Friday, April 23, 2010

3 D Movies & 3 D Television Uncover Undiagnosed Vision Problems

I was fortunate enough to be asked by the American Optometric Association to be featured on the AOA's digital TV program (I Want My AOA TV) in their Member's Spotlight segment. This segment discusses 3 D Movie Vision Syndrome where movie goers get more than their monies worth...unfortunately what they typically get includes headache, eye strain, diplopia (seeing double)....and NO 3 D!!

Before you go to a 3 D movie, it might be an excellent idea to have a comprehensive vision examination by an optometrist. Go to and (College of Optometrists in Vision Development) to find a doctor who can help on their "Doctor's Locator". Other questions? Email me at [email protected], conduct a search by typing "3 D" in the search box in the upper left of this blog, and check out and as well. DM

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

3D headache may be ‘avatar’ of strabismus or other binocular vision condition

...Dr Rosenberg believes the strain of trying to merge the slightly different images presented to each eye without relief fatigued her. “To see the image in 3D you need the images in each eye to be equally clear. If your eyes are not seeing the same image you can still get stereo vision, but it ups the ante for what your brain has to do to merge the two images. Ultimately it is what your brain is doing that gives you the headache but it is your eye situation that is creating the extra work for your brain....

Comments: Although my ophthalmological colleagues (at least some of them) do understand the importance of binocular vision, none offer optometric vision therapy. If you want a solution to 3D movie syndrome go to to find a doc that can help. DM

Illinois College of Optometry Videos

A whole host of videos of the Illinios College of Optometry are easy to find right here! DM



Scientists have developed a brain implant that essentially melts into place
, snugly fitting to the brain's surface. The technology could pave the way
for better devices to monitor and control seizures, and to transmit signals from the brain past damaged parts of the spinal cord.

"These implants have the potential to maximize the contact between electrod
es and brain tissue, while minimizing damage to the brain. They could provide a platform for a range of devices with applications in epilepsy, spinal
cord injuries and other neurological disorders," said Walter Koroshetz, M.
D., deputy director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The study, published in Nature Materials, shows that the ultrathin flexible
implants, made partly from silk, can record brain activity more faithfully
than thicker implants embedded with similar electronics.

The simplest devices for recording from the brain are needle-like electrode
s that can penetrate deep into brain tissue. More state-of-the-art devices
, called micro-electrode arrays, consist of dozens of semi-flexible wire electrodes, usually fixed to rigid silicon grids that do not conform to the brain's shape.

In people with epilepsy, the arrays could be used to detect when seizures first begin, and deliver pulses to shut the seizures down. In people with spinal cord injuries, the technology has promise for reading complex signals in the brain that direct movement, and routing those signals to healthy muscles or prosthetic devices.

"The focus of our study was to make ultrathin arrays that conform to the complex shape of the brain, and limit the amount of tissue damage and inflammation," said Brian Litt, M.D., an author on the study and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. The silk-based implants developed by Dr. Litt and his colleagues can hug the brain like shrink wrap, collapsing into its grooves and stretching over its rounded surfaces.

The implants contain metal electrodes that are 500 microns thick, or about five times the thickness of a human hair. The absence of sharp electrodes and rigid surfaces should improve safety, with less damage to brain tissue. Also, the implants' ability to mold to the brain's surface could provide better stability; the brain sometimes shifts in the skull and the implant could move with it. Finally, by spreading across the brain, the implants have the potential to capture the activity of large networks of brain cells, Dr. Litt said.

Besides its flexibility, silk was chosen as the base material because it is durable enough to undergo patterning of thin metal traces for electrodes and other electronics. It can also be engineered to avoid inflammatory reactions, and to dissolve at controlled time points, from almost immediately after implantation to years later. The electrode arrays can be printed onto layers of polyimide (a type of plastic) and silk, which can then be positioned on the brain.

To make and test the silk-based implants, Dr. Litt collaborated with scientists at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and at Tufts University outside Boston. John Rogers, Ph.D., a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois, invented the flexible electro=
nics. David Kaplan, Ph.D., and Fiorenzo Omenetto, Ph.D., professors of biomedical engineering at Tufts, engineered the tissue-compatible silk. Dr. Litt used the electronics and silk technology to design the implants, which were fabricated at the University of Illinois.

Recently, the team described a flexible silicon device for recording from the heart and detecting an abnormal heartbeat.

