Saturday, September 10, 2011

ICO's Class Reunion and Alumni Awards Reception and Banquet

 Yesterday, I had the privilege of acting as the MC during ICO's Class Reunion and Alumni Awards Cocktail Reception and Banquet at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. Each year, the ICO Alumni Association recognizes outstanding alumni and friends for their contributions to the College and to the profession. This year's recipients were:

•Alumnus of the Year Award - Walt Mayo, OD '85
I have known Dr. Mayo as student, colleague and friend for many years. He has helped to make SECO not just a regional or national meeting...but rather a true international meeting equal to or better than any other optometric meeting in the country. He even invented optometric social media with the Optcom email mailing list long before Facebook became popular! Dr. Mayo is truly an outstanding optometrist and ICO alum.

Young Alumnus of the Year Award - Geoffrey Goodfellow, OD '01, FAAO
Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow is a co-faculty member of mine at ICO. I also knew him as a student and resident and now as a colleague and certainly friend. Geoff is one of the most organized individuals on this planet. He serves as the Assistant Dean for Curriculum and Assessment, as a member of the Pediatric/Binocular Vision Faculty, Trustee of the Illinois Optometric Association, and co-author (with me) of the ASCOTech column of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry's journal, Optometric Education.

Distinguished Friend Award - STAR Ophthalmic Instruments
This award was accepted by Daniel and Denise Reberski who started the company in the 1980's and have been incredible supporters of ICO for many years.

Distinguished Friend Award - Mrs. Sharon Uher
Mrs. Uher is a dedicated member of ICO's Student Services Team.

•Professional Achievement Award - Dave Hansen, OD '71, FAAO, FCOVD
Dr. David Hansen is one of those individuals who has done everything. You see his name in the AOANews, in Academy publications...and well all over. He is the complete, no copies available, all round OD!
•Excellence in Education Award - Dan Roberts, OD, PhD
Dr. Roberts almost single handedly has made research no stranger at ICO. He has received many grants...and thru his efforts discovered important aspects of glaucoma. We now have a full fledged research group at ICO.

Humanitarian Award - Illinois State Sen. Kwame Raoul and OneSight
 Senator Raoul is an incredible individual. I have not had an opportunity to get to know him prior to this event, but after talking to him and seeing his deep, true pleasure at receiving this award, I understand how much of a treasure he is to ICO. He understands health care (his father was an MD) and the need of those who do not have ready access to this care. He is a humanitarian in the very best sense of the word.

One Sight has supported many programs at ICO including our project with the Chicago Public Schools.

•Lifetime Service Award - Robert Johnson, OD '60, MS, FCOVD (posthumously)
As I noted in a tribute I wrote for the AOANews about Dr. Johnson: "Robert L. Johnson, O.D., was a true pioneer in optometry, a community leader and a man of great faith. I had an opportunity to meet and talk to him at several meetings over the years and to have an opportunity to know him even better through his daughter, Dr. Stephanie Johnson-Brown who was a classmate of mine at the Illinois College of Optometry. .....One of his greatest achievements was creating a multi-doctor optometric practice specifically designed and dedicated to the visual welfare of Chicago’s children. As co-founder of the Plano Child Development Center and president of Vision Health Management Systems, Inc., he and his colleagues brought eye and vision care to those who needed it most even if they could not afford it. ..." Dr. Johnson was a true leader and the very best example of an ICO alumnus.

This was a night to remember the very best that ICO has given to the world. Congratulations to all the award recipients. Thank you for allowing me to celebrate your accomplishments. DM

ID Theft for Kids 50 Times Higher than for Adults

My friend, Suzanne Kantra, founder of Techlicious, discusses why we need to keep our kids data safe from this then click on Techlicious to read more about it...DM

recent study from Carnegie Mellon found that 10% of children had someone else using their social security number. That's an incredible 50 times higher than the study's adult population.

Then I thought about the last time I checked my children's credit reports—never—and it became obvious why kids are a perfect target. ID thieves can use a child's social security number, potentially for years, without anyone noticing.

Now with kids heading back to school, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a consumer alert advising parents on how to limit the risk of identity theft taking place in your child's educational environment.

Learn more about protecting your child's personal data and, if believe your child may be the victim of identity theft, follow these steps for what to do when your identity has been stolen.

Stay safe!

Suzanne Kantra
Founder, Techlicious

Refractive errors in children and young adults with Down's syndrome.

Refractive errors in children and young adults with Down's syndrome.

...The incidence of refractive errors in Macedonian children and young adults with DS was similar to that in Asian children. Compared with White (Caucasian) and Asian children with DS, Macedonian children and young adults exhibited lower incidences of hypermetropia and myopia, and a higher incidence of astigmatism, in which oblique astigmatism represented the predominant type....

