Friday, March 18, 2011

Optometrists: Nintendo 3DS could ID vision issues

....U.S. eye specialists are welcoming the Nintendo 3DS game device, dismissing the manufacturer's warnings that its 3-D screen shouldn't be used by children 6 or younger because it may harm their immature vision.

On the contrary, the optometrists say, it's a good idea to get your kids to try the 3-D screen, especially if they're younger than 6. It won't do any harm, they say, and it could help catch vision disorders that have to be caught early to be fixed.
"The 3DS could be a godsend for identifying kids under 6 who need vision therapy," said Michael Duenas, associate director for health sciences and policy for the American Optometric Association.....

Comments: As you read this article (click on title to read full article), you might notice a bit of a bias towards the MD point of view. This point of view tends to limit what anyone with problems seeing 3D can do. If you child has problems seeing 3D (don't forget to ask them)...take them to an optometrist who can help. You can find such a doctor at and DM

Refractory reverse amblyopia with atropine penalization

...Pharmacological penalization with atropine has been shown to be equally effective as conventional occlusion therapy in the treatment of amblyopia in children. Reverse amblyopia of the sound eye with atropine penalization has been reported ...... We report a case of reverse amblyopia with atropine penalization, in a 4-year-old girl, which was refractory to treatment. This report highlights the need for strict monitoring of the vision in the sound eye and regular follow-up in children undergoing amblyopia treatment....

A Pedagogical Framework for Mobile Learning: Categorizing Educational Applications of Mobile Technologies into Four Types

As a teacher I'm always interested in how to teach better. This paper compares....  mobile learning with electronic learning and ubiquitous learning and describes the technological attributes and pedagogical affordances of mobile learning presented in previous studies.....

Comments: Click on the title for the full text. DM

Telehealth Innovations of 2010

What's new in technology and medicine?

VisionCare’s new miniature telescope, implanted into a human eye, can help combat the effects of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults.

A sensor-based artificial skin that can detect the weight of a fly upon it. The product is expected to bring realistic feeling to wearers of artificial limbs

Paraplegics may regain a chance at normal walking via eLEGS, an exoskeleton that uses sensors to determine proper foot placement.

A new sensor that could enable diabetics to measure glucose levels in their breath, replacing the widely used finger prick method.

A microscope offers portable medical imaging for less than the cost of a Sunday newspaper.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s pulse-monitoring system measures the way light bounces off a person’s face. Click on the title above to see a subject’s real-time pulse rate appears at the bottom of a mirror with the system installed

.... and much more. Click on the title above to read this paper. DM

Changes in Cue-Induced, Prefrontal Cortex Activity with Video-Game Play

....changes in frontal-lobe activity with extended video-game play may be similar to those observed during the early stages of addiction.....

The Effect of Gender, Ethnicity, and Income on College Students’ Use of Communication Technologies

This study found that...Women ... reported owning and using communication technology more than men; ...spent more time talking on their cell phones .... student ethnicity may be associated with usage levels, ....American students were less likely to own a cell phone than students from other ethnic groups, ....a higher percentage of African-Americans send text messages than whites. . ... and more. Read the full paper by clicking on the title above. DM

Virtual Conversation Partner for Adults with Autism

The journal, CYBERPSYCHOLOGY, BEHAVIOR, AND SOCIAL NETWORKING, recently published the article, Virtual Conversation Partner for Adults with Autism, in which they report that adults with autism who participated in a prototype conversation simulation program responded positively to the experience, supporting the quality and usefulness of the simulation.....

Comments: This article is available free by clicking on the title above. DM

Improved Cognitive Function After Transcranial,Light-Emitting Diode Treatments in Chronic,Traumatic Brain Injury: Two Case Reports

An article in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery noted that: ...Significant benefits have been reported following application of transcranial, low-level....laser therapy (LLLT) to humans with acute stroke and mice with acute TBI....Transcranial LED may improve cognition, reduce costs in TBI treatment, and [can] be applied at home.....

