, between the ages of 2 and 3, before entering kindergarten, and annually thereafter to ensure their eye health and learning progression.

* Myth: If you can see fine, your eyes are healthy and you don't need an exam.
o Fact: Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. It is important to make annual visits to an eye doctor to receive comprehensive eye exams. Through an exam an eye doctor can detect signs of serious health conditions including diabetes, brain tumors, and high cholesterol, before physical symptoms are present.

To view Bill Nye's VSP EyeFiles, please visit or the "My Eyes" tab at

Famous Neuroscientist Joins Eye Doctors to Offer Advice to Parents

In a Special Free Webinar Interview on Thursday, Aug. 26th at 9 pm EDT

AURORA, Ohio, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The public is invited to a free web interview with Dr. Susan Barry, neuroscientist, professor and author of Fixing My Gaze. Dr. Barry, recently interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air program, is famous for gaining 3D vision as an adult and sharing her experiences in her book, which was just released in paperback.

Although Dr. Barry was cross-eyed since early infancy and had three eye muscle surgeries to straighten her eyes, she had "20/20" vision. This meant that she could see the letters on the eye chart that you are supposed to see from a distance of 20 feet. Everyone assumed that meant she had perfect vision. Yet, when she tried to read, the words appeared to her to move on the page. Thus, she had trouble learning to read and had great difficulty with standardized tests. If it were not for heroic steps taken by her mother to help her learn to read, Dr. Barry would not have succeeded in school and in her career.

It wasn't until Dr. Barry went through a program of optometric vision therapy as an adult that she understood why the words appeared to move on the page when she was in grade school. Even though her eyes looked straight, she had a binocular vision problem. Her eyes were not aligned properly, which means they didn't point at the same letters on the page the way they are supposed to when she tried to read.

As students are going back to school across the U.S. the stakes are higher than ever. Standardized tests determine not only the students' achievement, but the teachers' and the schools'. Everyone is being graded. Yet, we are still using an archaic system to measure how well children see and telling them that their vision is fine. The standard school vision screening - reading a letter chart positioned 20 feet away with one eye at a time - does not examine how well a child can read at close range using the two eyes together.

It is Dr. Barry's hope that by writing her book and sharing her story she can help millions of children. Attend this FREE webinar to find out what you can do to ensure your child has all the visual skills required for academic success.

In honor of August being National Children's Vision and Learning month, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development is sponsoring this FREE 30 minute interview with Dr. Barry on line, "School Crossings: A Neurobiologist's View of How Our System Fails Children With Vision Problems." This meeting is open to parents and educators across the U.S. as well as the media. It will be held on Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 9 pm, EDT.

Seating is limited to the first 1,000 people to respond. To register for this free event, go to: and enter the webinar ID number, which is 547-423-251, your email address, etc. Just follow the instructions from there.

About COVD

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is an international, non-profit optometric membership organization that provides education, evaluation and board certification programs in behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy and visual rehabilitation. The organization is comprised of doctors of optometry, vision therapists and other vision specialists. For more information on learning-related vision problems, vision therapy and COVD, please visit or call 888.268.3770.

CONTACT: Pamela R. Happ, CAE
COVD Executive Director
Telephone: 888.268.3770

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014

I am proud to say that I graduated from Beloit College (a few years ago) which is not only known for its outstanding liberal arts education but also its Mindset list. If you have a student entering college as the Class of 2014 here is what the list says. DM

Beloit College Mindset list for the Class of 2014

Most students entering college for the first time this fall—the Class of 2014—were born in 1992. For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks and Tony Perkins have always been dead.

1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.

2. Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.

3. “Go West, Young College Grad” has always implied “and don’t stop until you get to Asia…and learn Chinese along the way.”

4. Al Gore has always been animated.

5. Los Angelinos have always been trying to get along.

6. Buffy has always been meeting her obligations to hunt down Lothos and the other blood-suckers at Hemery High.

7. “Caramel macchiato” and “venti half-caf vanilla latte” have always been street corner lingo.

8. With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.

9. Had it remained operational, the villainous computer HAL could be their college classmate this fall, but they have a better chance of running into Miley Cyrus’s folks on Parents’ Weekend.

10. A quarter of the class has at least one immigrant parent, and the immigration debate is not a big priority…unless it involves “real” aliens from another planet.

11. John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.

12. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.

13. Parents and teachers feared that Beavis and Butt-head might be the voice of a lost generation.

14. Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.

15. Colorful lapel ribbons have always been worn to indicate support for a cause.

16. Korean cars have always been a staple on American highways.

17. Trading Chocolate the Moose for Patti the Platypus helped build their Beanie Baby collection.

18. Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.

19. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

20. DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.

21. Woody Allen, whose heart has wanted what it wanted, has always been with Soon-Yi Previn.

22. Cross-burning has always been deemed protected speech.

23. Leasing has always allowed the folks to upgrade their tastes in cars.

24. “Cop Killer” by rapper Ice-T has never been available on a recording.

25. Leno and Letterman have always been trading insults on opposing networks.

26. Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.

27. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.

28. They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.

29. Reggie Jackson has always been enshrined in Cooperstown.

30. “Viewer Discretion” has always been an available warning on TV shows.

31. The first computer they probably touched was an Apple II; it is now in a museum.

32. Czechoslovakia has never existed.

33. Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.

34. “Assisted Living” has always been replacing nursing homes, while Hospice has always been an alternative to hospitals.

35. Once they got through security, going to the airport has always resembled going to the mall.

36. Adhesive strips have always been available in varying skin tones.

37. Whatever their parents may have thought about the year they were born, Queen Elizabeth declared it an “Annus Horribilis.”

38. Bud Selig has always been the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

39. Pizza jockeys from Domino’s have never killed themselves to get your pizza there in under 30 minutes.

40. There have always been HIV positive athletes in the Olympics.

41. American companies have always done business in Vietnam.

42. Potato has always ended in an “e” in New Jersey per vice presidential edict.

43. Russians and Americans have always been living together in space.

44. The dominance of television news by the three networks passed while they were still in their cribs.

45. They have always had a chance to do community service with local and federal programs to earn money for college.

46. Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.

47. Children have always been trying to divorce their parents.

48. Someone has always gotten married in space.

49. While they were babbling in strollers, there was already a female Poet Laureate of the United States.

50. Toothpaste tubes have always stood up on their caps.

51. Food has always been irradiated.

52. There have always been women priests in the Anglican Church.

53. J.R. Ewing has always been dead and gone. Hasn’t he?

54. The historic bridge at Mostar in Bosnia has always been a copy.

55. Rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties.

56. They may have assumed that parents’ complaints about Black Monday had to do with punk rockers from L.A., not Wall Street.

57. A purple dinosaur has always supplanted Barney Google and Barney Fife.

58. Beethoven has always been a dog.

59. By the time their folks might have noticed Coca Cola’s new Tab Clear, it was gone.

60. Walmart has never sold handguns over the counter in the lower 48.

61. Presidential appointees have always been required to be more precise about paying their nannies’ withholding tax, or else.

62. Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.

63. Their parents’ favorite TV sitcoms have always been showing up as movies.

64. The U.S, Canada, and Mexico have always agreed to trade freely.

65. They first met Michelangelo when he was just a computer virus.

66. Galileo is forgiven and welcome back into the Roman Catholic Church.

67. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always sat on the Supreme Court.

68. They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.

69. The Post Office has always been going broke.

70. The artist formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg has always been rapping.

71. The nation has never approved of the job Congress is doing.

72. One way or another, “It’s the economy, stupid” and always has been.

73. Silicone-gel breast implants have always been regulated.

74. They’ve always been able to blast off with the Sci-Fi Channel.

75. Honda has always been a major competitor on Memorial Day at Indianapolis.

Early Elementary School Children Should Be Monitored For Visual Problems

...Being able to see clearly is a very important part of learning development. Parents and teachers of early elementary school children should watch for silent warning signs of visual problems,...

