Saturday, August 9, 2008
Anisometropic and strabismic amblyopia in the age group 2 years and above: a prospective study of the results of treatment.
Comments: You do not wait until 4yrs of age. You participate in InfantSee and get those children in between 6-12 months of age....and watch them carefully!! The major factor in treatment failure is not inadequate adherence to the treatment regimen....don't blame the patient....it is that we (docs) have not found the treatment regimen that works well for all!! DM
From AOA First Look:
The Oregonian (8/6, Rojas-Burke) reported, "Within three months of birth, babies show a strong preference for eye contact," and "spend more time looking at eyes than any other part of a person's face or body." In children with autism, however, "this behavior falters early," and "contribute[s] to the difficulties they have relating to others," experts say.
According to a study published in the Aug. issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, "eye-mapping technology" may have "prove[n] that children with autism don't make eye contact like normally developing children do," HealthDay (8/6, Gordon) reported. For the study, Ami Klin, Ph.D., of the Yale University School of Medicine, and colleagues, "compared 15 children with autism to 36 typically developing children, and to another 15 children who were developmentally delayed, but not autistic. All of the children were two years old." The youngsters "were shown 10 videos of adults looking directly into the camera,...mimicking caregiving, and playing with the child. While the videos were running, the researchers used eye tracking to assess the child's visual fixation patterns." The investigators found that children with autism "looked at the eyes about 30 percent of the time, compared to nearly 55 percent for both of the other groups." Specifically, "[c]hildren with autism spent almost 40 percent of the time looking at the mouth area, while children in the other groups only spent about 24 percent of the time looking at this area."
The Chicago Tribune (8/7, Manier) reports, "Drawing inspiration from the simple design of the human eye, Illinois engineers have invented a new kind of eye-like camera." While "[b]ionic eyes based on the design are not yet on the horizon,...other teams are studying how to get digital signals into the brain's vision centers, and the new camera could be useful in such efforts."
The U.K.'s Daily Mail (8/7, Dolan) points out that the new camera "can reproduce human vision," according to research published in the journal Nature. The camera, developed by researchers from Illinois University and Northwestern University, Illinois, has "a curved detection surface" that "copies the effect of light from a subject hitting a curved human retina, which turns it into images by sending messages along the optic nerve to the brain." According to its inventors, this "is a vast improvement on the flat sensors used in digital cameras at the moment." The curved detection surface allows "the device [to] capture sharper images without distortion," and provides "a better field of view, as the human eye does."
New Scientist (8/7, Kleiner) explains that the researchers "built their hemispherical electronic eye by first using conventional photolithography to build silicon photodiodes 500 micrometers square and one micrometer thick. These were then wired into a flexible 16-by-16 array using chromium and gold." Next, the team "created a one-cm-wide hemisphere out of a stretchy plastic, and stretched it into a flat surface. That stretched surface, or 'drumhead,' was then pressed against the photodiode array." Under the effect of van der Waals forces, "[t]he silicon squares stuck to the stretched plastic,...which was then allowed to spring back to its original hemispherical shape." Then, "[a]s the array took its new form, the photodiodes packed together tightly, and the connecting wires arced away from the surface." This "reformed array was then glued to a curved glass surface, and a conventional lens [was] attached." The camera resembles "a human eye in construction, with light entering the lens from the front, and passing to the curved 'retina' containing the matrix of photodiodes behind." Scientific American (8/6, Minkel) also covered the story in its 60-Second Science blog.
-- New results support the practice of using antibodies to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The nine-month tests show better outcomes in cognitive performance and daily functioning in patients treated with IGIV compared to placebo treated patients.
IGIV is an intravenous immunoglobulin called Gammagard. Gammagard contains a broad spectrum of antibodies and is an immunoglobulin replacement therapy for patients with immunodeficiency disorders.
The evidence on MMR is absolutely clear - there is no link between the vaccine and autism
Professor David Salisbury, Department of Health
Experts say it is perfectly safe, but vaccination rates dipped following controversy about its safety.....A study which raised the possibility that MMR was linked to autism has since been dismissed by the vast majority of research, but levels of public confidence in the jab have still not fully recovered.
Comments: Developmental optometrists have been saying this for years!! DM
....The rare form of synaesthesia - a condition where senses intermingle - came to light after a student reported "hearing sounds" from a screensaver....Those affected performed better in tests of recognising visual patterns than those without the condition....A more common form of the condition is being able to perceive numbers or letters as colours.
Friday, August 8, 2008
I called my hospital's billing department to settle an account balance. When I called the first time, no human picked up the phone....instead there were 4 options available to me.
I usually like to choose the option that lets me talk to a human....well, that wasn't going to happen....but I could leave a message to have someone call me back. I decided I'd call back 20 minutes later.
When I called back, no human answered. I again listened to all my options....one of the options concerned being able to pay by credit card. I hit this number....and the message, "Please leave your name, phone number, account number and credit card number and we will .....". I almost started to do this when I realized that leaving my credit card number in a voice mail message just did not seem too secure to me....so I hung up and called back about 20 minutes later.
When I called back no human answered....I did not wish to leave a message for a call back....so I called back again 20 minutes later.
....well, you guessed it....when I called back no human answered the phone. This time I did leave a message so they could call me back.
In a couple of hours, the hospital billing department called me back. They were very professional and all went well. I decided that I wanted to talk to a supervisor to tell them about my experience....and that I did not understand how anyone would leave their credit card number in a voice mail message. The lady I was talking to told me her supervisor had left for the day (it was about 2:30PM Friday afternoon)....so I asked to talk to the supervisor's supervisor....unfortunately she/he also had left for the day.
Well, thinking that the hospital could benefit from my comments, I then called the hospital's Chief Financial Officer (I figured that if the lower level supervisors were not available....that the person at the top would be....). I was wrong. I was put into her/his voice mail....no human contact again...
I left a voice mail describing pretty much what I've written above....I also left my phone number. If they call me back I'm thinking that I should just let it go into my home voice mail.....
BTW my bill was for $9.89. Do you think if my bill was for $989,000.00 that they would have acted differently?
I would like to suggest that when if comes to our patients paying us....that we should make it as easy as possible, with human contact involved (at least someone should say "thank you"), and in a secure environment....
Well, that's just one doc's/patient's opinion. I'd like to hear yours...
Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Featuring Chicago-land's Best Known Contemporary Italian-American Artists
Gala Opening & Artists' Reception
Thursday August 7th 7:00 PM
Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia
1621 N. 39th Ave. Stone Park, IL 60165
Dominic Candeloro, Exhibition Coordinator
Almost 100 Works of art on display including: Painting, Sculpture, Photography, & More
John Bucci, Anthony Panzica, Anna Pagnucci , Horacio Baggio, Mario Spampinato, Thomas Palazzolo, Dominick M. Maino, Julia delNegro Oehmke, Nick Bernero, Rita Dianni-Kaleel, Christopher Burlini, Bridgette Baggio, Vanessa Baggio, Leemarie Gaimari Bonk, Robert Buono, Claudia Pontarelli-Hallissey, Richard Bertucco, Nuccia Lucini,
Shire Re-Launches ADHDSupport.com, A Virtual Road Map Providing Information, Tools And Practical Tips About Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Fox/Business News Website article...
The U.K.'s Independent (8/5, Usborne) reports that in the past ten years, eye care "has become as crucial a part of elite sport as psychology." First taking hold in the U.S. with professional baseball teams, sports vision was "soon pitched across the pond" to various hockey, soccer, and rally teams in the U.K. But, according to optometrist David Ruston, O.D., of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, "you don't have to be a pro to benefit from eye exercises." Even weekend warriors can improve their sports vision. Because the "eye loves to jump from one thing to another,...look to the other side of the room or out the window every 20 minutes." To help train eyes to "dart around readily in space," go into a "darkened room, flick a [flash light] around, and attempt to follow it." To "exercise all six muscles that move the eyeball inside the socket," stand before "a mirror, and move your head around while maintaining eye contact." And, by "sit[ting] at your desk and keep[ing] your focus on something ahead of you," while simultaneously "increas[ing] your awareness of what is happening" in your immediate vicinity, you can improve peripheral vision.