ICO's 50 Year Club

The Illinois College of Optometry's 50 Year Club met for its 7th Annual Breakfast at 9AM today (9/10/11) at the Waldorf Room of the Hilton Chicago. This elite club was established in 2005 to honor the contributions of all ICO Alumni practicing 50 years or longer. As President of the ICO Alumni Association, I had the honor of assisting Dr. Arol Augsburger, President of the Illinois College of Optometry and Dr. Richard Kattouf, Chair of the ICO Board of Trustees in presenting certificates and 50 year pins to each club member.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Vocabulary In Bilingual Babies Linked To Early Brain Differentiation

Vocabulary In Bilingual Babies Linked To Early Brain Differentiation

....researchers report that the brains of babies raised in bilingual households show a longer period of being flexible to different languages, especially if they hear a lot of language at home. The researchers also show that the relative amount of each language - English and Spanish - babies were exposed to affected their vocabulary as toddlers.....

An assessment of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) in persons with Down syndrome.

An assessment of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) in persons with Down syndrome.

..... Individuals with DS displayed small alterations in the VOR gain and dynamics compared to controls. In contrast, the number of VOR nystagmus beats and the ability to inhibit the VOR by visual target fixation were markedly and robustly smaller in persons with DS. Significantly increased VOR adaptation was observed in men with DS.....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Correcting Peripheral Vision May Help Slow Progression Of Myopia

Correcting Peripheral Vision May Help Slow Progression Of Myopia

 .....much of the feedback affecting eye growth and visual development seems to come from the peripheral retina areas away from the center, which make up most of the retina. There's even evidence to suggest that when there are conflicting visual signals between the central and peripheral retina, the peripheral signals predominate. ....Taken together, the new evidence suggests that optical strategies to improve peripheral vision may have a greater impact on visual development than strategies addressing central vision. Based on the data, optometrists may want to reconsider their vision prescriptions for children with myopia, ....

Comments: Multifocal lenses for noted with past studies could slow down myopia progression. If you are an optometrist Rx bifocals for children with myopic tendencies....if you are a parent...ask about using multifocal lenses for your myopic prone offspring. DM

An assessment of optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) in persons with down syndrome.

An assessment of optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) in persons with down syndrome.

....Individuals with DS displayed angular velocity-dependent reduction in OKN gain and number of produced nystagmus beats compared to controls. ...., the number and mean amplitude of intruding saccades during smooth pursuit were increased in participants with DS compared to control participants. ....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Inattention Linked To Academic Failure, Rather Than Hyperactivity

Inattention Linked To Academic Failure, Rather Than Hyperactivity

Failure to finish high school education is often associated with inattention rather than hyperactivity .... evaluated data from parents and teachers of 2000 children and concluded that children with attention problems need preventative intervention early in their development. ... Teachers evaluated their students' attention problems, such as inability to concentrate, absentmindedness, tendencies to give up or being easily distracted. .... only 29% of children with attention deficits finished high school compared with 89% of children with no inattention problems. ...

Why do children with down syndrome have subnormal vision?

Why do children with down syndrome have subnormal vision?

.....People with Down syndrome have a wide variation in visual acuity, but generally 20 / 40 or worse. Both the eye and brain tend to be different in these patients compared to age matched normal subjects. Also, accommodative insufficiency (determined by dynamic retinoscopy) is often present in children Down syndrome, making bifocals a necessary consideration.....

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thoughts about referrals


......Certainly, all therapies do not work for all patients all of the time, but no therapy will work for anyone if that person is not given the opportunity to explore the legitimate alternatives to apparently ‘‘unresolvable’’ visual complaints from a patient with a ‘‘healthy’’ pair of eyes. When it comes to the treatment of binocular dysfunctions or visually related life activities such as academics, work, or sports, some of our optometric colleagues have demonstrated advanced competency as a diplomate in Binocular Vision, Perception and Pediatric Optometry by the American Academy of Optometry or by being certified as a Fellow in the COVD [College of Optometrists in Vision Development], both of which involve very rigorous testing to achieve. ..... When one looks at the services optometrists are uniquely qualified to render, as well as the benefits to the public, it only makes sense to direct our patients who experience visual performance problems beyond the realm of traditional lenses, drugs, or surgical interventions to those in the profession who have demonstrated the desire to help. In the case of [optometric] vision therapy, there are evidence-based protocols to support such intra-optometric referrals. And who knows? Someone reading this editorial might well be the next practitioner to change someone’s life through such a referral....

Comments: These are the words of Dr. Paul Freeman, the editor of Optometry, the Journal of the American Optometric Association, in an editorial he recently wrote addressed to my colleagues (the free pdf is available by clicking on the link at the top of this blog post). If you are an optometrist who has not referred a patient to a colleague because of binocular vision dysfunction, learning related vision problems, 3D Vision Syndrome or some other related condition, you are doing your patients a major disservice.

If you are a patient who experiences blurred vision, double vision, eye strain, asthenopia and/or headache after watching a 3D movie, reading, studying for a test, or while using a computer and your eye care professional has not referred you to a COVD doctor or AAO Diplomate....then ask for such a referral or go to the websites noted above to locate a doctor near you who can help.