Comments: It's interesting that medicine is starting to accept "light therapy" for any number of conditions and yet tends to be skeptical of using light to improve vision function. The College of Syntonic Optometry states: Syntonics or optometric phototherapy, is the branch of ocular science dealing with the application of selected light frequencies through the eyes. It has been used clinically for over 70 years in the field of optometry with continued success in the treatment of visual dysfunctions, including strabismus (eye turns), amblyopia (lazy eye), focusing and convergence problems, learning disorders, and the aftereffects of stress and trauma. In recent years, Syntonics has been shown to be effective in the treatment of brain injuries and emotional disorders.... I have not recently investigated the use of light for treatment in the areas noted above, but a nice review of the topic can be found by reading
Wallace LB. The theory and practice of syntonic phototherapy: a review. Optom Vis Dev 2009;40(2):73-81.  DM

More evidence folic acid prevents birth defects

....A new study finds that South Carolina's rate of spina bifida and similar birth defects fell substantially after more women began taking folic acid -- adding to evidence of the B vitamin's benefits during pregnancy.....Infants born in South Carolina have historically had a higher rate of neural tube defects compared with the U.S. average. But during the study period, the rate of "isolated" neural tube defects (not accompanied by any other birth defect) fell from 1.4 for every 1,000 births and fetal deaths, to about 0.6 per 1,000....

Breastfed Children Do Better at School, Study Suggests

Researchers have ..... found that as little as four weeks of breastfeeding for a newborn baby has a significant effect on brain development, which persists until the child is at least 14 years old.....

Optometry & Vision Development

Optometry & Vision Development volume 42 #1, the official journal of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development will soon be available online.

Optometry & Vision Development is an open access journal whose content is immediately available at no charge to the reader once it is published. OVD is also indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

For a preview, see the cover of this issue below.

College of Optometrists in Vision Development Annual Meeting

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Treating uncorrected refractive error in adults in the developing world with autorefractors and ready-made spectacles

...Autorefractors and ready-made spectacles allow for effective treatment of uncorrected refractive error in adults in the developing world....

Identifying Neurocognitive Deficits in Adolescents Following Concussion

...Immediate assessment in the ED can predict neurocognitive deficits seen in follow-up and may be potentially useful to individualize management or test therapeutic interventions. Neurocognitive assessment in the ED detected deficits that clinical grading could not and correlated with deficits at follow-up....

Some Blind People 'See' With Their Ears

...Dr. Olivier Collignon of the University of Montreal's Saint-Justine Hospital Research Centre compared the brain activity of people who can see and people who were born blind, and discovered that the part of the brain that normally works with our eyes to process vision and space perception can actually rewire itself to process sound information instead....

Eating fish might protect your eyesight

..."Fish oil, that is the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, that have long been thought to be protective against cardiovascular disease may also be of significant benefit in the primary prevention of AMD among women who have no disease or have undetected early signs of disease, and have not yet been diagnosed with AMD."...

What is Optometric Vision Therapy?

My friend and colleague, Dr. Ann Wonderling talked with Mike Hayes on La Crosse Talk radio (1410 WIZM) recently. Listen to the interview by clicking on the link above. DM

The Brain Networks Involved In How We Recognise People

...Human social interactions are shaped by our ability to recognise people. Faces and voices are known to be some of the key features that enable us to identify individual people, and they are rich in information such as gender, age, and body size, that lead to a unique identity for a person. A large body of neuropsychological and neuroimaging research has already determined the various brain regions responsible for face recognition and voice recognition separately, but exactly how our brain goes about combining the two different types of information (visual and auditory) is still unknown. Now a new study.....

Stem Cells May Provide Treatment For Brain Injuries

....Stem cells derived from a patient's own bone marrow were safely used in pediatric patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to results of a Phase I clinical trial....The results were published in this month's issue of Neurosurgery, the journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.....

