Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, PLoS, Social Issues / 12.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher W. Tyler D.Sc., PhD Division of Optometry and Vision Sciences School of Health Sciences City University of London London, United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The idea came from my previous  investigation of compositional regulates in paintings, which showed that there is a sense of balance  between symmetry and asymmetry in a composition, such that the asymmetry composition tends to appear more dynamic and interesting, but it needs to be anchored around a symmetric point for a comfortable sense of stability. That point in adult portraits tends to be the dominant eye, placed close to the centre line, but above the centre of the painting as a whole. Selfies are a fascinating art form and the lead author has published several papers on this topic from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. One fascinating feature of selfies is that they represent pseudo-artistic productions by individuals that do not generally have academic artistic training, making it interesting to compare them to self-portraits by real artists. If you then see the same phenomena, it is likely that these are rooted in our deep nature rather than on training and cultural conventions. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Environmental Risks, Ophthalmology / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Suh-Hang Hank Ju, PhD Kaohsiung Medical University Taiwan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) are 2 major traffic pollutants, which have been shown to increase a risk for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. We previously showed that chronic exposure of NO2 is also associated with dementia. age-related macula degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness. Given the increase of traffic pollutants in many urbanized cities, we investigated whether these two traffic pollutants are associated with the development of age-related macula degeneration in Taiwan. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections, Ophthalmology / 20.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nuadum Konne Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch CDC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: An estimated 45 million Americans enjoy the benefits of contact lens wear. Most of them practice some behaviors that put them at risk for serious eye infections. Surveys of contact lens wearers and eye care providers were conducted in 2018. One third of lens wearers recalled never hearing any lens care recommendations. Most eye care providers reported sharing recommendations always or most of the time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Macular Degeneration, Ophthalmology / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew Campbell, PhD Smurfit Institute of Genetics Trinity College Dublin Dublin MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common form of central retinal blindness in the world. However the underlying causes and initiating factors for disease progression are still not clear. It is classically a disease of the outer retina, where cells called retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells degenerate. However, our findings suggest that some of the early initiating events that promote AMD progression are actually coming from the inner retina and more specifically the microvasculature of the inner retina. We discovered that a gene called claudin-5 appears to be regulated by a circadian rhythm that in turn can regulate what gets into and out of the retina on a daily basis. Dysregulating the levels of this component made the inner retinal blood vessels marginally leaky and promoted a pathology that was AMD-like in animal models.  We also showed that the blood vessels of the retina appear to be highly dynamic in human subjects and can appear leakier at different times of the day, likely a mechanism that allows for clearance and replenishment of material into and out of the retina.  It is this process we believe breaks down in early AMD.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, NYU, Ophthalmology, Pharmaceutical Companies / 02.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cassandra L. Thiel, PhD Assistant Professor NYU Langone School of Medicine Department of Population Health NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service NYU Tandon School of Engineering MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Most healthcare professionals and researchers are aware that the healthcare sector makes up about 18% of the US Gross Domestic Product. What many do not realize is that all of that economic activity results in sizable resource consumption and environmental emissions. The healthcare industry is responsible for 10% of the US’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 9% of air pollutants.1 Sustainability in healthcare is a developing field of research and practice, and my lab offers data and information by quantifying resource use and emissions of healthcare delivery. We started looking at cataract surgery a few years ago, in part because operating rooms (ORs) typically represent the largest portion of spending and garbage generation in a hospital.2,3 Cataract surgeries are interesting because they are one of the most common surgeries performed in the world. In the US, we spend $6.8 billion on them each year. Any changes we can make to individual cases would have much larger, global impacts. I studied cataract surgeries at a world-renowned, high-volume eye surgery center in India and helped validate that clinical care could be designed in a way that was effective, cost-efficient, and resource efficient. Compared to the same procedure in the UK, this surgery center generates only 5% of the carbon emissions (with the same outcomes).2 This site’s standard policy is to multi-dose their eye drops, or use them on multiple patients until the bottle was empty. As such, the site generated very little waste. Returning to the US, I observed cataract cases and heard the complaints of OR staff that they had to throw out many partially used or unused pharmaceuticals. In reviewing the literature, we could not find a study that quantified how much we were throwing away and what it cost us to do so. We, therefore, set up a study to look at this particular issue. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 01.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daejoon Alex Hwang, PhD Instructor in Ophthalmology Investigator, Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Yellow night driving glasses are sold with promises to reduce headlight glare from oncoming traffic and help aging individuals see better at night. Despite a 1997 ruling by the Federal Trade Commission against one company’s claims, the products still remain popular online. We tested three commercially available yellow lens night driving glasses and compare their effectiveness with clear lens glasses on our novel headlight glare simulator in the driving simulator. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, JAMA, Ophthalmology, University of Michigan / 21.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua R. Ehrlich, MD, MPH Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Kellogg Eye Center Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences University of Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: This study came out of data collected as part of the National Poll on Healthy Aging (NPHA). The NPHA is funded by AARP and the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan to inform the public, healthcare providers, and policymakers on a variety issues related to health. The vision survey, conducted in March 2018, was just one of many NPHA surveys. Due to aging of the population, the number of older U.S. adults with blindness and vision impairment is expected to double over the next 30 years. Thus, this study was designed to provide crucial data  on contemporary data on patterns of eye care utilization in older adults. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Ophthalmology / 20.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thulasiraj Ravilla Executive Director – LAICO & Director – Opeations Aravind Eye Care System Tamilnadu, India  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is a visual consequence of diabetes and various other studies have reported that in India, 10% to 30% of adults with diabetes have DR, with higher rates found in older people and urban areas. Undetected DR leads to vision loss and eventually blindness. Thus early identification of DR is critical to initiate appropriate treatment to reduce the rate of vision loss. Conventional approaches of requesting diabetologists to refer patients with diabetes to an ophthalmologist has been ineffective due to compliance issues, both by the diabetologists and the patients. Similarly screening through outreach eye camps have not been found to be effective in India and other developing countries owing to inadequate eye care resources. Teleretinal screening for Diabetic Retinopathy is increasingly being used in India. Evidence from randomized clinical trials on the benefits of teleretinal screening is limited. Whatever evidence is there are from high income countries, which often have little relevance to developing countries. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Ophthalmology, Regeneron / 17.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert L. Vitti, MD, MBA Vice President and Head, Ophthalmology Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Dr. Vitti discusses the recent announcement that the FDA has approved EYLEA to treat all stages of diabetic retinopathy. MedicalResearch.com: Can you provide additional background on this approval? Would you briefly explain diabetic retinopathy and it's impact on patients? Response: The FDA has approved EYLEA (aflibercept) Injection to treat all stages of diabetic retinopathy (DR). DR is the leading cause of blindness among working-aged American adults. Approximately 8 million people live with DR, a complication of diabetes characterized by damage to the blood vessels in the retina (per 2010 data). The disease generally starts as non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) and often has no warning signs or symptoms. Over time, NPDR often progresses to proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), a stage in which abnormal blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina and into the vitreous cavity, potentially causing severe vision loss. (more…)
Author Interviews, Inflammation, Ophthalmology, PNAS / 25.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kip Connor, Ph.D. Harvard Medical School Associate Professor of Ophthalmology Department of Ophthalmology Massachusetts Eye and Ear MGH ECOR Ophthalmology Representative Associate Scientist MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Classically, the retina and the central nervous system (CNS) have long been considered immunoprivileged sites within the body. This is not to say that these sites lack immunity; rather, they are capable of exhibiting a contained yet modifiable form of immunological response. Indeed, an intricate immune surveillance system exists within the retina that can interact with the retinal cellular milieu both during development and in response to injury or disease. While activation of this surveillance system can help protect and repair the delicate neural tissue of the retina in certain disease states, over-activation of this system can exacerbate disease pathology, thereby worsening vision loss. Microglia are the resident immune cells of the central nervous system, including the retina, and are thought to function acutely in the homeostatic maintenance of the neuro-retinal microenvironment.  However in chronic conditions, like autoimmune uveitis, we hypothesized that microglia become neurodegenerative. In our current study we show for the first time a role for microglia in directing the initiation of this autoimmune disease by orchestrating the inflammatory response within the retina through the retinal vessels. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, STD, USPSTF / 05.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Silverstein, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Pediatrics Director of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics Vice chair of research for the Department of Pediatrics Boston University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum, or GON, is a severe infection of the eye that can occur in babies born to women who have gonorrhea. If left untreated, GON can cause serious problems, including blindness, that can appear as soon as 24 hours after delivery. