Saturday, June 26, 2010

AMA: House of Medicine Shrinks Again

...On the AMA's map of the U.S., red states -- there are only two -- have lost more than 20% of their AMA members over the past year, and yellow states (n=26) have seen a decline of 3.6% to 9.9%, said Rebecca Patchin, MD, an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist from Loma Linda, Calif., who is chair of the AMA board of trustees.

In addition to those losses, four states, designated as orange on Patchin's map, are facing membership declines of 10% to 19.9%. A dozen states, mostly in the Northeast, have lost less than 3.5%, and six states -- green, of course -- are claiming more members now than a year ago, Patchin said at the AMA's annual meeting here....Several AMA observers told MedPage Today that the likely number of practicing, full-dues paying physicians who are AMA members is closer to 100,000 than to 200,000....

Comments: So why is AMA membership decreasing so drastically? Could it be that they continually put all their time and effort into the wrong places? Isn't it time that the AMA finally start working with other professions (like optometry) and not against us? Yes, it is. DM

U of Michigan to Reject Industry Sponsors for CME

...Industry funding for CME programs will no longer be welcome at the University of Michigan come next January, its medical school announced.

The decision "was based on a review of literature about the influence on clinical faculty of industry-funded CME," according to a statement signed by James O. Woolliscroft, MD, dean of the U-M medical school, and Raymond J. Hutchinson, MD, associate dean for regulatory affairs....

Comments: This is absolutely ridiculous! It sounds as if this university cannot trust itself or its faculty to be ethical and above board when dealing with sponsors. This is insane. It is also sad. DM

New Guidance Issued for Kids' Flu Shots

... Children younger than 9 who have not received any doses of the monovalent 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine should get two doses of the trivalent vaccine for the upcoming season, regardless of their previous flu vaccination history, according to a CDC advisory committee here.

In the past, children who received two doses of seasonal vaccine the first year they were immunized would only need one dose for each subsequent year.....

Comments: As always....check with your family doc! DM

Friday, June 25, 2010

HFC: Sweet News -- Chocolate Boosts Vascular Function

...Within just hours of eating a flavonol-rich chocolate bar, patients with congestive heart failure had measurable improvements in vascular function....

Comments: Love that chocolate! DM

Drinking wine could protect your eyes

Resveratrol May Help Prevent Age-Related Deterioration Of Eyesight.

The UK's Telegraph (6/25, Alleyne) reports, "resveratrol, found in particularly high levels in grape skin (and consequently red wine)," may help prevent age-related deterioration of eyesight, according to a study published in the American Journal of Pathology. "The believed to work because it protects against abnormal angiogenesis -- the formation of damaged or mutated blood vessels," a condition which "is linked to cancer, heart disease, and eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration."

Brain Stimulation Shows Promise in Alzheimer's

......A group of 10 Alzheimer patients was randomly assigned to four weeks of rTMS brain stimulation, while the other half underwent a two-week placebo treatment followed by two weeks of real rTMS stimulation.

Among patients who had four weeks of rTMS, the proportion of correct responses in a sentence comprehension test increased from 66% at baseline to 77% at two weeks (P=0.008) and remained significantly different at four weeks (P=0.04)....

How many MDs belong to the AMA?

Comment: I've been asked by many of you how many MDs belong to the AMA. Here's what I found:

... the AMA represents about 29 percent of licensed U.S. doctors,
according to the AMA's own figures

Comment 2: So why is the AMA seemingly so concerned about controlling other professions when so few of their own belong to the AMA? I do not know. DM

AOA 2010 Photographs

For photographs of the 2010 American Optometric Association meeting, please click the title above.
Photo above: This is my pediatric resident, Dr. Ben Leishman, who presented a poster on corneal scars and there managment in children.

Former ICO President in Hall of Fame

Photos: Dr. & Mrs. Alfred Rosenbloom and Dr. Arol Augsburger (left) Dr. Rosenbloom and Dr. Augsburger (right).

Illinois College of Optometry's former Dean and President and pioneer in the field of Rehabilitative Optometry/Low Vision, Dr. Alfred Rosenbloom has been inducted into the American Optometric Association's Hall of Fame. ICO's current president, Dr. Arol Augsburger congratulates both Dr. & Mrs. Rosenbloom for being one of optometry's very best!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Editors Together at the AOA

Drs. Paul Freeman and Dominick Maino had a brief opportunity to talk about their editing jobs at the recent AOA meeting in Orlando, Fl. Dr. Freeman is editor of the American Optometric Association's Optometry journal and Dr. Maino edits the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, Optometry & Vision Development, journal.

I Can Be Taught!

Franklin Medio, PhD gave a wonderful presentation for optometric educators at the recent American Optometric Association meeging in Orlando, Fl. Dr. Medio even tried to make me a better teacher!! (Photo Drs. Maino & Medio)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Parents Can Successfully Set Limits On Children's TV Watching

...children who strongly agreed their parents had rules about television viewing time were less likely to exceed recommended screen time limits. Researchers also found that as children spent more time being physically active - both on organized sports teams and in free-time activities - they were less likely to exceed screen time limits. Study authors suggest that initiatives that encourage parents to set limits and that promote physical activity may help reduce screen time among children aged 9 to 15 years. ...

Damage To The Frontal Cortex Of The Brain Affects Our Ability To React Quickly To A Stimulus

...Researchers of the University of Granada have demonstrated that patients who have damage to the right prefrontal cortex of the brain the part involved in anticipation and quick reaction to stimuli- present a deficit in intentional anticipation (for example, when we put the vehicle in gear before the light turns green). However, these patients keep unintentional anticipation functions intact, which could help develop new therapies....

Sunburned Eyes? Optometrists Stress Sunglass Safety

..."During the summer, when more time is spent out in the sun, people start thinking about UVR protection for their skin, but don't take similar steps to safeguard their eyes," said Jan Bergmanson, professor at the UH College of Optometry and founding director of the Texas Eye Research and Technology Center (TERTC). "Lack of awareness surrounding the potential effects of overexposure to UV radiation is concerning, and many people are unaware of the eye health risks to both adults and children associated with spending too much time in the sun without the proper protection." ...

The Journal Of Neurotherapy Announces Neurofeedback To Be An Efficacious And Specific Modality For The Treatment Of ADHD

...The Journal of Neurotherapy announces the publication of "A Position Paper on Neurofeedback for the Treatment of ADHD," in which the authors demonstrate that neurofeedback is a safe and efficacious treatment intervention for AD/HD, meeting a rating level of 5: Efficacious and Specific. The issue 14(2) of the journal is available online here....

Accommodative spasm in siblings: A unique finding

Accommodative spasm is a rare condition occurring in children, adolescents, and young adults. A familial tendency for this binocular vision disorder has not been reported. I describe accommodative spasm occurring in a brother and sister. Both children presented on the same day with complaints of headaches and blurred vision. Treatment included cycloplegia drops and bifocals. Siblings of patients having accommodative spasm should receive a detailed eye exam with emphasis on recognition of accommodative spasm.

Comments: My colleague, long time friend and ICO alum (Robert P Rutstein
O.D., School of Optometry, University of Alabama at Birmingham)published this paper on acc spasm....the full text is available by clicking on the title above. DM

Large study finds no cell phone mast link to cancer

...British scientists who conducted the largest study yet into cell phone masts and childhood cancers say that living close to a mast does not increase the risk of a pregnant woman's baby developing cancer....

AMA Membership

Comments: One of my colleagues left me the msg below....from what I heard (and I have not verified this) 17% of MDs belong to the AMA and up to 7% may leave because of how they have conducted the affairs of the AMA.

Check out

DMM Scope of Practice Data Series: Ophthalmology
by Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A, Editor

to see how the AMA approaches interprofessional relations. DM

Dom, Correct me if I am in error. I thought that... Dom,

Correct me if I am in error. I thought that the AMA represented less the half of the licensed and practicing physicians and surgeons.



If you liked the first part (see below) will love the second part! DM


...Oliver Sacks, a neurologist and man of letters, is well-known to the vision community through his essays in The New Yorker Magazine. Oliver’s depiction of “Stereo Sue” in June, 2006 brushed optometric vision therapy into the public consciousness, and set the tone for Sue Barry’s extraordinary book, “Fixing My Gaze”.

Four years onward, in his latest “A Neurologist’s Notebook” piece in The New Yorker (June 28, 2010), Oliver delves into what he dubs “the visuality of reading”. While this has direct bearing on visual rehabilitation after stroke, it also has deep implications for the role of vision in the process of learning to read and reading to learn.....

Comments: An outstanding blog, VisionHelp, is a must read for all....check it out! DM

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Open Access Journals Survey: Please take this survey

SOAP survey released May 2010

Your views on open access publishing are needed!

