Friday, November 21, 2008

Intraocular live male filarial Loa loa worm

Abstract: We report a case of Loa loa filariasis in an 8-month-old child who presented with a 3-month history of irritated acute red eye and insomnia. Examination revealed a living and active adult Loa loa worm in the anterior chamber of the left eye. The worm was extracted under general anesthetic.

Comments: This is interesting to say the least. The article can also be downloaded for free and it has a wonderful photograph of the worm in the eye

The Journal Clinical Ophthalmology is an open access journal and can be download by clicking here DM

Quality of Life in Intermittent Exotropia

Multiple individual interviews revealed specific health-related quality-of-life concerns, such as worry, in children with IXT and their parents. We will use the concerns identified to develop condition-specific HRQOL instruments for IXT.

Comments: OK...let's have a child with an exotropia and you find out that the children and their parents are worried about this? Makes sense to me. This is what I usually discover during my routine case history. DM

Attending Religious Services Sharply Cuts Risk Of Death, Study Suggests

...The researchers evaluated the religious practices of 92,395 post-menopausal women participating in the WHI. They examined the prospective association of religious affiliation, religious service attendance, and strength and comfort derived from religion with subsequent cardiovascular events and overall rates of mortality. Although the study showed as much as a 20 percent decrease in the overall risk of mortality for those attending religious services, it did not show any consistent change in rates of morbidity and death specifically related to cardiovascular disease, with no explanation readily evident....

Comment: I want to be around for a very long time. Too much to do...too much to learn...too much to experience before I leave this Earth! The good news for me is that I do attend church regularly....I sing in the choir...(tenor)...and occassionally pick up my trumpet as well. Perhaps this study just shows that we need to believe in something other than ourselves to get through what life hands us....I have noticed that the nuns I hang out with tend to live a VERY long life!! One 75 y/o nun...who went to Ireland with my wife and I...kept up her end of the journey wonderfully! BTW she had her first Guinness there and loved it. DM

Ask Dr. Hayes

FYI...I have no financial involvement in this endeavor. Dr. Jerry Hayes has been lecturing on practice management of years. This is his free blog. Just thought you'd like to know. DM

Dealing With A Recession: Jerry’s Spending Rules For Dispensing Practices

...If the experts are correct, we are going to see a reduction in economic activity across the US during the last half of 2008 and the first half of 2009. ...How this slowdown will affect eyecare providers and the retail optical market remains to be seen. Hopefully, your practice will continue to grow and stay healthy over the next year....This, however, is clearly one of those times when practice owners need to manage their finances wisely to maintain profitability and avoid getting caught in the credit crunch.

Happy People Get the Big Picture

Good Mood Lets You Look Beyond Daily Grind...Research shows that a good mood broadens your attention and lets you see future opportunities. A bad mood, however, tends to make you focus on where you are right now. But how does your mood affect the kinds of choices you make?

Comments: I been "accused" of always being in a good mood. While this is actually true (most of the time) occassionally, I have "mood problems" like anyone else. But given a choice...and most days we are given that happy! DM

Got a Complex Task? Study, Sleep on It

...If you've just learned a complex skill, here's how to do it better: Get a good night's sleep.
Practice may make perfect, but not if you haven't slept, ...Researchers have shown that sleep improves performance of some simple tasks, such as recall of memorized lists. But until now, sleep's role in more complex learning hasn't been clear.

Comments: I've always approved of sleep! Naps are good for you too! I do it as often as I can. DM

Study indicates one in 20 children may suffer from convergence insufficiency.

From AOA First Look:

ScrippsNews (11/21, Dean) reports that a recent study by the National Eye Institute "found that one in 20 students may suffer from a childhood eye-muscle coordination problem called convergence insufficiency, or CI." Youngsters "with CI find it difficult to make their eyes focus inward or converge." Optometrist Benjamin Kohn, O.D., explained that CI is "a reading-related vision disorder" which may be caused by "visual stress, such as reading, writing, and working on computers." He pointed out that the majority of vision-screening tests performed by pediatricians or schools do not catch the condition, because they are designed to "test distance acuity." Children with CI may express "some sort of block where reading is concerned," which vigilant parents and teachers should investigate. The study also "concluded that a combination of office-based vision-therapy treatment, coupled with at-home reinforcement, is more effective than home-based methods most commonly used" to treat the disorder.

Comments: Convergence insufficiency is indeed most common. In the clinical population I work with, my impression is that I see it in 1 in 10 children I's out there. You need to diagnose and then treat it!! DM

Compound Tied to Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia

High kynurenic acid levels like 'gasoline on the fire' of affected neurotransmitters

Elevated brain levels of a compound called kynurenic acid are associated with problem-solving deficits in people with schizophrenia, ....Drugs that suppress kynurenic acid might be used in conjunction with antipsychotic drugs to treat cognitive impairments, the most resistant symptoms in schizophrenia patients,...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Vision Therapy Seminar

FYI...I have no financial interest in this program whatsoever. I just thought that you'd might like to know about it. DM

"Hands on Progression of Vision Therapy" For Beginning and Intermediate Doctors/Therapists

March 14 & 15, 2009
Saturday 8am to 6pm and Sunday 8am to 12noon
Sheraton Suites Orlando Airport Hotel

Sensory Integration Therapy
Gross to Fine to Oculomotor
Basic reflexes and integration
Monocular to Bi-ocular to Binocular
1st, 2nd and 3rd degree fusion
Building Fusional Ranges
How to use Visual Memory and Visualization in Academics
Implementing Choice Theory in VT
Hands on Workshops in all the above following each lecture

To build confidence of the new or intermediate level Vision Therapist or Doctor in the ability to deliver Vision Therapy
To improve communication skills between the Doctor, Therapist, Patient, and Parent
To add new VT tools to your Vision Therapy Teams' tool box
To increase ideas on how to help a patient who has hit a plateau in therapy
To expand therapists understanding and creativity in delivering VT
COST $675 if registered before December 5, 2008, $725 after December 5, 2008
Sheraton HotelSpecial $129 single room rate, $139 Double (normally $149)Full Breakfast Buffet and free internet included with the price of the room.Hotel Reservation information will be provided to those interested. Lunch provided on Saturday as part of the total cost of the Seminar program.

Register Online!

CONTACT INFORMATION Email: [email protected]Call: 810-736-6673 To reserve a seat for this seminar or register with PayPal online.

Vision Therapy Group.
Brad Habermehl, OD
4091 Richfield Rd Flint, MI 48506

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Well Known Researcher to be ICO Visiting Professor

SUNY College of Optometry faculty member, and renowned researcher, Kenneth Ciuffreda, OD, PhD, FAAO, FCOVD-A will be the next, Dr. & Mrs. Dominick M. Maino Visiting Professor at the Illinois College of Optometry from Feb. 26 thru March 1st. He will interact with students, patients, and faculty in the Illinois Eye Institute, give a presentation to faculty and students, and then provide four hours of continuing education for area optometrists on Sunday March 1st before returning to SUNY. (ICO faculty member and SUNY graduate, Dr. Christine Allison will also be a presenter during this continuing education program as well.)

Dr. Ciuffreda has published hundreds of peer reviewed articles, articles of interest, book chapters and books and is an international lecturer. He has also received numerous awards for his many accomplishments.

The Visiting Professor program is made possible by the Dr. and Mrs. Dominick M. Maino Visiting Professor Endowment Fund which was created to enhance scholarly activity and patient care for ICO’s students, patients, and faculty. The fund will continue to provide annual support for visiting professorships in pediatrics, binocular vision, optometric vision therapy, vision rehabilitation and other similar areas of interest at the Illinois College of Optometry. Additional support is given by the Illinois College of Optometry’s continuing education program. For more information about the continuing education program, please contact Diane Gillette at [email protected] . To learn how you can support the Dr. and Mrs. Dominick M. Maino Visiting Professor Endowment Fund, contact Vice President for Development, Mr. David Korajczyk at 312-949-7075 or [email protected] . If you want to know more about how the Dr. and Mrs. Dominick M. Maino Visiting Professor Endowment Fund was created contact Dr. Dominick M. Maino

Research-Based Program Found To Enhance Impact Of Head Start On School Readiness

...Head Start, the federal program that provides comprehensive services to low-income children and their families, has had a positive effect on some aspects of school readiness, but not others. A new study shows that a program designed to make it easier to integrate research into the classroom by giving teachers enrichment manuals helped children in both academic and social-emotional areas...

Comments: I've had opportunities to work with folks from Head Start. It is a wonderful program that can have very postive effects. One problem noted is that if these gains are not supported once the children get into the regular school program, they tend not to benefit as much. Hopefully this research will teach us how to carry over and maintain those Head Start gains into the regular school system. DM

Simple Brain Mechanisms Explain Human Visual Decisions

...Mark Twain, a skeptic of the idea of free will, argues in his essay "What Is Man?" that humans do not command their minds or the opinions they form. "You did not form that [opinion]," a speaker identified as "old man" says in the essay. "Your [mental] machinery did it for you-automatically and instantly, without reflection or the need of it." Twain's views get a boost this week from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and University of Chieti, Italy. In Nature Neuroscience, scientists report that a simple decision-making task does not involve the frontal lobes, where many of the higher aspects of human cognition, including self-awareness, are thought to originate. Instead, the regions that decide are the same brain regions that receive stimuli relevant to the decision and control the body's response to it. ...

Oxycyte(R) Can Improve Cognitive Recovery And Reduce Neuronal Cell Loss After Traumatic Brain Injury In Animal Model

...The researchers found that injured animals treated with a lower or higher dose of Oxycyte had significant improvement in ability to learn and function in a standard maze when compared with injured saline control animals. The ability to learn and perform complex tasks (a maze) are the ultimate tests of higher brain function. Moreover, injured animals that received either dose of Oxycyte had significantly less brain damage compared with saline-treated animals. They also found that a lower dose of Oxycyte significantly improved cells' ability to process and use oxygen. ...

Comments: Is there a "magic" drug we can give out TBI patients that will improve function? Too many animal studies never make it to the human trials....too many human trials do not duplicate the results of animal studies...let's hope that this study or one like it ... will heventually elp in the treatment of our very human patients. DM

Light Triggers A New Code For Brain Cells

...Brain cells can adopt a new chemical code in response to cues from the outside world, scientists working with tadpoles at the University of California, San Diego report in the journal Nature .... The discovery opens the possibility that brain chemistry could be selectively altered by stimulating [using light] specific circuits to remedy low levels of neural chemicals that underlie some human ailments. Dark tadpoles don pale camouflage when exposed to bright light. The researchers have now identified cells in the tadpole brain that respond to illumination by making dopamine, a chemical message, or neurotransmitter, recognized by the system that controls pigmentation...

Comments: My colleagues who are into using Syntonics often tell me how "light therapy" can improve standard optometric vision therapy, Intuitively it certainly makes sense. I've asked the College of Syntonics leadership to write an article concerning the science behind syntonics for a future issue of Optometry & Vision Development. I'm looking forward to receiving this article. Could the above article be sytonics for tadpoles? (;-)> DM

Disadvantage "Gets Under The Skin" And Alters Genes

...Poverty and social disadvantage "get under the skin" and alter genes-at least those involved in asthma-suggests a small study published ahead of print in the journal Thorax. Social disadvantage has long been recognised as a major factor in greater vulnerability to sickness and death, and it is also associated with more severe asthma in childhood, the evidence shows...