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available that can prevent GON in newborns. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reviewed the most current research on the benefits and harms of ocular prophylaxis—which is applying antibiotic ointment to the babies’ eyes at birth—to prevent GON. We found that, if applied within 24 hours after birth, the ointment is very effective at preventing gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum and the problems it causes. Therefore, we are recommending that clinicians provide this preventive service for all newborns.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 13.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eugene Yu-Chuan Kang, MD. House Staff, Department of Ophthalmology Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Chang Gung University, School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: More and more patients suffered from diabetes mellitus (DM) around the world, as well diabetic complications such as diabetic retinopathy (DR). DR is one of the major causes of blindness in working-age adults. In addition to the cost of treatment for patients with advanced DR, loss of visual function also yields a great burden to the family and society. For advanced DR, surgical interventions such as retinal laser, intravitreal injection, and vitrectomy are needed. However, those surgical interventions for severe DR can only retard or stop disease progression. If DR can be prevented or slowed by medical treatments, the burden of medical costs for treating severe DR may be decreased. Statin, an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, was discussed frequently in the recent years. Multiple functions of statins besides their lipid lowering effect were discovered. Previous investigations have reported that statin therapy could reduce mortality rate and decrease risk of cardiovascular diseases. In our study, we wanted to figure out if statin therapy may have any association between diabetic retinopathy.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Compliance, Electronic Records, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 18.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Vincent Boland, M.D., Ph.D. Glaucoma Center of Excellence Director of Information Technology, Wilmer Eye Institute Associate Professor of Ophthalmology Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Effective medications are available to treat glaucoma and prevent or stop vision loss.
Unfortunately, patients frequently do not use the eye drops as prescribed, oftentimes simply
because they forget to. Since patient medications are now managed via electronic health
records (EHRs), we built a system to deliver automated reminders to patients using the patient
portal to our EHR. We found that the majority (75%, 66 of 88) of participants that received these reminders found them to be useful, and about half (47%, 41 of 88) the participants wanted to
continue using the reminders after the study ended
(more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, NIH, Ophthalmology / 05.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Top, retina of a control patient. Bottom, retina from a patient with CJD. Arrowheads point to abnormal prions in the outer plexiform layer (opl), and the asterisk (*) marks more diffuse prions in the inner plexiform layer (ipl).Orrù et al., mBioByron Caughey, Ph.D. Senior Investigator Chief, TSE/prion Biochemistry Section Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases NIH/NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories Hamilton, MT 59840 USA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Corneal transplants have caused the transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in at least two cases, and pathological prion protein has been detected in the retinas of the eyes of sporadic CJD cases. To build on these previous indications of prions in eye tissue, we tested the distribution of prions in various components of eyes from 11 sCJD decedents. We applied a highly sensitive surrogate test for prions (RT-QuIC) that indicated that all of the sCJD cases had prions in multiple parts of their eye, including the cornea and sclera, which is the white outer surface of the eye. Retinas were usually contained the highest levels, in some cases approaching levels in the brain. Some other parts such as the cornea, lens and vitreous had much lower, but detectable, levels.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics / 19.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "i have a lazy eye but it's a good thing" by jessica mullen is licensed under CC BY 2.0Eileen E. Birch, PhD Director, Crystal Charity Ball Pediatric Vision Evaluation Center Retina Foundation of the Southwest Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology UT Southwestern Medical Center   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: We previously reported that amblyopia, but not nonamblyopic strabismus or anisometropia, is associated with slower reading speed (Kelly et al  Journal of AAPOS 2015) and that this is related to abnormal eye movements and unstable fixation associated with amblyopia (Kelly et al 2017).  We have also shown that amblyopic children are slower at completing Scantron answer sheets (JAMA Ophthalmology 2018).  We thought that these difficulties experiences in school-age children with amblyopia might affect their self-perception. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 09.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer P. Craig, Associate Professor Department of Ophthalmology New Zealand National Eye Centre Auckland, New Zealand MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dry eye disease is a complex multi-factorial condition, which affects between 5% to 50% of the adult population in different parts of the world. The condition can have profound effects on the ocular comfort, visual function, and quality of life of sufferers. In both clinical practice and academic research settings, validated questionnaires are frequently used to screen for dry eye symptomology, before clinical assessment of tear film homeostatic markers is conducted to make an overall diagnosis of dry eye disease. Although a large number of validated symptomology questionnaires has previously been developed, the recently convened Tear Film and Ocular Surface Dry Eye Workshop II (TFOS DEWS II) identified that the considerable heterogeneities in the study populations, methodologies, and reference standards used in earlier diagnostic accuracy studies introduced significant challenges when trying to compare the diagnostic performance of these screening instruments. The current study is the first to offer a direct comparison of five commonly used validated questionnaires within the same study population, and uses the global consensus criteria for tear film homeostatic disturbance developed by the TFOS DEWS II as the reference standard. (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, Ophthalmology / 07.