Saturday, January 10, 2009

Post-Traumatic Stress Linked to Metabolic Syndrome

...Among male and female veterans, PTSD increased the risk of metabolic syndrome independent of depression, substance abuse, and other factors (P=0.005), Pia S. Heppner, Ph.D., of the University of California San Diego and VA Health Care System, and colleagues reported online in BMC Medicine....In their cross-sectional study, the likelihood of meeting diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome rose with PTSD severity (P=0.03)....

Comment: OK...let's've had a serious injury, chances are you are not nearly as active as you once were....and strangely enough you start to eat more ... the end result is.... Duh! DM

Preterm births rise 36 percent since early 1980s

...the United States preterm birth rate continues to rise, putting more infants than ever at increased risk of death and disability....Nearly 543,000 babies were born too soon in 2006, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, which today released "Births: Final data for 2006," National Vital Statistics Reports; Vol. 57, No. 7. The nation's preterm birth rate (birth before 37 completed weeks gestation) rose to 12.8 percent in 2006 -- that's a 36 percent increase since the early 1980s.

Comments: All of these children are at significant risk for eye and vision problems...and learning related vision dysfunction. Get them in to your optometrist today. Go to to find a doctor that works with children of all ages. DM

Blue-light-filtering IOLs

...This study shows that blue-light-filtering IOLs negatively affect contrast acuity and blue/yellow foveal threshold when compared with UV-filtering IOLs. Although the differences were small, the results suggest bilateral implantation of the same IOL type and avoidance of a mixed implantation of a blue-light-filtering IOL in one and a non-blue-light-filtering IOL in the contralateral eye in patients with high demands in color vision...

Spina Bifida Birth Rate Still Slowing

...The spina bifida birth rate decreased by almost 23% from October 1998 to December 1999 compared with the period before folic acid fortification although it has changed only modestly since then, the CDC investigators reported in the Jan. 9 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. For instance, the spina bifida rate declined almost 7% from 2000 to 2005.... A decade after the 1998 federal mandate to fortify the food supply with folate, the spina bifida rate in the U.S. continues to decline, according to the CDC....

Physicist designs self-adjusting eyeglasses for people in developing countries.

From AOA FirstLook..

In the Worldview column in the Washington Post (1/9, A13), Mary Jordan writes that Joshua Silver, an atomic physicist who also taught optics at Oxford University, "wants to provide eyeglasses to more than a billion people with poor eyesight." According to Silver, "in many developing countries, only about five percent have glasses because so many people...have little or no access to eye-care professionals," and "the cost of glasses can be more than a month's wage." Silver designed "self-adjusting" eyeglasses, "which are manufactured in China," that "work on the principle that the more liquid pumped into a thin sac in the plastic lenses, the stronger the correction." He said that "years ago, one vision company offered a 'substantial amount of money' to him if he sold them his technology, but...he declined because he had no assurance that it would be used to bring low-cost glasses to the poor." The special "glasses correct nearsightedness and farsightedness but not astigmatism."

Autism test 'could hit maths skills'

The prospect of a prenatal test for autism, allowing couples to choose whether to have a baby with the condition, is coming closer. And with it also comes the possibility of a prenatal drug treatment being developed....

Spirituality may help adolescents cope with chronic illness

...Chronic illness can lead to poorer quality of life—particularly for adolescents. New research shows that spirituality may help teens cope with their conditions....Spirituality is defined as one's sense of meaning or purpose in life or one's sense of connectedness to the sacred or divine....


Contact: Lyna Dyson, C.O.V.T.

12845 Poway Rd., Suite 209

Poway, CA. 92064

(858) 748-6210

[email protected]

2009 California Regional Vision Therapists’ Forum


Presented under the auspices of the OEP Foundation

Scheduled for April 17 and 18, 2009

Speakers: Camilla Dukes, O.D., F.C.O.V.D.

Susan Daniels, O.D., F.C.O.V.D.

Diana Ludlum, C.O.V.T.

January 8, 2009: San Diego, Ca: The 2009 California Regional Vision Therapists’ Forum promises to live up to its reputation as one of the best behavioral para-optometric educational conferences. This conference provides 12 hours of continuing education credits. It will offer interactive, informative and timely topics and provide usable applications which can be implemented in the vision therapy room immediately.

The featured presenters and topics will be:




The conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Diego.



(858) 748-6210 ¨ [email protected]

Friday, January 9, 2009

NEWENCO's Behavioral Scholar in Residence,

On March 29, 2009 Dr. Paul Harris will present a three hour lecture entitled

 “Learning Related Visual Problems in Baltimore City; A Long-Term Project” 

at the New England College of Optometry in Boston.  

This lecture is a part of Dr. Harris’s activities as the Behavioral Scholar in Residence, an annual program sponsored, in part, by OEP and is open to all interested parties.  

For further information please contact Nika Nunley at (617) 266-2030 or [email protected] 

Comment: I've heard Dr. Harris lecture several times. It is worth the price of admission to hear him speak! He is always dynamic and will hold your attention. You are guaranteed that you will take away at least one item of information that you will immediately be able to put to use in your practice. BTW I am a member of OEP but do not have any $$$ interest in this program. I was the NEWENCOs Behavioral Scholar in Residence a couple of years ago and it is a magnificient program.  DM

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Adults with Lazy Eye Can Learn to see!

...Children who are born with a crossed eye can develop a peculiar condition affecting vision called amblyopia, or "lazy eye." The eyes register two different images of the world, and the brain can't handle it — so it ignores one of them....researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, believe that adults with the condition can improve their vision. ...

