Friday, March 6, 2009

Pill to Beat Aging

...As we age, it's natural for our bodies to weaken and become frail, but the natural progression can limit physical activities in the elderly. A new drug is being touted as an anti-frailty pill....

Study indicates children may not receive adequate dietary amounts of omega-3 EPA, DHA.

From AOA FirstLook:

UPI (3/6) reports that, according to researchers at Canada's University of Guelph, "78 percent of the children in a" Canadian study "did not receive adequate amounts of omega-3 EPA and DHA in their diets." The group "found that the median daily consumption of omega-3 EPA and DHA was 31.5 mg, in a sample group of children" ages four to eight, well below the "suggested daily intake recommended by the Institute of Medicine, which is 90 mg of omega-3 EPA/DHA per day." And, based on the "recommendation by the American Dietitian Association and the Dietitians of Canada" of "351 mg of EPA/DHA per day," the study concluded that "90 percent of the children were deficient in omega-3 EPA/DHA."

Amblyopia Treatment: 1998 Versus 2004

...A change in practice patterns was observed for some, but not all, scenarios. In many scenarios, this change was directly attributed to the recent Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group trials....

Comments: I read somewhere that it takes a minimum of 10yrs before research gets into general medical practice. Let's hope that all by now know of PEDIG and how docs need to change the way they treat amblyopia. Listen up Docs...amblyopia can be treated even in adults!'s true! DM

Rise in neurological disorders triggers response

...The aging population is growing, increasing the demand for neurological services in this area. With people living longer and baby boomers getting older, more people are suffering from neurological disorders like stroke and Alzheimer's disease....

Comments: This includes neuro-optometric rehabilitation services as well. DM

What do children with autism attend to during imitation tasks?

Vivanti G, Nadig A, Ozonoff S, Rogers SJ.
What do children with autism attend to during imitation tasks?
J Exp Child Psychol. 2008 Nov;101(3):186-205. Epub 2008 Jun 25.

Individuals with autism show a complex profile of differences in imitative ability, including a general deficit in precision of imitating another's actions and special difficulty in imitating nonmeaningful gestures relative to meaningful actions on objects. Given that they also show atypical patterns of visual attention when observing social stimuli, we investigated whether possible differences in visual attention when observing an action to be imitated may contribute to imitative difficulties in autism in both nonmeaningful gestures and meaningful actions on objects. Results indicated that (a) a group of 18 high-functioning 8- to 15-year-olds with autistic disorder, in comparison with a matched group of 13 typically developing children, showed similar patterns of visual attention to the demonstrator's action but decreased attention to his face when observing a model to be imitated; (b) nonmeaningful gestures and meaningful actions on objects triggered distinct visual attention patterns that did not differ between groups; (c) the autism group demonstrated reduced imitative precision for both types of imitation; and (d) duration of visual attention to the demonstrator's action was related to imitation precision for nonmeaningful gestures in the autism group.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Educational Materials For New Mothers May Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome

...Educational materials on how to deal with crying newborns lead to increased knowledge about infant crying and behaviours that are important to preventing shaken baby syndrome, found two new studies being published online March 2 in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) and Pediatrics. ...

Keeping Fit Improves Spatial Memory, Increases Size Of Brain Structure

...When it comes to the hippocampus, a brain structure vital to certain types of memory, size matters. Numerous studies have shown that bigger is usually better. Now researchers have found that elderly adults who are more physically fit tend to have bigger hippocampi and better spatial memory than those who are less fit. ...

Underlying Sleep Problem Linked To Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder In Children

...Results show that children with ADHD have a total sleep time that is significantly shorter than that of controls. Children in the ADHD group had an average total sleep time of eight hours, 19 minutes; this was 33 minutes less than the average sleep time of eight hours, 52 minutes, in controls. Children with ADHD also had an average rapid eye movement (REM) sleep time that was significantly reduced by 16 minutes....