I wrote an editorial on this very topic....and my colleague, Dr. Len Press has also commented on this in his VisionHelp blog. The bottom line is if you are a doctor.....refer when it is appropriate to do so. If you are a patient, ask for a referral. If your doctor can't or won't help you go the the AOA website, COVD website and/or the Optometric Extension Program Foundation website for professionals who can help you. DM

Atypical disengagement from faces and its modulation by the control of eye fixation in children with autism spectrum disorder

Atypical disengagement from faces and its modulation by the control of eye fixation in children with autism spectrum disorder.

.... we investigated disengagement from faces and objects in children (9-17 years old) with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and its neurophysiological correlates. .... the results suggest a critical role of eye fixation on attentional engagement to faces in both groups....

The Effect of Developmentally-at-Risk Status on the Reliability of the iScreen® Photorefractive Device in Young Children

The Effect of Developmentally-at-Risk Status on the Reliability of the iScreen® Photorefractive Device in Young Children

 ....The efficacy of photorefractive screening in young children with developmentally-at-risk status is comparable to results found in normal children.....

Comments: This means that screening is equally as useless (well, almost) for both groups...those with and without disability. Comprehensive eye and vision examinations should be required for all children and all at risk for or with a disability. DM

Evidence-based cognitive rehabilitation: updated review of the literature from 2003 through 2008.

Evidence-based cognitive rehabilitation: updated review of the literature from 2003 through 2008.

....There is substantial evidence to support interventions for attention, memory, social communication skills, executive function, and for comprehensive-holistic neuropsychologic rehabilitation after TBI. Evidence supports visuospatial rehabilitation after right hemisphere stroke, and interventions for aphasia and apraxia after left hemisphere stroke. ..... 

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences New Optometry School

.....indicated the new building would house the college’s new school of optometry. It would include classroom and research space, an optometry clinic, administrative and student services offices, faculty and staff offices, and an optical dispensary. ...MCPHS officials want to begin the four-year optometry program next August, ... with 64 students at each level. Last month, the college announced that Dr. Lesley Walls is coming from the Southern California College of Optometry to become the founding dean of the new program...

3D in the Classroom: Do 3D Movies cause Eye and Vision problems

Watch for the release of 3D in the Classroom:See Well, Lean Well. This is a booklet intended for teachers and school administrators (and anyone else interested actually) developed by the American Optometric Association, [email protected] ( and (

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Vision's Impact on Learning Conference

 If you haven't signed up for the Vision's Impact on Learning it now!  And yes, I do have a special interest in this conference since I a lecturing at this meeting! DM

Sign up. Come. Home Coming is where you need to be! Great food. Good friends....and more! DM

New Evidence-Based Support for Amblyopia Therapy

New Evidence-Based Support for Amblyopia Therapy

Click above to read my friend and colleague's, Dr. Len Press's VisionHelp blog....and what he has to say about amblyopia (AKA lazy eye). Dr. Press mentions an article by Dr. Dennis Levy....another friend, colleague and Dean at the Berkley School of Optometry and an article he just published, Video-Game Play Induces Plasticity in the Visual System of Adults With Amblyopia (link is to free PDF of article). Len and I have worked on several projects together....he always has something of interest on his blog. Drop by his blog often! DM


The New Blogger!

Several of my colleagues use other online blog sites...Thiis video tells you why I like Blogger! DM
  BTW...I have no financial interest in Google or Blogger....I just like what they offer!

Acupuncture for chronic pain

Acupuncture for chronic pain

Acupuncture has been used to treat health conditions including pain for over 3000 years, .... Beyond its demonstrated efficacy in treating chronic pain, acupuncture's excellent safety record and  cost-effectiveness compared to other interventions for chronic pain offer the potential that increased incorporation of acupuncture in managing patients with chronic pain could reduce the costs associated with their health care.

Clinical Study Shows Young Brains Lack The Wisdom Of Their Elders

Clinical Study Shows Young Brains Lack The Wisdom Of Their Elders

The brains of older people are not slower but rather wiser than young brains, ......The older brain has experience and knows that nothing is gained by jumping the gun. .....We now have neurobiological evidence showing that with age comes wisdom and that as the brain gets older, it learns to better allocate its resources. Overall, our study shows that Aesop's fable about the tortoise and the hare was on the money: being able to run fast does not always win the race you have to know how to best use your abilities. This adage is a defining characteristic of aging."....

Comments: Dear Maino children.....and all my students....are you paying attention. Research supports...this fella's chronologically enhanced brain mediated wisdom. AKA I know what I am talking about!! Listen to me from time to time! DM

Correcting Peripheral Vision May Help Slow Progression of Myopia

...New scientific evidence on how feedback from the eye affects visual development may lead to more effective approaches to treating myopia (nearsightedness) in children, reports a paper in the September issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry....