Friday, April 22, 2011

Stravinsky taken to another dimension: The 3rd Dimension!

....Symphony Hall will never before have seen audiences like it in all its 20 years, when next Thursday we will all be wearing 3D glasses to experience a 21st-century digital makeover of Stravinsky’s groundbreaking ballet The Rite of Spring.
Nine stereoscopic cameras, simulating human binocular vision, will be focusing on the movements of the acclaimed contemporary dancer Julia Mach, as she interprets the score. Fed into a complex computer system, the images will be generated into 3D on a giant silver screen positioned above the CBSO conducted by Ilan Volkov, all delivered into our faces – and all in real time......


....The new Nintendo 3DS game system includes a warning that its 3-D screen shouldn't be used by children 6 or younger because it may harm their immature vision.But eye specialists say they don't expect any harm. Some optometrists even see potential benefit for young kids, saying a child's reaction to a 3-D screen use might help uncover vision disorders that have to be caught early to be fixed. But ophthalmologists say there's no evidence of benefit.....

How Many Optometry Schools Should There Be?

See the survey results....

The 3Ds of Stereoscopic 3D Viewing

The 3Ds of Stereoscopic 3D Viewing


Since 3D viewing is based on the eyes converging in front of or beyond the screen, viewing 3D images can potentially create eyestrain and headaches. Consumers can reduce the conflict by sitting at a greater distance from the screen.


3D technology can exaggerate visual motion hypersensitivity (VMH), which can cause motion sickness, and vergence-accommodation conflict, causing consumers to feel dizzy or nauseous during or after viewing 3D content.

•Lack of Depth:

A viewer lacking binocular vision, simply won’t see 3D. While this doesn’t pose any problem viewing the screen, it serves as a “vision screening” that something is abnormal with the viewer’s binocular vision.

Rehab For The Brain After Traumatic Injuries

.....The remaining 85 percent of people who experience a TBI will experience a mild injury. Often, the terms "mild TBI" and "concussion" are used interchangeably. These individuals typically experience alterations in their neurological state after injury (e.g., mental confusion, headaches, dizziness, visual changes, etc.) and are evaluated in an emergency room or a local doctor's office. Of these individuals, approximately 85 percent recover fully over the next several weeks to months. Approximately 15 percent of those with mild TBI, however, will experience ongoing physical, cognitive and emotional changes similar to those with more severe TBI. These individuals typically are referred to an outpatient TBI rehabilitation setting for assessment and treatment. The goal of their treatment is to maximize their functioning with the aim of returning to work, school and former community roles.....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why Does Brain Development Diverge From Normal In Autism Spectrum Disorders?

..... "Many ASDs manifest between 1 and 2 years of age, a period when kids are interacting more with the outside world," ..... "The brain of an autistic child looks normal, but there's a subtle difference in connections that has to do with how they process experiences. If you could diagnose early enough, there might be a way to alter the course of the disease by modifying experience, such as through intense one-to-one therapy." ...... focused on a synaptic circuit in the brain's visual system that is relatively easy to study, known as the retinogeniculate synapse. It connects the cells receiving input from the eye to the lateral geniculate nucleus, an important relay station in the brain's thalamus. Visual inputfrom the outside world, during a specific "critical period," is crucial for its normal development......

Older Age Memory Loss Tied To Stress Hormone Receptor In Brain

...Many believe that stress is bad for our brains especially as we get older. Now researchers have shown how two receptors in older brains react to a stress hormone called cortisol, which has been linked to increasing forgetfulness as we age...

Comments: Well at least now I know why I can't seem to remember anything! But wait! My wife says I couldn't remember anything even when I was not chronologically enhanced!! DM

New Study Examines Brain Processes Behind Facial Recognition

....Using tests of visual perception and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), ...recently measured activity in two regions of the brain well known for facial recognition and found they were highly sensitive to the orientation of people's faces.....

Benefits Of Online Learning In Canada

....Using data obtained from surveys, interviews and document analysis with Ministries of Education and key stakeholders, Barbour found in 2009 that all Canadian provinces and territories had instituted some type of K-12 distance education, with British Columbia having the most and Prince Edward Island having the least. In 2010, Barbour observed that not only is distance education flourishing in Canada, but Alberta has begun the process of incorporating a blended approach of online learning into the traditional classroom environment to optimize student learning.....

Brain Analysis Predicts Learning

....Researchers collected brain imaging data from people performing a motor task, and then analyzed this data using new computational techniques. They found evidence that the flexibility of a person's brain can be used to predict how well someone will learn. The researchers view flexibility as how different areas of the brain link up in different combinations......

Mental Illness in Young Adults Who Had Strabismus as Children

.....Children diagnosed as having strabismus in this population, especially those with exotropia, were at
increased risk for developing mental illness by early adulthood. Patients with intermittent exotropia seemed to be particularly prone to developing significant psychiatric diseases by the third decade of life....

Comments: Down load free PDF of this article by clicking on title above. DM

Stimulation Improves Potential To Learn New Skills

....brain stimulation accelerated learning in laboratory experiments that may eventually lead to improved treatments for strokes, tinnitus, chronic pain and more......Future treatments that enhance large changes in the brain may assist with recovery from stroke or learning disabilities. In addition, this new understanding may lead to better treatments for such brain disorders as tinnitus and chronic pain that occur when large-scale brain changes are unable to reverse......

Treatments show some promise in reducing autism behaviors

.....The comparative effectiveness report, ..., found that two commonly used medications — risperidone and aripiprazole (Abilify, Otsuka) — show benefit in reducing some behaviors, including emotional distress, aggression, hyperactivity and self-injury. ...these medicines are associated with significant adverse events, such as rapid weight gain and drowsiness, medications used for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) improved social behaviors or communication skills. ...secretin, which has been studied extensively, has shown no effectiveness. ....Behavioral interventions showed promise for improving some symptoms and behaviors, but their effects varied..... parent training and cognitive behavioral therapy, may be useful for children with ASDs to improve social communication, language use and potentially symptom severity, ....

Most Eye Injuries From Spray Cans Suffered By Children

.....A new estimate of emergency room visits for eye injuries related to aerosol spray cans finds that children account for more than half the cases. Infants and toddlers are the most common age segment affected, leading researchers to emphasize prevention.....

Multiple Sclerosis Risk After Optic Neuritis

...The presence of brain MRI abnormalities at the time of an optic neuritis attack is a strong predictor
of the 15-year risk of MS. In the absence of MRIdetected lesions, male sex, optic disc swelling, and atypical clinical features of optic neuritis are associated with a low likelihood of developing MS. This natural history information is important when considering prophylactic treatment for MS at the time of a first acute onset of optic neuritis......

Comment: Full article available. Click on the link above. DM

Optometry & Vision Development, Volume 42, Number 1 Available Online Full-Text

College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) Journal
Optometry & Vision Development
Volume 42, Number 1 Available Online
Full-Text, Free of Charge to All

AURORA, Ohio, April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) has posted its current issue of Optometry & Vision Development online and invites all to read the full-text articles free of charge.

The journal of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, Optometry & Vision Development (OVD), Volume 42 Number 1 offers articles concerning clinical research on children with visual impairment and their focusing ability; an assessment of visual processing disorders within families; and how to use an instrument designed for one purpose and adapting it to assess how efficiently the eyes move.

OVD editor, Dr. Dominick M. Maino notes that, "You'd think eye care professionals would know that children with macular pathologies and in need of Low Vision specialty lenses would take into account accommodative demand (focusing) when prescribing for near. Unfortunately, all too often they do not." Catherine L. Heyman, OD, FAAO, FCOVD; assistant professor at the Southern California College of Optometry and author of the article, Accommodative Response in Children with Visual Impairment, finds it is necessary to consider using dynamic near retinoscopy to assess each patient's accommodative response prior to prescribing near addition lenses. Using the Grand Seiko WV500 autorefractor, each subject's accommodative response was measured. Her subjects had accommodative responses of various sub-types. These included the "negative slope lag," "fixed lag," "fixed accurate," "positive slope lag" and the "fixed lead" sub-types. Each individual would require a different use of near point lenses for maximum efficiency and to improve their quality of life.