In the current study, the researchers approached the design of a brain implant by first optimizing the mechanics of silk films and their ability to hug the brain. They tested electrode arrays of varying thickness on complex
objects, brain models and ultimately in the brains of living, anesthetized animals.20

The arrays consisted of 30 electrodes in a 5x6 pattern on an ultrathin layer of polyimide - with or without a silk base. These experiments led to the development of an array with a mesh base of polyimide and silk that dissolves once it makes contact with the brain - so that the array ends up tightly hugging the brain.

Next, they tested the ability of these implants to record the animals' brain activity. By recording signals from the brain's visual center in response to visual stimulation, they found that the ultrathin polyimide-silk arrays captured more robust signals compared to thicker implants.

In the future, the researchers hope to design implants that are more densely packed with electrodes to achieve higher resolution recordings.

"It may also be possible to compress the silk-based implants and deliver them to the brain, through a catheter, in forms that are instrumented with a range of high performance, active electronic components," Dr. Rogers said.

The study received support from NINDS, NIH's National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), the U.S. Department of Energy's Division of Materials Sciences, the U.S. Army, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Klingenstein Foundation.

Autistic Enterocolitis Questioned

Autistic Enterocolitis Questioned by Paper Retraction
The status of a new inflammatory bowel condition identified in the retracted Lancet paper that linked the MMR vaccine and autism -- autistic enterocolitis -- appears to be in limbo. The 1998 paper by Andrew Wakefield, MBBS, and colleagues was fully...

Successful Surgery May Improve Health-Related Quality Of Life In Adults With Strabismus.

From AOA First Look:

Medscape reported that, according to research presented at a pediatric ophthalmology meeting, "both the new Adult Strabismus Questionnaire (AS-20), developed at the Mayo Clinic, and the traditional Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ-25), from the National Eye Institute (NEI), show substantial improvements in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for adult patients who undergo successful strabismus surgery." In a study of "106 adults with strabismus between the ages of 18 and 84 years (mean age, 48.5 years; 57% female; 75% with diplopia)...given the AS-20 and VFQ-25 to complete before and after undergoing strabismus surgery," investigators found "postsurgery HRQOL improvements in adults both with and without diplopia."

Comments: This study showed that 42% of those having surgery were NOT successful! (In the 80 total patients with preoperative diplopia, 46 (58%) had successful surgical procedures. Why do surgery first if many are not successful? Surgery is a valuable tool as long as optometric vision therapy is done first. Do not jump on the strabismus surgery bandwagon until non-surgical intervention has been completed firts! DM

Language dysfunction in children may be due to epileptic brain activity

...Epileptic activity in the brain can affect language development in children, and EEG registrations should therefore be carried out more frequently on children with severe language impairment to identify more readily those who may need medical treatment..

Research shows link…eye movement predictor of academic success

Comments: My friend and colleague, Dr. Dan fortenbacher posted this important information on the COVD on the title above to learn more... DM

Research shows link…eye movement predictor of academic success
April 20, 2010 by Dan Fortenbacher, O.D., FCOVD

”Eye movement is a predictor of academic success”. This month marks the 10 year anniversary when the Harvard University Graduate School of Education made this announcement. The research clearly shows that there is important association between effective eye movement control and academic success.

Ever since this breaking news a decade ago, further evidence of the association between eye movement and academic success continues to be recognized. For example, in Volume 27 Issue 8 of the Journal of Brain Development in 2005 the titled research is, the Voluntary Control of Saccadic and Smooth-Pursuit Eye Movement in Children with Learning Disorders.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Do Doctors Wash Their Hands?

Watch this video and be afraid....very afraid! (Wash your hands, wash your hands, NOW!!) DM

Wash Your Hands-Save a Life

...Infections acquired during hospital care, also known as nosocomial infections, are one of the most serious patient safety concerns. It is unfortunate that HAI [hospital-acquired infection] rates are not declining. Of all the measures in the NHQR measure set, the one worsening at the fastest rate is postoperative sepsis. The two process measures related to HAIs tracked in the NHQR, both covering timely receipt of prophylactic antibiotics for surgery, are improving steadily. However, HAI outcome measures are lagging; only one shows improvement over time while three are worsening and one shows no change. This may, in part, reflect improving detection of HAI’s....

Comments: This applies to all ODs too. Wash your hands. Wash 'em. Now! DM