Comments: Amblyopia can be treated at any age. If you have lazy eye go to to find a doctor who will treat this condition appropriately!! DM

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Infants' and Children's Vision Coalition

Did you know there is an Infants' and Children's Vision Coalition? This coalition includes the

American Academy of Optometry Association (AAO)
Vision Awareness Network (VAN)
American Optometric Association (AOA)
College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD)
Eye Care Council (See To Learn)
Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF)
Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)
American Optometric Student Association (AOSA)

Stop by and take a look today. DM

Chocolate, tea and wine help memory

... Oxford researchers, together with colleagues in Norway, examined the effect that [chocolate, tea and wine] had on memory and thinking among more than 2,000 people aged between 70 and 74. They found that wine had the most pronounced single effect, while those who regularly consumed all three in modest amounts performed best in a series of brain tests....

Comments: Hurrah!!! I love all three. Wait! did they say something about "moderation". (Bummer!!) I knew that my colleagues in Norway were up to something when I was there a few weeks ago!

Did I miss the part about single Malt Scotch being good for you too (McCallan 25 year)? DM

A Randomized Trial of Near Versus Distance Activities While Patching for Amblyopia in Children Aged 3 to Less Than 7 Years

...Performing common near activities does not improve visual acuity outcome when treating anisometropic, strabismic, or combined amblyopia with 2 hours of daily patching. Children with severe amblyopia may respond to 2 hours of daily patching....

Comments: This was a 4-week pilot randomized trial in which 64 children (age 3 to <7) performed near activities to improve visual acuity. These near activities included:

Arts and crafts, Blocks/marbles/dominoes, Board games/puzzles/card games, Cars up close, Computer/video game, Counting up close, Dolls/action figures up close, Homework, Lite-Brite, Playing with toys up close, Sorting/stringing beads, Stacking coins, Tying shoes, Writing/reading/activity books

Does anyone see a single therapeutic activity specificaly designed to improve amblyopia?

I'd take the results of this study with caution. Let's see what the full blown study says....perhaps they will change it appropriately. DM


Rachel Pietrini Klein, Ortoptist (Retired) is on a mission.

Her website ERADICATELAZYEYE.ORG is dedicated to a mission that should be near and dear to all of our hearts. Please take a moment to visit this site. DM

Use of the Transcendental Meditation technique to reduce symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by reducing stress and anxiety: A

...In a pilot study, researchers found that lessons in transcendental meditation, or TM, appeared to calm the anxiety of children with ADHD, and improve their behavior and ability to think and concentrate....

Making early childhood count

...An ongoing flow of high-quality information about the state of early child development, its determinants and longterm development outcomes is essential .... The importance of developing measures of early child development at a population level should be selfevident if we believe that “what gets counted, counts.” With counting comes a focus on issues, public dialogue and resources. Thus, monitoring early child development — across a population, over time and with the ability to examine geographic trends — is a key activity in support of the success of a modern developed society....

Abnormal optic disc and retinal vessels in children with surgically treated hydrocephalus

...Hydrocephalus is associated with subnormal optic disc and rim areas and an abnormal vascular pattern, indicating a pre/perinatal disturbance of the development of these structures. A promising finding is that the frequency of optic atrophy in the present study was lower than previously reported, most likely reflecting improved perinatal care and better regulation of the intracranial pressure...

The effectiveness of progressive addition lenses on the progression of myopia in Chinese children

....Compared with SV lenses, myopia progression was found to be retarded by PALs to some extent in Chinese children without moderately or highly myopic parents, especially for subjects with near esophoria or females. ...

Amblyopia Studies at ICO

If you are in the Chicago-land area and have one or more patients that might be enrolled in any of these studies, please contact Yi Pang, PhD, OD at [email protected] .

The Studies...

There are a total of 5 amblyopia studies covering patients from 3 years of age to infinity. [I'm not sure how old infinity is....but I want to live to be that old! DM]

Benefit for patients:
• A pair of glasses with polycarbonate material

• Patches
• Paid up to $100 for some of studies.

Dr. Kelly Frantz and Dr. Yi also have a study on optic nerve hypoplasia. If you see a patient with unilateral or bilateral small optic nerve head, please refer to them.

We really appreciate your support!

For more information please contact:

Yi Pang, Ph.D., O.D., FAAO.
Assistant Professor
Illinois College of Optometry / Illinois Eye Institute
3241 S. Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
Phone: 312-949-7287
Fax: 312-949-7363
Email: [email protected]

Monday, January 5, 2009

AAO Call for Courses

Just a reminder that:

The submission window for Lectures & Workshops at Academy 2009 Orlando is now open!
Click here to submit your courses.

The deadline for submission is February 2, 2009.

Guidelines can be found here.

Academy 2009 Orlando will take place November 11-14, 2009, at Marriott's Orlando World Center.

The AAO is trying to get as many NEW lectures and topics involved as possible. Which means you younger whipper-snappers may have a better chance of getting a course accepted than those of us who have done this before!! (This of course won't stop me from submitting a course or two for consideration, however.)

There are many reasons to submit a course to the looks great on your CV....our Schools and Colleges of Optometry's Deans/Assoc Deans/Chair-folk/President and others thinks it's builds your case for merit/promotion...but most of's one of the best places to give back to your profession and to share your clinical/research knowledge and insights.

Questions? See all the help on the new and improved AAO site....or just ask me! DM