Prozac Reorganizes Brain Plasticity

....chronic treatment of adult mice with fluoxetine (Prozac) caused changes to granule cells, one of the main types of neuronal cells inside the hippocampus, and to their connections with other neuronal cells. The granule cells appeared to undergo serotonin-dependent 'dematuration', which increased their activity and reversed adult-type plasticity into an immature state. These changes to the cell's plasticity were associated with increased anxiety and in alternating between periods of hyper or hypo activity. ....

Creativity Is An Upside To ADHD

....."For the same reason that ADHD might create problems, like distraction, it can also allow an openness to new ideas," ..... "Not being completely focused on a task lets the mind make associations that might not have happened otherwise."....

National Academies of Practice Forum 2011

Towards the end of this coming week I will be attending the National Academies of Practice meeting in Washington, DC...not only to learn a few things, but to be inducted as a Distinguished Practitioner at the banquet on Saturday evening. I am posting the agenda for the meeting. If you would like more info, just let me know or click on the title above. DM

National Academies of Practice Forum 2011
Achieving Interdisciplinary Care
March 25-26
Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel
Arlington, VA

Friday March 25, 2011

9:00-1:00 Special New Member Orientation and Luncheon - Salons A and B
1:00-1:55 Tools for Interdisciplinary Care: ICF - Salon D John Hough, Lyn Bufka
2:00-2:55 Towards Standards and Guidelines for Interdisciplinary Care - Salon D David Rodgers, PhD, Karen Wolf, PhD, RN
3:00-4:00 National & International Models of Interdisciplinary Care - Salon D Marie DiCowden, PhD, Bonnie Wesorick, RN, MSN
1:00-2:30 Introduction to Advocacy - Salon E Gary Matzke, PharmD, Barbara Ross-Lee, DO, Norman Gevitz, DO
2:40-4:00 Advanced Advocacy - Salon E Gary Matzke, Pharm D, Barbara Ross-Lee, DO, Norman Gevitz, DO
4:10-5:30 Schwartz Rounds: A Model for Interdisciplinary Collaboration - Salons D & E Carolyn C. Messner, DSW, MSW, BCD, LCSW-R; Joseph O’Donnell, MD Margaret S. Wool, PhD, BCD, LICSW 5:30-7:30 Poster Session and Academy Welcome Reception - Salons H & J An informal chance to meet your colleagues in your individual Academies, view and discuss Interdisciplinary Posters with their NAP preparers.

Saturday March 26, 2011 - Forum and Banquet


9:00-9:05 Welcome and Introductions - Salons A & B Arthur Hazlewood, DDS, MPH - President, NAP 9:05-9:40 Keynote Address - Salons A & B Mary Wakefield, RN, PhD - Administrator, HRSA US Department of HHS 9:40-10:10 Integrated Interdisciplinary Care: What is it? - Salons A & B Heather Boon, BScPhm, PharmD - Associate Professor of Pharmacy University of Toronto
10:10-10:40 Financing Interdisciplinary Care - Salons A & B Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH - Vice President, Chief Medical Officer Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Texas
11:00-11:30 Interdisciplinary Home Care - Salons A & B Jean Yudin, MSN, RN, CS - Director and Nurse Practitioner University of PA Health System Jeanette Gallagher, MSW Institute on Aging, University of PA Health System 11:30-12:00 Interprofessional Education for interdisciplinary Care - Salons A & B Madeline Schmidt, RN, PhD - Professor of Nursing, Emerita University of Rochester
12:00-1:00 Panel and Audience Discussion - Salons A & B Madeline Schmidt, RN, PhD - Moderator 1:00-2:15 Luncheon and Presentation of Awards - Salon C NAP Interdisciplinary Group Award
2:15-3:00 The Secret to Creating a Culture of Interprofessional Care: A discussion with the NAP Membership - Salons A & B Anthony Suchman, MD - Organizational Consultant
3:00-5:00 NAP Member Forum Reflection for Policy Paper - Salons A & B Facilitator: Elizabeth A. Rider, MSW, MD, FAAP - Co-Chair, Medicine Academy, NAP; Dir. of Programs for Communication Skills, John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation, Massachusetts General Hospital
5:00-5:30 NAP Annual Meeting - Salons A & B Arthur Hazlewood, DDS, MPH - NAP President

