Saturday, December 18, 2010

Not Just the Newest Toys Hold Risks for Kids

....Danger lurks among tricycles as well as battery- and magnet-loaded gadgets, experts warn....
The injury statistics serve as a reminder that choosing the right toy is just a start and that there's still the need for parents to be ever vigilant when their children are at play, said Dr. Pete Kehoe, an Illinois optometrist and spokesman for Prevent Blindness America...."It's that one time you turn your head that you're going to have a problem," Kehoe said.....Even video games have their problems. Too much play can create eyestrain, Kehoe said. "If you do anything too much, it's not good for you," he said. "Children should not spend more than 20 to 30 minutes playing a video game without taking a visual break."....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth

....The human brain is truly awesome. A typical, healthy one houses some 200 billion nerve cells, which are connected to one another via hundreds of trillions of synapses. Each synapse functions like a microprocessor, and tens of thousands of them can connect a single neuron to other nerve cells. In the cerebral cortex alone, there are roughly 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies.....

Brain's Visual Circuits Do Error Correction On The Fly vision model is called predictive coding....the neurons at each level form and send context-sensitive predictions about what an image might be to the next lower neuron level. The predictions are compared with the incoming sensory data. Any mismatches, or prediction errors, between what the neurons expected to see and what they observe are sent up the neuron ladder. Each neuron layer then adjusts its perceptions of an image in order to eliminate prediction error at the next lower layer. ....

Fewer Synapses More Efficient Learning

....both the formation and the elimination of synapses are essential for learning and memory ....

Widening Our Perceptions Of Reading And Writing Difficulties

Of the 2 studies mentioned the second one ....provided the first systematic description of a type of reading disorder called "attentional dyslexia" in which children identify letters correctly, but the letters jump between words on the page, e.g., "kind wing" is read as "wind king". Teachers and neuropsychologists often notice that children substitute letters when reading, but in this type of dyslexia the substitutions are not caused by inability to identify letters or convert them to sounds; they result from migrations of letters between words....

Comments: Very strange. Developmental optometrists have been helping children with these kind of problems for decades. When children skip words while reading, lose their place while reading....and mix up words while reading...this is often a sign that an oculomotor dysfunction is present. See:

Fischer B, Hartnegg K. Instability of fixation in dyslexia: development – deficits – training. Optom Vis Dev 2009;40(4):221-228.

Fischer B, Hartnegg K. Saccade control in dyslexia: Development, deficits, training and transfer to reading. Optom Vis Dev 2008:39(4):181-190.

Okumura T., Laukkanen H., Tamai H. Computerized Saccadic Eye Movement Therapy to Improve Oculomotor Control during Reading and Reading Rate in Adult Japanese Readers. Opt Vis Dev 2008: 39(4):191-197

Study Shows Way To Block Neurodegeneration In Adult Form Of Fragile X Syndrome

....Fragile X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS) is usually found in older adults, who often have grandchildren afflicted with Fragile X. Those affected with the adult form of the syndrome have slow gait, tremors, dementia and balance problems. The symptoms are caused by overproduction of a toxic mRNA in the brain that causes neurodegeneration....

Benzonatate can cause serious side effects or death in children under 10 years

...Accidental ingestion of the cough-suppressant benzonatate (Tessalon, Forest Pharmaceuticals) can result in serious side effects or death in children under 10 years, the FDA announced ...

Optometric Vision Therapy in the Schools

Take a look at this television report on optometric vision therapy in the schools. DM

Emotional Intelligence Peaks as We Enter Our 60s

...Older people have a hard time keeping a lid on their feelings, especially when viewing heartbreaking or disgusting scenes in movies and reality shows, psychologists have found. But they're better than their younger counterparts at seeing the positive side of a stressful situation and empathizing with the less fortunate....

Comments: really isn't that I'm a grumpy old guy.....I'm grumpy BECAUSE I am an old guy!! BTW...I prefer the term "chronologically enhanced" to "old"! DM

ICO CE Program

Sunday, January 9, 2011 6 Hours of COPE Approved, Tested CE Credit

Speaker: Jill Autry, O.D., R.Ph.

Optometric Physician/Partner −Eye Center of Texas, Houston

Dr Autry received her pharmacy degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She practiced in critical care before returning for her optometry degree at the University of Houston. Following graduation, she performed a residency in ocular disease at the Eye Center of Texas ophthalmology center where she is a partner today. Although in private practice, Dr. Autry is the program director for both residents and student interns at her practice. She lectures nationally and internationally on a variety of pharmaceutical and ocular disease topics and has authored numerous articles for both optometric and pharmaceutical journals.