The AP (8/5, Neergaard) reports that last week, a seven-year-old California girl "became one of a small number of U.S. children to try an experimental surgery to prevent virtual blindness from lazy eye diagnosed too late, or too severe, for standard treatment." In a "new approach," surgeons implanted a phakic intraocular lens (IOL) into her eye. Experts estimate that "[u]p to five percent of children have amblyopia,...where one eye is so much stronger than the other that the brain learns to ignore the weaker eye. Untreated, the proper neural connections for vision don't form, eventually rendering that eye useless." Amblyopia sometimes results when there is "a big difference in focusing power" between the two eyes, as was the case with the California child, who "had near-perfect vision in one eye," but was severely nearsighted in the other. While IOLs are not "officially approved for use in children," experimental implantation is legal. Now, "surgeons are starting to try the approach for hard-to-treat amblyopia. In a French study of a dozen children, all had improved vision after the surgery, and half recovered normal binocular vision."
Surgeons remove cataracts from eyes of four-month-old infant. The U.K's Express & Star (8/4) reported that surgeons at Britain's Birmingham Children's Hospital recently removed cataracts and inserted contact lenses in the eyes of a four-month-old infant. Hospital staff told the parents that they "had dealt with only 115 similar cases in" the last "15 years." According to the baby's mother, the operation was "pretty straightforward." She explained, "It's just a slit in the corner of the eye, and then they suck the cataract out, just the same as in an older person." The parents "have been taught how to take the contact lenses out, cleanse them overnight, and put them back in." When the child is older, "doctors will decide if he needs future treatment." Meanwhile, the baby is expected to develop normally.
Prevalence of amblyopia and strabismus in African American and Hispanic children ages 6 to 72 months the multi-ethnic pediatric eye disease study.
Comments: A full comprehensive examination is need for every child. DM
Comments: Why would you put your pt through surgery and its associated risks without conductihng optometric vision therapy first which has been shown to be highly effective in convergence insufficiency? DM
Observation on therapeutic effect of acupuncture combined with western medicine on paralytic strabismus
With the new school year about to start, Medical News Today (8/6) reports that the "American Optometric Association (AOA) reminds parents that good vision is critical for many classroom tasks." Children who do not have "healthy vision...can face unnecessary challenges not only in the classroom, but also to their mental, physical, social, and emotional well being." Some youngsters who "suffer from undetected vision problems...may even be misdiagnosed as having a learning disorder." In fact, "[s]tudies indicate that 60 percent of children identified as 'problem learners' actually suffer from undetected vision problems. According to the AOA's American Eye-Q® survey, only 39 percent of adults understand that behavioral problems can be an indication of vision problems." Optometrist Leonard Press, O.D., AOA's vision and learning specialist, pointed out that "10 million school children in America have vision conditions that can negatively affect learning." Therefore, "[a] comprehensive eye examination for students is one of the most important 'to-dos' as children head back to school."
Monday, August 4, 2008
Researchers say children with low outdoor activity may have two- to three-fold higher risk of myopia.
The U.K.'s Telegraph (8/2, Smith) reported that "[c]hildren with low outdoor and high near-work activity," that is, reading, working on the computer, or watching television, "had two to three-fold higher risk of myopia than the children who spent the most time outside," according to a study published in the journal Ophthalmology. Kathryn A. Rose, M.D., of Australia's Sydney University, and colleagues, "used data from the Sydney Myopia Study of more than 4,000 Australian school children to assess whether outdoor activity might be significant in controlling myopia." The researchers defined "[a] high level of outdoor activity...as more than 2.8 hours a day, while less than 1.6 hours was classed as a low level of outdoor activity." Dr. Rose theorized that in response to "the intensity of light outside," the "retina releases dopamine which inhibits eye growth, affecting the shape of the eye." In addition, "the pupils of the eyes constrict in intense outdoor light, which increases the visual depth of field, the distance at which objects can be clearly seen."