Banquet 7:00-7:30 Cocktail Reception - Grand Foyer A, B & C
7:30-10:00 NAP Membership Recognition Banquet - Salons A & B
Black tie preferred

Conscious And Unconscious Perception And How Flexibly The Brain Processes Images

...Our brains process many more stimuli than we become aware of. Often images enter our brain without being noticed: visual information is being processed, but does not reach consciousness, .... what is the difference between conscious and unconscious perception, and can both forms of perception be changed through practice? These questions are important not only for basic research, but also for the treatment of patients with perceptual deficits due to brain lesions e.g. following a stroke. Scientists at the MPI for Brain Research in Frankfurt/Main could now show that seeing can be trained. Their tests revealed that the brain regions underlying the learning effects on conscious perception are different than the ones underlying the learning effects on the mere processing of stimuli. ...

Comments: Holy Smokes! This is what optometry has been saying for decades! Go to to learn more. DM


Blindsight has always been an interest of mine (see Alesterlund L, Maino D. That the blind may see: A review: Blindsight and its implications for optometrists. J Optom Vis Dev 1999;30(2):86-93).

Here's a couple of videos on the topic....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Organizations Will Share Scientific, Clinical Research for Better Understanding of 3D/S3D Viewing and Promotion of Vision Health

New York, NY, March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The American Optometric Association (AOA) and its 36,000 members today announced its partnership with the [email protected] Consortium, a group of more than 45 companies, to improve the understanding of 3D/S3D viewing as a safe and appropriate technology for all viewing audiences. The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today, stating their intent to share data and jointly promote vision health utilizing stereoscopic 3D displays.

The cooperative relationship will be a conduit for the exchange of the most current information and research. Both the AOA and the [email protected] Consortium acknowledge vision and eye health may enhance consumers’ abilities to view 3D/S3D images, and ultimately increase their use of such technology. The two groups will collaborate in the development of common interest strategies, exchange of ideas, and shared best practices.

Potential projects covered by the MOU include: 1) enhanced public and professional communication; 2) development and design of 3D/S3D based vision risk assessment tools; 3) development and design of applied therapies; 4) providing new integrated efforts for quality improvement and evaluation; and 5) improved public health and vision and eye health.

Both groups will be encouraging their constituents to incorporate the use of stereoscopic testing and educational materials in their products, helping the public build an appreciation for the importance of optometry-delivered vision and eye health care, as well as the importance of yearly comprehensive eye exams. For more information, visit

3D Vision Syndrome can be diagnosed and treated by an optometrist who has special training in disorders of the binocular vision system (how the two eyes work together). For doctors with advanced training in this area please go to the American Optometric Association (AOA), College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) websites noted below.

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is a non-profit, international membership association of eye care professionals. COVD provides board certification for optometrists and vision therapists who are prepared to offer state-of-the-art services in developmental vision care, optometric vision therapy and visual rehabilitation.

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) lists all schools and colleges of optometry and the faculty and reseachers who can also diagnose and treat 3D Vision Syndrome.

Over the past couple of months, I've had the pleasure of working with members of the [email protected] Consortium, educators, the AOA members, COVD members and optometry school faculty/researchers as a part of the 3D in the Classroom AOA Project Team. Watch for some exciting information about the use of 3D in the classroom soon!