Comments: Even though it was suggested in this article that you should start with a vision screening....only a comprehensive eye exam can tell you what's wrong and if treatment is needed. Do not depend upon vision screenings! DM

Even in Dubai:3-D entertainment not for everyone

...Of course, three-dimensional (3-D) entertainment has created a wave on the screens, whether it is cinema, TV or laptop computers, and led our aesthetic sense to new heights. Unfortunately, not everyone among us can enjoy the thrilling 3-D experience.

According to a study by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, 2-3 per cent of the general population cannot perceive 3-D images because of the early onset of squint or an eye problem that develops later in life....

Wrong font can cause computer vision syndrome

...Do you know which font you need to use while working on your computer, the right font that does not tax your eyes? With majority of the people facing some kind of vision problem due to excess exposure to computer screen, it is imperative that one knows this....

Using vision therapy to correct eyesight problems

..Jordan Smith looks like your average high school senior. But six years ago, he was struggling to get by in the classroom due to a learning-related vision problem. That's when he began doing exercises at vision therapy to correct the problem....

Comments: Take a look at this video and news story. DM

National Optometry Hall of Fame inducts Gregg, Rosenbloom

...The National Optometry Hall of Fame, administered by Optometry Cares, The AOA Foundation, welcomed two new inductees into the elite group of 51 optometrists at a reception held during Optometry’s Meeting® in Orlando, Fla.

The 2010 inductees are James R. Gregg, O.D., DOS, DOL, (posthumously) and Alfred A. Rosenbloom, O.D., DOS.

“The National Optometry Hall of Fame highlights the luminaries within the profession of optometry—men and women who have made a significant and long-lasting impact on the profession,” said Martha Rosemore Greenberg, O.D., president of Optometry Cares....

Mid-Range Vision Poses Problems For Many Computer Users

Writing in the Wall Street Journal (8/17, D1) "Health Journal" on the front of the Personal Journal section, Melinda Beck points out that many people have difficulty seeing objects in the mid-range of their vision, particularly computer screens. Not only do those who wear glasses to correct either distance or close vision have difficulty, but also those who wear progressive lenses, too, unless they look at the screen exactly in the right spot. According to the American Optometric Association, approximately 40% of Americans spend three or more hours daily focusing on an electronic device with a screen. For some nearsighted middle-aged people, removing their distance glasses might be enough to help them read their computer screen for a while until they lose their close vision.

Are You Losing Your Mind?

...Ever feel like you are losing your mind, but you don't have dementia? Researchers may hold the answer in protein fragments....

Are You Losing Your Mind?

...Ever feel like you are losing your mind, but you don't have dementia? Researchers may hold the answer in protein fragments....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Having trouble seeing 3D?

Consumer Reports says.."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." If you can't enjoy 3D movies this recommedation by Consumer Reports may be right for you. DM

Susan Barry, PhD on NPR Today!

...When Sue Barry used to see snow falling, it would appear as if the snow were falling in one flat sheet in front of her.

"I did not feel like I was part of the snowfall but I was looking in on the snowfall," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Barry, a neurobiologist, had been cross-eyed since early infancy. Though she had operations as a young child to correct her eyes' appearance, they still sent conflicting messages to her brain. As a result, she viewed the world in a flat plane and had no stereoscopic 3-D vision.....

Comments: Dr. Barry tells her NPR audience how she achieved binocular vision after being told she was too old to do anything about her strabismus….after working with a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development she achieved ‘stereovision’! Click here to listen to this program with Fresh Air's Terry Gross. BTW Sue's book, Fixing My Gaze is now avalable in paperback from Amazon. DM