Saturday, July 23, 2011

Secondhand Smoke Tied To ADHD And Learning Disabilities In Children

...Children exposed to secondhand smoke in the home appear to be at 50% higher risk of neurobehavioural disorders such as ADHD/ADD and learning disabilities compared to unexposed children ...

Comments: Sometimes you have to wonder....many of us in the baby boomer generation had parents who was the cool thing to do at that time. Although there may be some arguement about this, most of us seemed to have turned out OK. It's be interesting if someone could look at us boomers and find out how many of our parents smoked and how many of us have various neurobehavioral disorders compared to those who had parents that did not smoke. DM

Advances in understanding and treating ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurocognitive behavioral developmental disorder most commonly seen in childhood and adolescence, which often extends to the adult years. Relative to a decade ago, there has been extensive research into understanding the factors underlying ADHD, ....Novel stimulant formulations have made it possible to tailor treatment to the duration of efficacy required by patients, and to help mitigate the potential for abuse, misuse and diversion. Several new non-stimulant options have also emerged.... Among these, cognitive behavioral interventions have proven popular in the treatment of adult ADHD, ....

Comments: Please click on the title above for the full pdf of this article. With all the information out there about how binocular vision problems (convergence insufficiency) can cause ADHD like behaviors...that the authors did not mention this is just astounding! 

The Relationship between Convergence Insufficiency and ADHD


Hand sanitizer, respiratory hygiene education did not reduce flu in schools

....Non-pharmaceutical interventions “did not reduce total laboratory-confirmed influenza,” the researchers wrote. “However, the interventions did reduce school total absence episodes by 26% and laboratory-confirmed influenza A infections by 52%. Our results suggest that non-pharmaceutical interventions can be an important adjunct to influenza vaccination programs to reduce the number of influenza A infections among children.” ....

Friday, July 22, 2011

Why Harry Potter is a sight for sore eyes: Watching in 3D could identify vision problems

.....It is the must-see summer blockbuster that has shattered box office records on both sides of the Atlantic.

And now it seems there is another reason to watch the final Harry Potter film, as it could be good for your health.

Eye experts claim the 3D version can help identify potential sight problems among movie fans.....

Comments: To find out more about what vision problems might be present that make your watching Harry in 3D scary....go to 3DEyeHealth. Click on the title above to read the full story. DM

The 3D Photography Blog of Almont Green

I've known 3D photographer, Almont Green, for some time now. He does awesome work! Take a look at his blog by clicking on the title above. Click here to go to his webpage.Click on the picture to see a 3D affect. DM

Study Finds Beauty Is In The Medial Orbito-Frontal Cortex Of The Beholder

...A region at the front of the brain 'lights up' when we experience beauty in a piece of art or a musical excerpt...this...suggests that the one characteristic that all works of art, whatever their nature, have in common is that they lead to activity in that same region of the brain, and goes some way to supporting the views of David Hume and others that beauty lies in the beholder rather than in the object. ....

7 Out Of 10 Children Do Not Wear Sunglasses Outdoors

..."The sun contains a wide spectrum of radiation, such as ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which damage the eyes the same way they damage the skin. However, much of the damage the sun causes can be prevented simply by wearing a pair of sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays,...

Vision, Visual-Information Processing, and Academic Performance Among Seventh-Grade Schoolchildren: A More Significant Relationship Than We Thought?

...Visual function significantly distinguishes between children with and without mild academic problems, as well as on visual-perception scores. The high occurrence of visual deficits among participants warrants consideration of vision deficits among schoolchildren with academic performance difficulties....

Comments: This study was published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. It is wonderful to have another profession agree with what developmental optometrists have been saying for decades. Vision does have something to do with reading!! Click on the title for the full free PDF of this paper. DM

Call for papers/posters:

The International Conference on Integrative Medicine brings together physicians and therapists from all over the world for a scientific meeting and dialog on the methods, techniques and progress of integrative medicine.

The conference will focus on various fields of Integrative Medicine such as: Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Naturopathy, Chiropractic Medicine, Herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Meditation, Yoga, Biofeedback, Hypnosis, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Nutritional-Based Therapies and many more.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Preserving Memory, Preventing Forgetting

....As any student who's had to study for multiple exams can tell you, trying to learn two different sets of facts one after another is challenging. As you study for the physics exam, almost inevitably some of the information for the history exam is forgotten. It's been widely believed that this interference between memories develops because the brain simply doesn't have the capacity necessary to process both memories in quick succession. But is this truly the case? ....

Late Talkers Not More Likely To Have Behavioral Or Emotional Problems Later On

...A young child with delayed language development does not generally have a higher risk of having emotional and behavioral problems later on during childhood and their teenage years, compared to their peers with normal speech development,....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Childhood Asthma Linked To Depression During Pregnancy

..."Approximately 70 percent of mothers who said they experienced high levels of anxiety or depression while they were pregnant reported their child had wheezed before age 5," .... "Understanding how maternal depression affects a child's respiratory health is important in developing effective interventions."....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Increased Treatment Response Found In Younger Children With Amblyopia

...The meta-analysis of earlier studies published this week in the Archives of Opthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals has revealed that the treatment for amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, was associated with good response among younger children between 3 to less than 7 years of age compared to older children. ...

Comments: Here we go again....please remember that the human brain remains plastic well into adulthood. Even adults can regain vision after treatment for amblyopia (lazy eye). It is very important to remember that if you have amblyopia that it can be treated at any age. Yes, it is easier when you are younger (what isn't?) and the results may be better...but with appropriate treatment you should see improvement even with those who are a bit, shall we say, more chronologically enhanced! DM

Optometric Volunteers Needed in Chicago

REMOTE AREA MEDICAL® (RAM) will conduct a dental, vision, and medical clinic in Chicago on August 19-20-21, 2011. All services are free, with no eligibility requirements, and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

The clinic is being hosted by CURE Network, a Chicago area nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve access to specialty medical care services for the underserved.