In the article, Evidence for Familial Link in Visual Processing Disorders, faculty from the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris University demonstrated a potential link between heritability of visual processing disorders and hair color. Drs. Sarah Hinkley and Paula Smith concluded in the article that "There appears to be significant associations between the scores of family members on visual processing tests, however, the role of environment cannot be ruled out as a factor." Will it be possible to determine which children may be at risk for vision information processing/visual perception problems by hair color? Since additional research in this area is required, we cannot say so at this time. We know appropriate vision information processing is vital to academic achievement and overall school performance; if a link is found between hair color and VIP this might lead to improved screening methods for children with learning related vision problems.

OVD's article, The VisionPrint System: A new tool in the diagnosis of ocular motor dysfunction, evaluates using the Essilor designed VisionPrint System (VPS) to objectively measure the individual's head to eye movement ratio (H/E). This information is then used to determine the physiological needs of those with presbyopia. Optometry student, Janna Iyer, Drs. Marc B. Taub and WC Maples of the Southern College of Optometry found that: "The VPS can effectively be used to assess ocular motor function" and that "Since excessive head movement is a sign of ocular motor dysfunction, the VPS can assist practitioners in assessing eye/head movements, leading to a diagnosis of ocular motor dysfunction." This means that a tool initially designed for one purpose may have multiple uses within the optometrist's office.

Can a piece of string actually be the latest in technology? In his editorial, Brock String Debuts at 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, Dr. Dominick M. Maino, Professor of Pediatrics/Binocular Vision at the Illinois College of Optometry, and OVD Editor, tells how a simple piece of string can be used to diagnose and treat binocular vision problems that interfere with enjoying 3D entertainment and classroom learning. In the editorial Dr. Maino states, "3D. There's an app for that. It's called Optometric Vision Therapy," which means many of those with problems appreciating the 3D experience can be helped by vision therapy. He also noted, "Unlike that other eye-care profession that tells consumers not to view 3D if it makes them uncomfortable; we are not the Doomsday docs of 3D. We want 3D to succeed so that all can enjoy an improved vocational, recreational and educational experience."

Also included in this edition of OVD are our regular features: current literature review, practice management articles, book review, and our NewsMakers column.

About Optometry & Vision Development

Optometry & Vision Development (OVD) is a peer-reviewed open access journal indexed in the online Directory of Open Access Journals. The full text of these articles is available free from OVD is an official publication of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Any questions may be addressed to the editor, Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A at or 312-949-7282.

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, optometric 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, optometric vision therapy, and COVD please visit or call 888.268.3770.

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

What Our Eyes Can't See, The Brain Fills In

.....The results show that our brains do not rely solely on what is shown to the eyes in order to 'see'. Instead the brain constructs a complex prediction. .... "We are continuously anticipating what we will see, hear or feel next. If parts of an image are obstructed we still have precise expectation of what the whole object will look like. ..."When direct input from the eye is obstructed, the brain still predicts what is likely to be present behind the object by using some of the other inputs to come up with best 'guesses'......

PIDS releases position statement on immunization exemptions

...The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society recently issued a position statement that “opposes any legislation or regulation that would allow children to be exempted from mandatory immunizations based simply on their parents’, or in the case of adolescents, their own, secular personal beliefs.”....
“Hundreds of thousands of deaths have been prevented through routine immunizations and tens of billions of dollars have been saved, making childhood immunizations one of the most cost-effective components of our public health system,” according to the position paper....
But fraudulent scientific data and surrounding media and celebrity hype has led to a pushback against vaccination, according to the statement. In some cases, this has led to a resurgence of some diseases, including the most recent measles outbreak.....“Even a small number of unimmunized individuals in a community can facilitate the spread of disease,” according to the statement. The risk for measles is 35 times greater for an exempt child than a vaccinated one, 23 times higher for pertussis and nine times higher for varicella......"