Writing Oral Prescriptions

Neuro 101

Ocular Inflammation: The Enemy Within

Time: 8:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M. – Sign-In/Refreshments

9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. – Lecture

Location: ICO Lecture Center

Cost: $180 (non-tested), $210 (tested)

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation CE

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation: Integrating a Neuro-Visual-Postural Model of Service for Neurologically Affected Persons

Presented by
William V. Padula, OD & Raquel Munitz, MS, COVT
Padula Institute of Vision Rehabilitation

Saturday & Sunday, February 26 & 27, 2011
8:00 am – 4:00 pm each day

12 CE Credits*
$300.00 includes Continental Breakfast and lunch, both days

Western University Campus, Pomona, CA
For additional information and to pre-register go to

*COPE Approval Pending

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Researchers Find That Medicaid-funded ADHD Treatment For Children Is Failing

Please read this one all the way to the end....

....The researchers found:

-- The clinical severity of ADHD did not differ among children in primary care or specialty mental health care.

-- There was little cross-over of children between the two sectors. If a child began treatment only in primary care, he or she had no contact with specialty mental health; the same pattern held true for children who were initially receiving care in specialty mental health. This prevented the two specialty areas from coordinating care.

-- In primary care, most children with ADHD were appropriately prescribed stimulant medication to help their symptoms (the standard of care) but averaged only one to two follow-up visits a year with their doctor.

-- In specialty mental health clinics, less than one-third of children received any stimulant medication, but they received psychosocial interventions, such as therapy and/or case management, averaging five or more visits per month.

-- Overall, in both primary and specialty mental health care, about one-third of children with ADHD and impairment dropped out of care. Over time, the drop-out rate for children served in primary care clinics reached 50 percent.-- In both primary and specialty care, more than one-third of children prescribed stimulant medication failed to continue taking medication.

-- Most tellingly, clinical outcomes such, as ADHD symptoms, functioning, academic achievement, parent distress, perceived benefit of treatment, and improved family functioning, were similar among children who remained in care and children who received no care at all.

Comments: Not once did the researchers ask the question, "Do vision problems cause some of the ADHD behaviors? This is sad since research has shown that ADHD children have vision problems and that many ADHD behaviors can have their origins in a poorly working vision system.

See: Granet DB, Gomi CF, Ventura R, Miller-Scholte A. The relationship between convergence insufficiency and ADHD.Strabismus. 2005 Dec;13(4):163-8.

They reported a three-fold greater incidence of ADHD among patients with Convergence Insufficiency and a three-fold greater incidence of CI in the ADHD population
Knowing this why don't the powers that be have all of these children evaluated by a functional/developmental/behavioral optometrist?

Computer-based Program May Help Relieve Some ADHD Symptoms In Children

....The software includes a set of 25 exercises that students had to complete within 5 to 6 weeks. Each session is 30 to 40 minutes long. The exercises are in a computer-game format and are designed to help students improve their working memory. For example, in one exercise a robot will speak numbers in a certain order, and the student has to click on the numbers the robot spoke, on the computer screen, in the opposite order.....

Scientists Link Relationship Among ADHD, Reading, Math

...researchers found that ADHD behaviors, reading achievement, and math achievement were all influenced by the same genetic influences; ... some psychological scientists think that all three might be linked through the working memory system.... the exciting aspect of this work was that that ADHD behaviors, reading achievement, and math achievement are also associated by common environmental influences....

How is reading like catching flies?

Something You Should Know: Vision and Reading

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is My Newborn Normal?

From WebMD: To help prepare you for those first hours, days, and weeks of life, here's a head-to-toe guide to newborn health....

Tour de Optometry

From ICO Insider:

ICO-COVD is welcoming COVD National President Dr. Brad Habermehl to campus on Friday, Jan. 7, for a presentation on optometric vision therapy and other optometry topics. His visit is part of the "Tour de Optometry," in which COVD-national sends a speaker to each optometry school to talk about the profession. Dr. Habermehl will address students at 5 p.m. in Room 1200.

Chicago Public Schools Getting Help from ICO Students

News fro the ICO Insider:

The Chicago Board of Education gave its OK to adding an Illinois Eye Institute clinic to the Chicago Public Schools. The CPS project - part of ICO's Chicago Vision Outreach - will have a permanent home at Princeton Elementary School, 51st and Princeton (Dan Ryan and 51st Street). This site is just minutes from ICO and will be dedicated solely as an eye clinic providing comprehensive eye care services to children of all ages who lack the ability to pay for it.
CPS dedicated one of its more modern buildings to the clinic, so ICO students working there will have access to some wireless access, a lounge area, parking, security cameras and upgraded electrical and computer cabling in every room. The clinic will be open for patients Wednesday, January 5, 2011. For more information, contact Dr. Sandy Block.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Autism Holidays eBook for Parents Released for Free by My Autism Network

....My Autism Network today announced that it is giving away complimentary copies of a new ebook called Autism & the Holidays: A Parent’s Preparation Guide. The downloadable book will be available for a limited time only through the company’s Facebook page.....

Computer-Based Program May Help Relieve Some ADHD Symptoms in Children involved 52 students, aged 7 to 17, who attended a private school in Columbus that serves children with learning disabilities, many of whom also have an ADHD diagnoses. All the children used the software in their homes, under the supervision of their parents and the researchers....The software includes a set of 25 exercises ..... Each session is 30 to 40 minutes long. The exercises ,,, are designed to help students improve their working memory. ....