Comments: Get some sleep. Don't forget...convergence insufficiency and ADHD are also linked. Dm

A Survey of Ophthalmology Residents’ Attitudes Toward Pediatric Ophthalmology

...Although most residents have an overall positive view about pediatric ophthalmology, few indicate interest in pursuing a fellowship. Specifically, most residents reported having a clinical role model in pediatric ophthalmology, perceiving a good job market, and liking strabismus surgery, whereas few residents had interest in further pediatric training and many found pediatric patients difficult to examine and income levels low....

Comments: The views and biases of the OMD residents' colleaues and teachers influence the resident's opinion. Anything doing with children in medicine tends to be looked down upon. The kids are too difficult to deal with and the pay is too low. Get over it!

Kids are fun! The pay is satisfactory.....and the deeds done heavenly! DM

Let's all doodle!

Doodling May Boost Memory! In a Boring Meeting? Doodling as You Listen May Help You Remember Important Info
The next time you're stuck on hold or zoning out during a dull meeting, you might want to reach for a pen and doodle -- and not just to ease your boredom. Doodling might help you remember snippets of key information that's mentioned in those conversations,

WebMD on Allergic Conjunctivitis

WebMD slide show about "pink-eye"

Drugs for Normal Cognitive Decline Possible

...There aren't likely to be many ethical or legal hurdles in the development of drugs that slow or reverse the cognitive decline of normal aging ....But extending that science to drugs that enhance normal cognitive ability raises a host of social and ethical questions. ...Researchers have been debating this issue in light of emerging evidence that processes affecting "normal" memory loss are distinct from those for Alzheimer's disease and may be amenable to intervention. ...

Bilateral uneven cataracts in children: amblyopia management by sequential intraocular lens implantation

...Optical penalization by temporary aphakia of the dominant eye is a convenient means for treating amblyopia in children with bilateral uneven cataracts....

Comments: There are potential unwanted side effects to anything you do in medicine...since there are many ways to handle amblyopia....the one I would choose last is to have my child experience/undergo 2 surgeries. Surgery always has risk. DM

New Study Shows Long-term Dangers Of Severe Concussions

...It's well known that mild traumatic brain injuries and concussions are a common occurrence in children and adolescents, especially young athletes. But what researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital have found is that although not all concussions are the same, they are often treated in the same way - a potential problem when it comes to long-term health outcomes....

Comments: Even mild head trauma may cause significant functional vision problems. These can include strabismus, convergence insufficiency, accommodative dysfunction (focusing problems), oculomotor anomalies, and othe vision information processing problems. If your child has a mild traumatic brain injury, please have him/her evaluated by an optometrist with knowledge about TBI and how to treat it. Go to and/or for more information. DM

Early Intervention Listserv

If you want to subscribe to an Early Intervention Listserv see info below:

The Early Intervention VI listserv is an outgrowth of a five-year, federally funded project that “developed resources for building the capacity of universities to prepare personnel to serve infants and toddlers with visual impairments/blindness (VI) and their families.” Although the project has ended, the listserv continues to serve as an independent, online forum for professionals serving this birth to five population. Subscribers post questions, provide resources to one another and share their experiences.

It’s a great medium for connecting with those who work in your field. The website developed through this project is located at: The principal investigator/director of the project, Dr. Deborah Hatton, is a Senior Scientist at the FPG Child Development Institute, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

How to Subscribe:If you have colleagues who would like to subscribe, they’ll need to make their own request to me at [email protected]. This gives me their permission to add them and lets me verify their e-mail address.

Pam de Steiguer, M.A.EARLY_INTERVENTIONVI listserv managerThe University of Arizona(520) 626-3580 [email protected]

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

News From ICO

The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama (UAB) recently approved the establishment of the Dr. Arol Augsburger Endowed Optometry Scholarship. The Dean’s Community Advisory Committee of the School of Optometry at UAB has given a gift of $25,000 to establish the scholarship in honor of Dr. Augsburger, a former professor and dean of the UAB School of Optometry and the founder of the Dean’s Community Advisory Committee. The endowment will pay tribute to Dr. Augsburger’s “lifelong contributions to outstanding eye and vision care and exemplary service and leadership in the UAB School of Optometry, which flourished under his direction.

ICO recently hostedDr. Kenneth Ciuffreda as its 2009 Visiting Professor, a program made possible by the Dr. and Mrs. Dominick M. Maino Visiting Professor Endowment Fund. As a visiting professor, Dr. Ciuffreda discussed topics including acquired/traumatic brain injury and refractive error development with students and faculty.

Port Huron native Ashley Scheurer wants to help the world see a little more clearly. Scheurer, 26, a graduate student at the Illinois College of Optometry, was one of about 80 students, doctors, pharmacologists and others who traveled to Honduras from Feb. 13 through Feb. 20 on a mission with Student Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity.

"I think the most challenging and difficult thing is the fact that we are so blessed and so fortunate in the U.S. to have the facilities we have here," said Colip, who has been to Honduras, Bolivia and Peru on missions. "When you see the lines of 300 to 400 people lined up in the hot sun in the dirt to see you, very often in a tent with rudimentary equipment that you can carry in a trunk, you realize what the difference is." "It was just really fulfilling to feel like you helped that many people in such a short amount of time, especially people who don't have access to health care, let alone visual care," Scheurer said.

Drs. Allison, Goodfellow and Maino have recent publications in the [] Journal of Optometric Education.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Diagnosis and Management of Special Populations

If you are an OEPF Associate, you can now get a copy of my book, Diagnosis and Management of Special Populations for 50% off!

Go to

To get the special price! DM

The Greensheet

The latest issue of The Greensheet, the official newsletter of the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry is now available on our website. To get an update on ARBO committees, meet the new staff, learn about upcoming meetings and more, click on this link to access the newsletter or go to our website at and click on Publications in the gray box in the center of the page and then click on Winter 2009 Greensheet.
If you have any questions about ARBO, CELMO, COPE or OE TRACKER, feel free to call us at 866-869-6852 or 704-970-2710 or email us at
[email protected].

Best Regards,
The ARBO Staff

Cholesterol-reducing Drugs May Lessen Brain Function, Says Researcher

...results of his study show that drugs that inhibit the liver from making cholesterol may also keep the brain from making cholesterol, which is vital to efficient brain function....

U.S. States Expand Newborn Screening For Life-threatening Disorders

...All 50 states and the District of Columbia now require that every baby be screened for 21 or more of the 29 serious genetic or functional disorders on the uniform panel recommended by the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) and endorsed by the March of Dimes. If diagnosed early, these disorders can be successfully managed or treated to prevent death, disability, or other severe consequences such as mental retardation...

2009 Behavioral Scholar in Residence

Dr. Paul Harris
2009 Behavioral Scholar in Residence

New England College of Optometry
424 Beacon Street, Boston MA 02115

Will present to the Optometric Community and Interested Public
On Sunday, March 29, 2009 from 9:00 AM to Noon

Learning Related Visual Problems in Baltimore City:
A Long Term Project

A longitudinal, single-masked, random sample study of children at a Baltimore City Public Elementary school documents the prevalence of learning-related visual problems in the inner city of Baltimore and tests the effectiveness of vision therapy. Vision therapy was provided to one of the randomly selected groups and data was collected on optometric tests, visual performance tests, and standardized achievement tests before and after treatment was provided. Data presented shows that the vision therapy program has made a significant difference in the demand level of reading that could be read for understanding, in math achievement on standardized testing, and in reading scores on standardized testing, as well as on infrared eye-movement Visagraph recordings, which show significant changes on nearly all mechanical aspects of the reading process. This paper makes a strong case that untreated learning-related vision problems are a significant public health conce rn and that the profession of optometry has a treatment modality that can address these problems in a significant way. The paper presents many of the difficult questions that had to be addressed during both the early formation stage of the study and during the execution of the study. The rationale behind the key decisions that had to be made during each step of the program is provided so that future researchers may be able to replicate this study with full knowledge of what to expect.