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathan Radcliffe, MD Senior Faculty, Ophthalmology Glaucoma and Cataract surgeon Mount Sinai Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and the mainstay of therapy is to lower the intraocular pressure (IOP) with topical eye drops. Up to 40% of patients may require more than one eye drop to control the disease, and yet taking more than one eye drop bottle can result in higher costs, more eye irritation, worse therapeutic compliance, and possibly worse outcomes, be sure to consult your eye surgeon before increasing any eye treatment to ensure it won't do any further damage to the eye. Compounded therapies (not FDA approved, but made at the physician’s request by a compounding pharmacy) can be created to contain multiple glaucoma therapies in one bottle. We sought to determine if a compounded solution containing three or four drops in one bottle could control glaucoma as well as three or four separate bottles (standard of care) in patients requiring three or four eye drop bottles to control glaucoma. We performed a multi-center, randomized, observer-masked, parallel-group study comparing a compounded therapy containing latanoprost 0.05%, dorzolamide hydrochloride 2%, timolol maleate 0.5%, brimonidine tartrate 0.2% with 0.01% BAK to standard three or four bottle regaimins. We measured IOP and corneal staining (a sign of preservative toxicity), as well as other safety measures at week one, month one, two and three. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Environmental Risks, Genetic Research, Ophthalmology, PLoS / 09.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrei V. Tkatchenko, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor Columbia University Medical Center Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute New York, NY 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Clear distance vision is rapidly becoming a rare privilege around the world, especially in Asia, due to increasing prevalence of myopia. Although much effort has been directed towards elucidating the mechanisms underlying refractive eye development and myopia, treatment options for myopia are mostly limited to optical correction, which does not prevent progression of myopia or pathological blinding complications often associated with the disease. During early childhood development, the axial length of the eye normally grows to match its optical power in a process called emmetropization, producing focused images on the retina. However, very often environmental and genetic factors lead to a mismatch between the optical power of the eye and its axial length resulting in the development of myopia if eyes grow too long for their optical power. Experimental studies in many animal species suggest that emmetropization is regulated by optical defocus. The eye can compensate for imposed negative and positive optical defocus by increasing or decreasing its growth rate, respectively. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying emmetropization are poorly understood which prevents development of anti-myopia drugs. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, JAMA, Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh / 05.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Syed Mahmood Ali Shah, M.D. Associate Professor of Ophthalmology University of Pittsburgh School of MedicineSyed Mahmood Ali Shah, M.D. Associate Professor of Ophthalmology University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Eye trauma is a significant cause of morbidity throughout the world. In the United States, the incidence of individuals hospitalized with eye trauma from 2001 through 2014 increased. Most of these individuals were above the age of 65 and suffered a fall. This is a worrisome trend in light of an increased awareness and continued and concentrated effort to reduce falls. This is a critical point: We need to improve our existing strategies to reduce falls. The second at-risk group is children and adolescents. Previous studies have shown that effective widespread implementation of injury prevention efforts can lower trauma rates. While we did observe a small decrease in eye trauma as a primary admitting diagnosis, the fact that it was more common in children and adolescents (for whom eye trauma carries devastating consequences and can significantly reduce quality of life) highlights the significance of continued efforts to prevent eye trauma.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, Diabetes, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 05.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amy Babiuch, M.D. Medical Retina Specialist  |  Cole Eye Institute Assistant Professor Ophthalmology Case Western Reserve University WPSA Regional Focus Committee Chair Cleveland Clinic MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In previous studies, the disorganization of retinal inner layers (DRIL) has demonstrated its ability to help determine visual acuity (VA) prognosis in diabetic macular edema that requires treatment. Given this association, the research group at Cole Eye Institute studied how DRIL may affect VA outcomes in patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO) undergoing treatment for secondary macular edema. DRIL is defined as the extent to which there is a failure in the recognition of any of the demarcations between the ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer complex, inner nuclear layer, and outer plexiform layer on optical coherence tomography (OCT). (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Toxin Research / 14.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Vision” by Victoria Ford is licensed under CC BY 2.0Adam J. Paulsen MS Associate Researcher EpiSense Research Program Department of Ophthalmology&  Visual Sciences University of Wisconsin - Madison MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Contrast Sensitivity is a measure of visual function that indicates how well a person is able to distinguish an object against its background.  