We are currently recruiting medical and general volunteers to support the Chicago clinic. Please find registration information at For more information about the Remote Area Medical® Chicago Clinic, go to Free services will include:

Dental - Cleanings, fillings, and extractions.

Vision - Free eye exam with free prescription glasses made on-site, as time and supplies permit.

Medical - General medical and specialty consults.

General volunteers are needed to help with set-up before and take down after the clinic, patient registration, patient escorting, and many other jobs during the clinics.

RAM volunteers provide free dental, vision and medical services intended for the uninsured, underinsured, unemployed, underemployed and those who cannot afford to pay. Services are provided by volunteer dentists, hygienists, dental assistants and techs, ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, vision techs, doctors, nurses, and other trained health professionals.

Future Actions Predicted From Human Brain Acti

Bringing the real world into the brain scanner, researchers at The University of Western Ontario from The Centre for Brain and Mind can now determine the action a person was planning, mere moments before that action is actually executed. ....

A prospective study of different test targets for the near point of convergence

My Illinois College of Optometry colleagues Drs. Yi Pang, Helen Gabriel, Kelly A. Frantz and Faheemah Saeed had this article published in Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics. They found that using a red lens with your transillumnator was the most sensitive test for diagnosing convergence insufficiency when conducting the near point of convergence (NPC) test. If you do not do an NPC on all patients, start doing so immediately (CI is the most common binocular vision problem found no matter the age of the patient.) and use the red lens technique as described by Pang et al. The NPC is not a secondary test. It is not a problem focused test. It is a "do on everybody test!" Click on the title above to download the full text article. DM

Monday, July 18, 2011

Diplopia Due to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in a Child: A Rare Clinical Presenting Sign of the Disease

....The authors present the case of a 14-year-old girl who was admitted to the hospital with the complaint of horizontal diplopia for 48 hours. Initially, she was diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension. ...The authors are not aware of any published case reports of intracranial hypertension secondary to systemic lupus erythematosus that was treated with rituximab. ....

Maternal smoking in pregnancy and birth defects: a systematic review based on 173 687 malformed cases and 11.7 million controls

....Significant positive associations with maternal smoking were found for: cardiovascular/heart defects; musculoskeletal defects; limb reduction defects; missing/extra digits; clubfoot; craniosynostosis; facial defects; eye defects; orofacial clefts; gastrointestinal defects; gastroschisis; anal atresia; hernia; and undescended testes.....

Comments: One more reason to stop smoking now! DM

NIH tips for older adults to combat heat-related illnesses

...Older people can face risks related to hot weather. As people age, their bodies lose some ability to adapt to heat. They may have medical conditions that are worsened by heat. And their medications could reduce their ability to respond to heat.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, has some advice for helping older people avoid heat-related illnesses, known collectively as hyperthermia.

Hyperthermia occurs when the body overheats. Conditions involving hyperthermia have different names, including heat stroke, heat fatigue, heat syncope (lightheadedness or fainting in the heat), heat cramps and heat exhaustion.

Health-related factors that may increase the risk of hyperthermia include:

•Pre-existing diseases such as congestive heart failure, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

•Decreased ability to move around
•Dementia or cognitive impairment
•Certain medications that may cause dehydration or that may affect the responses to heat by the heart, blood vessels or sweat glands.
•Being substantially overweight
•Drinking alcoholic beverages
•Being dehydrated
•Age-related changes in the skin, such as decreased functioning of small blood vessels and sweat glands...

Comments: This is most appropriate fot this coming week. Stay cool. Stay inside. Click on the title to read the whole story. DM

Neonatal And Perinatal Factors May Contribute Towards Autism Risk

The researchers....managed to narrow down 60 potential causes to 16 factors with closer links to future autism risk. These factors included:

Abnormal presentation

ABO or RH incompatibility

Birth injury or trauma

Congenital malformation

Feeding difficulties

Fetal distress - abnormal heart rhythm, usually caused by hypoxia (low oxygen). In this case, during labor or just before the baby is born.

Hyperbilirubinemia - abnormally high amounts of bile pigment (bilirubin) in the blood.

Low 5-minute Apgar score - Apgar measures the physical condition of the newborn with a system of points. It includes heart rate, effort, muscle tone, response to stimulation, skin coloration, and respiration. The top score is 10.

Low birth weight

Maternal hemorrhage

Meconium aspiration - the fetus breaths or sucks in a mass of meconium (green feces)

Multiple birth

Neonatal anemia

Small for gestational age

Summer birth

Umbilical-cord complications ...

Comments: Well, I'm certainly glad they managed to narrow this down! (;-}> This does not seem to be very helpful at this time....perhaps as the research developes in the future.DM

Clinical predictors of high risk histopathology in retinoblastoma

....Clinical variables including older age, longer lag period, hyphema, pseudohypopyon, staphyloma, and orbital cellulitis were strongly associated with occurrence of high risk histopathology in retinoblastoma....

SSRI's And Environment Strong Autism Contributing Factors Over Genes

....New research ... points to a link between the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a type of antidepressant, and the occurrence of autism in unborn kids. Another study found that among twins, the environment plays a bigger role in the development of autism than genetics ...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

NIH investigators discover new mechanism that may be important for learning and memory

...New findings in mice suggest that the timing when the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is released in the brain’s hippocampus may play a key role in regulating the strength of nerve cell connections, called synapses. Understanding the complex nature of neuronal signaling at synapses could lead to better understanding of learning and memory, and novel treatments for relevant disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia....