Author Interviews, CMAJ, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics / 20.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mayu Nishimura Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences Director of Research Kindergarten Vision Screening Program MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? child-looking-vision Response: Children's visual problems are difficult to identify without formal tests but most parents do not realize the importance of early eye checks nor are they aware that well-child visits to the family doctor/pediatrician are not enough. We are researchers at McMaster University (Hamilton, ON) and SickKids Hospital (Toronto, ON) who examined if it is possible to implement a vision screening program for kindergartners in diverse Ontario communities. Below are the main findings:
  • We screened nearly 5000 kindergarten children in 15 communities and found that 11% of screened children had a visual problem, with 2/3 of the children being identified for the first time.
  • There was great support for the program from the children, parents, teachers, and optometrists.
  • Screening required 15-20 minutes per child and cost $10/child.
  • When parents received a letter permitting them to opt out of screening, 4% did so. When parents were required to return a signed letter to opt in, 30% did not.
  • Referral rates varied across schools but were higher for children in junior kindergarten (average 53%) than children in senior kindergarten (average 34%).
  • Successful treatment depends on the parents’ awareness of the importance of eye exams and glasses, and access to optometrists and glasses without worrying about costs.
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Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 18.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathon Ng MD Clinical Senior Lecturer Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Population and Public Health University of Western Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was a part of a programme of research into cataract surgery and motor vehicle accidents spanning a decade. The older population is the fastest growing group of drivers and continuing to drive is an important part of maintaining independence. However, ageing also leads to a variety of conditions, including eye diseases such as cataract which affects vision and driving ability. We conducted this current study to try and better understand driving performance in people having cataract surgery. This was prompted by our earlier work 10 years ago that found decreased motor vehicle accidents after cataract surgery in a study of 28,000 people using linked health and administrative data. (more…)
Author Interviews, Chocolate, Ophthalmology / 26.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. med. Jakob Siedlecki MD Department of Ophthalmology Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background is that a previous study has found beneficial effects of dark chocolate on visual function. This finding was attributed to improved blood supply due to vasodilation induced by Flavanols in dark chocolate. (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, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Toxin Research / 14.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Vision” by Victoria Ford is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Adam 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…)
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 2.0 Diane 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, Stem Cells, Stroke / 28.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven Levy MD CEO, MD Stem Cells Study Director, Stem Cell Treatment Studies MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: MD Stem Cells is the sponsor of the Stem Cell Ophthalmology Treatment Study II (SCOTS 2) the largest stem cell study currently addressing retinal and optic nerve disease (NCT 03011541). SCOTS uses autologous bone marrow derived stem cells (BMSC) typically provided to the eyes by combining retrobulbar, subtenons and intravenous injections. Many retinal and optic nerve diseases are eligible including Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Stargardts, Ushers, Glaucoma, Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, Optic Atrophy and others. Statistically significant improvements have been documented in key diseases and positive responses have been noted across most conditions treated. Mechanisms of action may include differentiation of the CD34 cells into neurons, secretion of neurotrophic factors, transfer of mitochondria and release of mRNA. These may benefit existing stressed cells as well as provide replacement of damaged or absent cells. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Menopause, Ophthalmology, UCLA / 31.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anne L. Coleman, MD, PhD Center for Community Outreach and Policy, Stein Eye Institute David Geffen School of Medicine Director, UCLA Mobile Eye Clinic Department of Epidemiology, Fielding School of Public Health UCLA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss worldwide, and cataract surgery is an intervention that is known to be extremely effective to address the vision loss related to cataract. However, it is unclear if there are benefits of cataract surgery beyond vision improvement in people with cataracts. Previous studies have suggested that in addition to improving vision, cataract surgery may decrease the risk of fractures and accidents, improve mental health, and improve overall quality of life. The purpose of the present study was to further investigate the potential benefits of cataract surgery and to determine if cataract surgery was associated with increased survival in people with cataracts. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, BMJ, Ophthalmology / 17.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rebecca Rewbury Sussex Eye Hospital Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust Brighton, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: ‘Poppers’ are recreational drugs which are illegal to sell for human ingestion, but are sold under the guise of household cleaning products. Inhalation leads to a brief sense of euphoria, enhanced sexual arousal and smooth muscle relaxation. The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 was due to outlaw poppers, but they were excluded on the basis that they do not act directly on the central nervous system. The main constituent of poppers, isopropyl nitrite, replaced isobutyl nitrite when the latter was classified as a carcinogen in 2006. Since then, there have been several case reports of ‘poppers maculopathy.’ We noted an increase in patients presenting with central visual disturbances after using poppers and describe 12 such cases. They all demonstrated similar disruption of the photoreceptor layer on retinal imaging. Onset of symptoms was frequently linked to specific brands of poppers, with 3 people having used poppers for many years and only developing side effects on changing brand. Chemical analysis showed that these products contained isopropyl nitrite. One brand of poppers, used without side effects by one patient, contained amyl nitrite, 2-methyl butyl nitrite and isobutyl alcohol, but no isopropyl nitrite. The outcome of poppers maculopathy varied, but following abstention, visual disturbances and retinal damage tended to improve over months, if not fully resolve. Although in some cases, symptoms and/or imaging findings were prolonged. Ongoing use of implicated brands led to persistent, but not worsening maculopathy, whereas one patient that switched back to another brand showed full recovery. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 01.06.2014

Reed Jost, MS Retina Foundation of the Southwest 9600 N Central Expwy, Suite 200 Dallas, TX 75231 MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Reed Jost, MS Retina Foundation of the Southwest 9600 N Central Expwy, Suite 200 Dallas, TX 75231 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Commercially available automated screening devices assess refractive risk factors, not amblyopia or strabismus, resulting in under-referral of affected children and over-referral of healthy children to pediatric eye care professionals. The Pediatric Vision Scanner is a binocular retinal birefringence scanner that directly detects strabismus and amblyopia by analyzing binocular scans for the presence or absence of birefringence, which is characteristic of steady, bifoveal fixation. We found that the Pediatric Vision Scanner outperformed an automated, refractive error screener (SureSight Autorefractor) in a cohort of 300 patients (2-6 years) tested in a pediatric ophthalmology setting. Compared to the SureSight, the Pediatric Vision Scanner had significantly higher sensitivity and higher specificity in the detection of strabismus and amblyopia. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 25.04.2014

Michael Wall, MD Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins D Iowa City, IA 52242-1091 MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Wall, MD Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins D Iowa City, IA 52242-1091 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Wall: We studied patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (formerly called pseudotumor cerebri) with mild visual loss. We found that subjects taking acetazolamide, a type of diuretic, along with a low sodium weight loss program had significantly better visual outcomes than those taking placebo along with the diet. (more…)