Tests of CS determine how faint a visual signal can be identified.  CS can be diminished even in those with appropriately corrected visual acuity, has been shown to have effects on daily activities (including near vision tasks), risk of falls, and driving ability.  The causes of and risks for CS impairment are understudied.  Cadmium (Cd) and Lead (Pb) are known neurotoxins that have been shown to accumulate in the retina.  Both Cd and Pb have common sources of exposure in the general population.  Our studied aimed to investigate risk factors for incident CS impairment, including Cd and Pb exposure. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Primary Care, University of Michigan / 11.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua Ehrlich, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences University of Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: --Describe the “important role” that primary care providers play in promoting eye health? Response: Primary care is the entryway into the health system for many individuals. The poll suggests that when primary care providers discuss vision with their patients, they are more likely to get eye exams. It also suggests that primary care providers are having these conversations most often with those who have certain risk factors for eye disease, such as diabetes or a family history of vision problems, as well as those with fewer economic resources. Promoting these kinds of conversations could bolster this trend, increasing the number of diabetics and other high risk individuals who get appropriate eye care. (more…)
Author Interviews, Compliance, JAMA, Macular Degeneration, Ophthalmology / 25.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Hsu, MD Retina Service, Wills Eye Hospital Associate Professor of Ophthalmology Thomas Jefferson University Mid Atlantic Retina Anthony Obeid MD MPH School of Public Health The University of Sydney · MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) is a vision-threatening disease that often afflicts elderly patients. The introduction of intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment drastically improved the prognosis of eyes with nAMD. Despite its efficacy, patients require consistent follow-up (sometimes as often as monthly), with ongoing injections to maintain the visual benefits of the drug. Unfortunately, few studies have reported the number of patients that do not follow-up with recommended guidelines. Moreover, there remains limited evidence on the risk factors associated with loss to follow-up. Our study, consisting of 9007 patients with a history of nAMD receiving treatment between 2012 and 2016, evaluated both these parameters. We defined loss to follow-up as having at least one injection without a subsequent follow-up visit within 12 months post-treatment. Using this definition, we found that over 20% of patients are lost to follow-up over the entire study period. We further identified key risk factors associated with loss to follow-up, which included patients of older age, race, patients residing in a region of a lower average adjusted gross income, patients living at greater distances from clinic, patients with active nAMD in only one eye, and patients with worse visual acuity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics / 20.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aparna Raghuram, OD, PhD Optometrist, Department of Ophthalmology Instructor, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Developmental dyslexia is a specific learning disability of neurobiological origin whose core cognitive deficit is widely believed to involve language (phonological) processing. Although reading is also a visual task, the potential role of vision has been controversial, and experts have historically dismissed claims that visual processing might contribute meaningfully to the deficits seen in developmental dyslexia. Nevertheless, behavioral optometrists have for decades offered vision therapy on the premise that correcting peripheral visual deficits will facilitate reading. Yet there is a surprising dearth of controlled studies documenting that such deficits are more common in children with developmental dyslexia, much less whether treating them could improve reading. In the present study, we simply assessed the prevalence and nature of visual deficits in 29 school aged children with developmental dyslexia compared to 33 typically developing readers. We found that deficits in accommodation 6 times more frequent in the children with developmental dyslexia and deficits in ocular motor tracking were 4 times more frequent. In all, more than three-quarters of the children with developmental dyslexia had a deficit in one or more domain of visual function domain compared to only one third of the typically reading group. (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 29.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Old Eyeglasses” by Leyram Odacrem is licensed under CC BY 2.0Diane Zheng MS NEI F-31 Research Fellow and a Ph.D. candidate in Epidemiology Department of Public Health Sciences University of Miami MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Worsening vision and declining cognitive function are common conditions among older people. Understanding the association between them could be beneficial to alleviate age related cognitive decline. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics / 14.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: multiple choice test takingKrista Kelly, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Crystal Charity Ball Pediatric Vision Evaluation Center Retina Foundation of the Southwest Dallas, TX 75231 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We were interested in seeing whether the fine motor deficits typically seen in amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes) translate to an academic setting. Namely, transferring answers to a multiple choice answer form widely used in standardized testing in schools. Children with amblyopia and strabismus took about 28% longer than their peers transferring answers to a multiple choice answer form, even though they have good vision in one or both eyes.  (more…)