The SOAP Project is currently conducting an online survey to assess researchers’ experiences with open access publishing. This survey aims to inform the most comprehensive analysis of attitudes to open access publishing to date and is seeking views from a wide a range of interested parties. It is primarily aimed at active researchers in public and private organizations, from all fields of the research in the sciences and humanities and focuses on publication of research articles in (open access) peer-reviewed journals.

If you would like to contribute to shaping the public discourse on open access, please visit

It should take 10-15 minutes to complete. Please share this news with your research collaborators. Thank you.

The survey outcome will be made public and the resulting insights as well as recommendations will be openly shared with the European Commission, publishers, research funding agencies, libraries and researchers.

Thanks in advance, the SOAP Project Team

Landmark Study Demonstrates Patients Who Replace Contact Lenses on Schedule Report Better Comfort and Vision

...Researchers at the Centre for Contact Lens Research (CCLR) at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry in Canada, confirmed in a survey of 1,334 U.S. contact lens wearersi, higher compliance with manufacturer recommended replacement schedules for SH lenses among monthly replacement contact lens wearers (71%); lower rates were reported among two-week replacement SH lens wearers (41%)....

Comments: I am not a contact lens guru....but I always tell my patience...if you are compliant with what the doctor tells WILL do better...get happier! DM

The AMA May Loose Up to 7% of its Members

Did the AMA make a fatal mistake by supporting healthcare reform? Here's what the respondents say...

Comments: The AMA has forgotten the most important person in its organization...the patient. If it spent less time worrying about politics and other professions and more time worried about patient care...perhaps all would benefit and membership would increase! DM

An audit of the outcome of amblyopia treatment: a retrospective analysis of 322 children

...Although the mean duration of treatment was long, involving many hospital visits, the visual outcome was variable, unsatisfactory and more expensive than necessary. As compliance has been identified as a major problem methods to improve amblyopia treatment are needed, possibly by using educational/motivational intervention....

Comments: Free PDF is available by clicking on the title. Could all of the patients noted in this study gotten such poor results because they forgot to treat amblyopia as a BINOCULAR vision problem...and not as a visual acuity problem? If all you do is patch...compliance and outcome will be a major issue. DM

Effect on falls of providing single lens distance vision glasses

...With appropriate counselling, provision of single lens glasses for older wearers of multifocal glasses who take part in regular outdoor activities is an effective falls prevention strategy. The intervention may be harmful, however, in multifocal glasses wearers with low levels of outdoor activity....

Comments: PDF of article available free by clicking on title. DM

Synaptic Disorder Instead Of Autism Spectrum Disorder?

...Maybe it is time to consider abandoning use of the term "autism" altogether and replace it with a new, more informative, and less politicized term .... synaptic disorder. In his December 2009 Simons Initiative on Autism and the Brain Lecture at MIT, "Autism, What Do We Know? What Do We Need?", Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) acknowledged that autism is not fully explained by genetics. It is also necessary to consider environmental factors ( a point made 10 years earlier by Teresa Binstock and emphasized by many autism authorities including Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto). Dr. Insel also discussed the matter of how we describe autism disorders and whether we are talking about these disorders in ways that are helpful to understanding them biologically as summarized on the MIT World review of his lecture:......

Low, high manganese levels may affect the infant brain

...Babies with either relatively high or relatively low levels of manganese in their blood may be slower to hit certain developmental milestones in their first year than other infants, a new study suggests....

ADHD drugs have no long-term growth effects

...Neither attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) nor medications used to treat it have a long-term impact on kids' growth, a new study published online in The Journal of Pediatrics ...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Visiting Professor Continuing Education Program

Visiting Professor Continuing Education Program
June 27, 2010 at the Illinois College of Optometry

6 Hours of CE Credit (Non-tested, COPE Pending)

8:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Cost: $150

Should You Change the Way You Treat Amblyopia?
Medico-Legal Issues in Optometry
Evidence Based Treatment of Convergence Insufficiency
Meeting the Challenges of the Aging Population

Mitchell Scheiman, OD, FCOVD
Eric Conley, OD
Alfred Rosenbloom, OD, MA, DOS

Download the registration form here.

Program includes parking, continental breakfast, lunch, course materials, and certificate of attendance. No tests are offered for this program. All courses are COPE qualification pending. The last day to pre-register is June 23, 2010. All registrations received after this date are subject to a $25 late registration fee. You will receive an email confirmation within 3 business days after we receive your registration. If you do not receive your confirmation, please call the CE Coordinator at 312-949-7426.