Three hours of Massachusetts approved CE will be Awarded

--------------------Cut here------------------Cut here--------------------Cut here----------------------
Please fill out and return to Nika Nunley, New England College of Optometry, 424 Beacon Street, Boston MA 02115 with your check for $60 for each person attending.
Name ______________________________ License No. (if OD) _________________
Additional persons attending ______________________________________________
Address _______________________________________________________________
E-mail______________________________ Phone No._________________________
Limited Parking is Available on a First-Come-First-Served Bas

Common Vision Problem Often Misdiagnosed As ADHD

If you think your child had ADHD or a learning problem, it could be a commonly misdiagnosed vision problem that glasses won't fix.
Inattention, inability to focus, lack of interest in academic activities--they're symptoms frequently associated with ADHD.

Childhood sleep problems persisting through adolescence may affect cognitive abilities

...A study in the March 1 issue of the journal SLEEP suggests that it is the rate of change in sleep problems across development, rather than the initial level of sleep problems, that may affect cognitive abilities in late adolescence. ...Results indicate that those children whose sleep problems persisted across development had poorer executive functioning at age 17 than children whose problems decreased to a greater extent. Sleep problems declined across the years of childhood development, with approximately 70 percent of children having more than one problem at age 4 and about 33 percent of children having problems at age 16. ...

Study of spit offers insight into human health

......Bacteria found in people's spit does not vary much around the world, a surprising finding that could provide insights into how diet and cultural factors affect human health, researchers said on Thursday.Because the human body harbors 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells, scientists are trying to understand more about the bacteria we carry....

Comments: I usually don't put info on 'spit' here...but it was too interesting to pass up! DM

Pattern visual evoked potential as a predictor of occlusion therapy for amblyopia

Chung W, Hong S, Lee JB, Han SHPattern visual evoked potential as a predictor of occlusion therapy for amblyopia, Korean J Ophthalmol. 2008 Dec;22(4):251-4.

The P100 latency on pVEP at the time of initial diagnosis was significantly related to the visual improvement after occlusion therapy or glasses in patients with strabismic, anisometropic, and isometropic amblyopia. Therefore, it was presumed that patients with a delayed P100 latency might have less visual improvement after occlusion therapy or glasses. In addition, there was no apparent difference in P100 latency between patients with strabismic and non-strabismic (anisometropic or isometropic) amblyopia.

UIW receives pre-accreditation approval to begin doctoral professional program for its School of Optometry

From AOA FirstLook:

The San Antonio Business Journal (3/3, Phinisee) reports that the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio, TX, "has received pre-accreditation approval to begin its doctoral professional program for its School of Optometry. The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education of the American Optometric Association granted the approval." UIW "expects to enroll between 50 and 60 students in its inaugural class," and will also offer "a Spanish certificate within the program to help serve the Spanish-speaking population." Facilities for the School of Optometry "will be housed in two locations," each of which "will offer a wide range of optometric services, as well as a special commitment to pediatric eye care and low-vision services." And, "in conjunction with the doctor of optometry program, UIW also plans to launch a bachelor of science degree program in vision science."

Physical Fitness Improves Spatial Memory, Increases Size Of Brain Structure

...When it comes to the hippocampus, a brain structure vital to certain types of memory, size matters. Numerous studies have shown that bigger is usually better. Now researchers have found that elderly adults who are more physically fit tend to have bigger hippocampi and better spatial memory than those who are less fit....

New and unexpected mechanism identifies how the brain responds to stress

...Switching off a protein causes the brakes to fail in our natural ability to respond to stress...

TV may do no harm or good to babies

...Whether watching television hurts or helps babies' development has divided researchers and parents. A study released on Monday concluded it does neither....The study of 872 children found no correlation between the amount of time they had spent viewing television before they reached 2 years of age and their progress at age 3....


Dr. Michael Cohen's newsletter is now available. It has up to date info on CLs as a medical delivery system, Board Certification, humor, and more. Click on the title above to see the latest issue! DM