Saturday, May 4, 2013

Study Links Autism With Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy

Study Links Autism With Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy

A cautiously worded study based on data collected in Sweden has found that “in utero exposure to both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (S.S.R.I.’s) and nonselective monoamine reuptake inhibitors (tricyclic antidepressants) was associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders, particularly without intellectual disability.”....

Thursday, May 2, 2013

More Eye Patch Time Speeds Amblyopia Correction

More Eye Patch Time Speeds Amblyopia Correction

More Eye Patch Time Speeds Amblyopia Correction....but only after trying to patch for 2 hours per day first. .... There are 2 different conclusions: first, if after 2-hour patching for 12 weeks you have stable residual amblyopia, you can increase to 6 hours and get further improvement. In addition, Instead of starting with 2 hours and increasing, you could say if we want to achieve the optimum outcome in the shortest possible time, let's start with a higher dose in the first place....

Comments: If you've ever worked with a family whose child has amblyopia, you know that having the child patch 6 hours a day is almost impossible. I would strongly suggest that you start with 2 hours per day and only after it is clear you have reached an acuity plateau do you extend this to a more aggressive patching schedule. Perhaps it is time to start an active optometric vision therapy program to improve the visual acuity AND binocularity. Amblyopia is a two eyed BRAIN problem, not just reduced acuity in one eye. The research strongly supports this. Isn't it about time for all eye doctors to start treating this as a binocular vision problem? BTW this information was given at the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) 39th Annual Meeting. This is the same group that bans optometry from their meeting. I find it hard to accept much of anything they may say at face value if they are so petty and small minded. (This is only my personal opinion, or course). DM

A newborn's placenta may reveal autism risk

A newborn's placenta may reveal autism risk

Yale researchers show that analysis of placentas can reveal whether a newborn is at high risk of autism.


Statement from National Eye Institute Director Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D.

In May, Healthy Vision Month, the National Eye Institute (NEI) calls on Americans to make their vision a priority by taking the necessary steps to protect vision, prevent vision loss, and make the most of the vision they may have remaining.

Approximately 38 million Americans over age 40 have glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, or cataracts. That number is projected to rise to 56 million by the year 2030. Early detection and treatment of eye diseases are crucial to preserving sight. There are often no warning signs or pain in the early stages of many eye diseases, therefore having good vision can be something people take for granted. By the time people realize they are losing vision, it may be too late to restore vision already lost.

The best way to care for your eyes is by having a comprehensive dilated eye exam. During this exam, drops are placed in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupils.  This procedure can detect vision problems and determine whether you need eye glasses or contact lenses. It can also detect eye diseases, many of which cause visual impairment and blindness, in their early stages when they're the most treatable.

Preventing eye injuries is also important.  Many occupations and forms of recreation can present dangers to the eye. Eye protection is a necessity when our jobs put our eyes at risk. It is estimated that wearing protective eyewear when playing sports can cut down on related eye injuries by as much as 90 percent. Wearing eye protection when working in the yard will also lower the number of those who experience serious eye trauma.

NEI conducts and supports research of blinding eye diseases, visual disorders, and mechanisms of visual function, preservation of sight, and the special health problems and requirements of the visually impaired.  Our national investment in vision research has yielded substantial dividends in the form of new and innovative treatment for millions of Americans. Detecting eye disease and problems early allow individuals to benefit from the advances made in vision research.

To learn more about keeping eyes healthy, visit <>.  To learn more about Healthy Vision Month and to access resources for promoting the observance, such as prewritten Facebook posts and tweets, visit <>.

Media Resources: Simulations of visual impairments and other images are available in downloadable, camera-ready format on the NEI website at <>.  For more information and resources, see <>.

About Healthy Vision Month: May is Healthy Vision Month, a national eye health observance established by the National Eye Institute in May 2003. Millions of people living in the United States have undetected vision problems, eye diseases, and conditions, and the observance is designed to elevate vision as a health priority for the nation by promoting the importance of early detection and treatment, as well as the use of proper eye safety practices, in preventing vision loss and blindness. For more information about Healthy Vision Month, visit <>.

About the National Eye Institute: The National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, leads the federal government's research on the visual system and eye diseases. NEI supports basic and clinical science programs that result in the development of sight-saving treatments. For more information, visit <>.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit <>.