More Game Time Lost By NHL Players With Recurrent Concussion

....A new study of concussions over seven NHL (National Hockey League) seasons indicates that rates of concussions have declined from a peak in 2000-2001, although the time lag between injury and return to play has increased....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ICO Alumni News


Last month, the prestigious National Academies of Practice in Washington, D.C., once again honored faculty and alumni from ICO. Those being recognized this year included Dominick M. Maino, OD '78, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A, professor of pediatrics/binocular vision at ICO, and John C. Whitener, OD '64, MPH. Both of these individuals were honored as Distinguished Practitioners.

Lori Grover, OD '90, FAAO, was recognized as an NAP Fellow. Lester Caplan, OD '49, MEd, FAAO, a senior consultant at ASCO and professor emeritus at UAB School of Optometry, was singled out for special recognition with the NAP's James A. Boucher Award of Excellence. Dr. Maino is pictured on the left with Drs. Caplan and Whitener.....

Comments: For more ICO alumni news, click on the title above. DM

Have a piece of string? Test your 3-D vision

Have a piece of string? Test your 3-D vision by Suzanne Kantra
When the first 3-D movies started hitting the theaters, I was excited to take my kids to see them. I realized early on, though, that I was not enjoying 3-D — I just got headaches.

So I spoke to Dr. Dominick Maino, professor of pediatrics and binocular vision at the Illinois College of Optometry/Illinois Eye Institute, about my issue. It turns out I had one of the symptoms of a binocular vision problem that interfere with 3D viewing, which also include nausea, dizziness and lack of depth perception. This issue affects approximately 16 percent of people, yet few realize they have a 3-D vision problem.

Dr. Maino points out, binocular vision isn’t just about enjoying movies. Binocular vision problems can affect your ability to focus on a page when reading or a ball while playing sports, drive a car or ride a bike......

Comments: To read the complete article, please click the title above. This blog post will tell you how to do the Brock String "Test" as a screening for binoncular vision problems. As with any screening....beware of the limitations and always have a complete eye and vision examination by an optometrist.

For Doctors of Optometry certified in diagnosing and treating binocular vision problems please go to For information on the Illinois College of Optometry/Illinois Eye Institute click on and For more information about 3D Vision Syndrome see What is 3D Vision Syndrome, 3D Vision Syndrome on NBC,  Illinois OD helps those with 3-D vision problems, 3D Vision and Eye Health.

Another Techilious article that mentions 3D movies and what you can do if they make you feel ill can be found at DM

Illinois College of Optometry News: Appointment of Interim Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs

ICO's President Appoints Interim Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs

ICO is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Stephanie Messner to serve as Interim Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs beginning May 23. Dr. Messner brings a wealth of exceptional characteristics to this position and this institution that includes serving for 26 years as a faculty member at ICO and 16 years as an academic administrator. Please join ICO in welcoming Interim Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Stephanie Messner, to the leadership of our institution.

ICO's President, Dr. Arol Augsburger, will soon appoint a national search committee to recommend candidates to him for a new Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs at ICO.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Vitamin D Deficiency An Important, Common, and Easily Treatable Cardiovascular Risk Factor?

.....Vitamin D deficiency is a highly prevalent condition, present in approximately 30% to 50% of the general population. ....Vitamin D deficiency a...can predispose to hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy. Additionally, vitamin D deficiency causes an increase in parathyroid hormone, which increases insulin resistance and is associated with diabetes, hypertension, inflammation, and increased cardiovascular risk. .... Vitamin D supplementation is simple, safe, and inexpensive. .... correction of vitamin D deficiency is indicated for optimization of musculoskeletal and general health....

Colour Doppler ultrasound imaging findings in paediatric periocular and orbital haemangiomas

....Twelve (60%) haemangiomas were located on the upper eyelid, five in the lower eyelid (25%) and three in the medial cantus (15%). The tumour resolved completely in 10 children (50%) and in 10 children (50%) partial resolution was documented. Seven (35%) patients underwent treatment ..... Combined US and CDI are suggested as the first imaging modalities in cases with a suspected diagnosis of periocular and orbital capillary haemangioma.....

The efficacy of vertical rectus transposition and its modalities in patients with abducens nerve palsy

.....The vertical rectus muscle transposition technique is a safe and successful method of treatment in abducens nerve palsy. Its use together with additional procedures and modifications allows one to achieve orthophoria, improvement of abduction, and larger field of binocular single vision.....