Comments: I work in a clinical situation where the socio-economic level of many of my patients is at our below the poverty level. I have noted many more children with asthma than I have in my private, working class neighborhood practice. DM

Absence Of ERK2 Gene Linked To Birth Defects

...A multidisciplinary research team at Case Western Reserve University led by Gary Landreth, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Medicine's Department of Neurosciences, has uncovered a common genetic pathway for a number of birth defects that affect the development of the heart and head. Abnormal development of the jaw, palate, brain and heart are relatively common congenital defects and frequently arise due to genetic errors that affect a key developmental pathway...


...Building on earlier studies that showed good results, Alay S. Banker, MD, and his colleagues, Banker's Retina Clinic and Laser Centre, Gujarat, India, evaluated anti-VEGF therapy in 21 babies (34 eyes) who had or were at high risk for ROP. Fourteen eyes received laser and then anti-VEGF injections; 12 eyes received anti-VEGF injection only; and six eyes received anti-VEGF, then laser treatment. All babies were examined one day after treatment, weekly for a month, and monthly thereafter. In all babies' eyes---including those that received anti-VEGF treatment only--- the abnormal blood vessels resolved without further treatment, and no adverse results were seen in any eyes or in the babies' general health status in follow-up exams at about 37 weeks after treatment (mean age: 37.5 weeks). ...

Comments: This sounds very promising. Be hopeful....with a bit of health skepticism until others get similar results. DM

Cornell Researchers Study Showing Evidence Of A Major Environmental Trigger For Autism

...The researchers discuss several possible environmental triggers related to higher levels of precipitation, including increased rates of early childhood television and video viewing, increased rates of vitamin D deficiency, and an increased exposure to chemicals used in household cleaners that children who spend more time indoors would likely experience. The research team plans to conduct further statistical studies aimed at identifying which of these possibilities are actual triggers for autism...

Comments: All this still sound pretty "iffy". Stay tuned as more research is done on the etiology of autism. DM

Monday, November 17, 2008

Survey suggests about half of children with diabetes have trouble coping.

From AOAs First Look:

USA Today (11/15, Marcus) reported that "a new survey indicates those touched by childhood more support from schools and about half of young people with the condition have trouble coping." The DAWN Youth WebTalk Survey polled over "9,000 people worldwide" online, including "young adults with diabetes aged 18 to 25, parents and caregivers of at least one child with the disease, and healthcare professionals." The survey showed that although "most young people with diabetes are optimistic about their futures, 50 percent reported difficulty coping with diabetes." Furthermore, "one-third reported poor psychological well-being." And, according to Barbara Anderson, professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, "80 percent of parents and 73 percent of young adults thought that teachers should be better informed about diabetes."
Data indicate India has highest number of patients with diabetes.
BBC News (11/15, Mynott) reported, "India is the nation with most diabetics." Although "the latest figures for the prevalence of diabetes are two years old and by common medical consent hopelessly out of date," data indicate that "there are 41 million Indians with the disease." And, "in Chennai, Tamil Nadu as many as 15 percent of the population suffer" from diabetes, while nine to 14 percent of Indians have diabetes throughout the nation. Type 2 diabetes in particular, "is the variety that is spreading so fast," in "a seemingly unstoppable rise in villages and rural areas." While the government "has plans to set up a public awareness programme to warn citizens of the risk," physicians "do not fully understand" why "Indians seem to have an unnaturally high risk of contracting diabetes."

Fuzzy brain? Improve your attention span

...It's no accident that you concentrate best when you're really engaging in something, like watching a good movie, or doing something challenging, like learning a new card game. Concentration occurs when the brain's prefrontal cortex, which controls high-level cognitive tasks, is awash with the right cocktail of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other body chemicals, particularly the "pleasure chemical" dopamine (you get a jolt of this when you eat delicious food, have sex, or encounter something new and exciting). ...