Comments: Lyons Family Eye Care (LFEC) (where I hang on on Wednesdays) joins the NIH/NEI in wanting to help you maintain healthy eyes. Single, clear, comfortable, binocular vision is our goal for every patient. (Having a great selection of frames and contact lenses helps too!). From a detailed eye health assessment to an evaluation of how your eyes work for school, play and all your activities, LFEC is there for you! DM

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Getting in Touch with Literacy

The 11th Biennial Getting in Touch with Literacy  will be held December 4-7, 2013 at the Omni Hotel, in  Providence, RI. GITWL '13 brings together the most current thinking on all forms of literacy, including print, braille, auditory, tactile graphics comprehension and the use of assistive technology. Presentations will address the needs of a range of ages and all levels of ability, including conventional and functional literacy.

 The Call for Papers is open until May 15 and we encourage you to submit your ideas.  Please help us to make this a great conference!

Learning to Read Music Enhances Visual and Motor Skills

“Repetitive movement and practices with perceptual-motor skills will help a child become an independent learner.”

 In the classical music tradition, knowing how to read music is  an essential skill and is seen as a fundamental component to develop when learning to play the piano. This research’s focus is to study the possible impact of the different teaching approach on the acquisition of initial reading skills. By using cognitive modeling, we are hoping to observe through computer simulation the problem solving and decision making tasks involved in decoding a simple musical score. The paper introduces the Middle-C and Intervallic methods followed by a description of an ACT-R cognitive model and simulation results upon learning with each of the piano methods.

Emond, Bruno, and Gilles Comeau.N.D. “Cognitive modeling of early music reading skill acquisition for piano: A comparison of the Middle-C and Intervallic methods.” Cognitive Systems Research.

Comment: I have been involved in music since third grade and have personally benefitted from learning to play an instrument and singing in many ways. It is interesting how research shows the importance of music to academics and the development of perceptual motor would make sense to ensure that the music program is the last to be cut from any school curriculum. If only the politicians would listen, read the research and understand the importance of music in academia. The full article is available by clicking the title above. My thanks to NeuroNet Learning for this info. DM

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ABO attempts to dispel myths about certification exam

ABO attempts to dispel myths about certification exam

...The American Board of Optometry has provided a new resource that compiles the most common deterrents for optometrists considering whether the certification exam is worth taking and provided counterarguments against those deterrents, according to a board press release.....

...The top deterrent listed by the American Board of Optometry (ABO) is the speculation that a practicing optometrist’s knowledge comes from years of practice and that he or she would be too far removed from school and textbooks to know where to start, according to the release.....

...For more information, go to

GIF optical illusion causes motion-induced blindness

Watch as the dots appear, then disappear. Change your fixation to different parts of the square. Note what happens to the dots. They are actually there all the time.

For more info go to

Monday, April 29, 2013

2013 Colorado Vision Summit

Join us!

Join us for the 2013 Colorado Vision Summit! As the premier education event in Colorado for optometrists, the Colorado Vision Summit combines first-class continuing education with a beautiful location in metropolitan Denver.

2013 Colorado Vision Summit
August 3-4, 2013
Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport
Denver, Colorado

Come hear a world-class lineup of optometric and paraoptometric speakers and explore a huge exhibit hall with all the latest in technology and products. Talk with old friends and meet some new ones.

Click here to download an electronic copy of
the conference brochure.

Click on 'Colorado Vision Summit' in the toolbar for more pages of information!

MMR does not cause autism. The Swansea measles outbreak shows the damage this idiotic scare has caused

MMR does not cause autism. The Swansea measles outbreak shows the damage this idiotic scare has caused

....The “link” between vaccinations and autism has a long, sad and lethal history. The inverted commas are there because, causally, there is no link; it exists only in the minds of activists and distraught parents and, for years, elements of the media.....

Comments: Read more about this by clicking the title above. DM

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Temple Grandin on Autism, Death, Celibacy and Cows

Temple Grandin on Autism, Death, Celibacy and Cows

In your new book, “The Autistic Brain,” you seriously entertain possible links between vaccines and autism in children, links that scientists have vehemently dismissed.
Well, there’s only one vaccine that could possibly be a problem, and that’s the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. Now that they’ve changed the vaccine, it has fewer antigens, and that would make it a lot safer. But with the old version of the vaccine, I have not yet come across a study that looked at regressives — when a child had some speech but lost it.....

Comments: I had an opportunity to meet Temple a few years back. She is a most interesting lady! I want to read her new book. She does need to read up on the latest research that clearly supports NO LINK between vaccines and autism. DM