Please note that I have added several links (below) to the ones originally used in this news wire. DM

Additional Links:                                       ASCO                                         3D Vision Syndrome                             3D The Not so New Technology                               3D Vision Syndrome. What Therapists Should Know                            AOA 3Ds of 3D Viewing
Future Talk 3D (3D in Education)                    3D Vision Syndrome: NBC TV Report                           
3D Eye Health, Eye Strain Postcard                               3D Technology Poster
What You Should Do if You Feel Sick Watching 3D
US News & World Report on 3D[email protected]_0910.pdf

# # #
About the American Optometric Association (AOA):

The American Optometric Association represents approximately 36,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Optometrists serve patients in nearly 6,500 communities across the country, and in 3,500 of those communities are the only eye doctors. Doctors of optometry provide two-thirds of all primary eye care in the United States. For more information, visit

About The [email protected] Consortium:

[email protected] is a global, not-for-profit membership organization formed to accelerate the adoption of 3D into homes worldwide. The group’s membership list includes large and small multinational companies whose products and services span the 3D eco-system, including, 3D creation and capture, production, post-production, compliance testing, transmission, and 3D display, playback and accessories. For more information, visit

Illinois optometry college and CPS help students to focus on schoolwork

....Beginning in January, the recently closed Princeton Elementary School, in the city’s Fuller Park neighborhood, was reopened as an optometry clinic for CPS students. Classrooms in the former South Side elementary school now function as examining rooms, complete with eye charts hanging from the chalkboards and patient chairs where desks used to be. Each morning, the hallways serve as waiting rooms, filled with anywhere from 20 to 60 students, anxiously waiting their turn.  

“From the perspective of seeing about 1,250 students, about 75 percent of the kids have actually needed glasses,” said Dr. Sandra Block, optometrist and associate dean at the Illinois College of Optometry, “Ultimately our goal is to look at this intervention as allowing kids one less barrier to do well in school.”  ....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Is your child's hobby making him sick?

...Research has shown that playing a musical instrument can help nourish, cultivate, and increase intelligence in children, but playing a used instrument also can pose a potentially dangerous health risk. Used woodwind and brass instruments were found to be heavily contaminated with a variety of bacteria and fungi, many of which are associated with minor to serious infectious and allergic diseases,....

Open access ophthalmology, optometry, and vision journals.

Christopher T. Leffler, MD, MPH has put together a listing of many open access journals. He notes that "Here are some open-access journals of interest in ophthalmology, optometry, and vision science.  The table lists English-language journals free for the author, followed by those for which the author pays, and then journals not permitting English articles.  Within each section, the highest-impact journals are listed first, followed by Pubmedcentral journals, followed by Medline-indexed journals, and then non-Medline-indexed journals."

 This is a great resource...take a look by clicking on the title above. For more journals click here. DM

The PALs used in this study were found to have a statistically but not clinically significant effect on slowing myopia progression in children with high accommodative lag and near esophoria.

....The American Academy of Optometry, which represents more than 5,000 optometrists and vision scientists, is moving its headquarters from the Washington, D.C. area to Orlando next spring.....

Progressive Addition Lenses versus Single Vision Lenses for Slowing Progression of Myopia in Children with High Accommodative Lag and Near Esophoria

....The PALs used in this study were found to have a statistically ...significant effect on slowing myopia progression in children with high accommodative lag and near esophoria....

Optical Illusions Show Vision in a New Light

....Optical illusions have fascinated humans throughout history. Greek builders used an optical illusion to ensure that that their columns appeared straight (they built them with a bulge) and we are all intrigued by the mental flip involved in the case of the young girl/old woman faces.....New research... demonstrates a more serious use of these illusions in understanding how the brain assesses relative size....

Neuro Signals Study Gives New Insight Into Brain Disorders

....Scientists .... have identified a protein crucial for maintaining the health and function of the segment of nerve fibres that controls transmission of messages within the brain. The study,.... could help direct research into neurodegenerative disorders, in which electrical impulses from the brain are disrupted. This can lead to inability to control movement, causing muscles to waste away....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Coffee may reduce stroke risk

.....Women in the study who drank more than a cup of coffee a day had a 22% to 25% lower risk of stroke than those who drank less,....

Science News Share Blog Cite Print Bookmark Email Newly Identified Spider Toxin May Help Uncover Novel Ways of Treating Pain and Human Diseases

...Spider venom toxins are useful tools for exploring how ion channels operate in the body......