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High-power prismatic devices may help hemianopia

High-power devices may expand visual fields for patients with hemianopia

A series of novel optical designs may address some limitations of existing prism technology, which can expand visual fields by up to 30 degrees

MASSACHUSETTS EYE AND EAR INFIRMARY  IMAGE

IMAGE: MASSACHUSETTS EYE AND EAR

Boston, Mass. — Researchers from the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School have designed three new eyeglasses using high-power prisms to optimally expand the visual fields of patients with hemianopia, a condition in which the visual fields of both eyes are cut by half. The new designs, described in Optometry and Vision Science, address some limitations of existing prism correction available to this population.

Impairing either the left or right halves of the visual fields in both eyes, hemianopia affects more than one million Americans and is most commonly caused by stroke, brain tumors and head trauma. Hemianopia reduces the natural visual field of about 180 degrees to a mere 90 degrees. People with hemianopia have difficulty detecting hazards on their blind sides, leading to collisions, falls and other accidents. Patients with hemianopia cannot legally drive in Massachusetts, where a visual field of 120 degrees is required.

One method of treatment for hemianopia is to expand the visual field with prisms mounted on or embedded in eyeglasses. A research team led by Eli Peli, M.Sc., O.D., FAAO, Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and the Moakley Scholar in Aging Eye Research at the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear, has been developing prism devices to expand the visual field for these patients for more than 15 years. Their most recent commercially available device introduced in 2013, the peripheral prism glasses, has been shown to expand the visual fields of patients with hemianopia by as much as 30 degrees, optically shifting objects from the blind side of the visual field to the seeing side.

With the goal of expanding the visual field on the blind side even farther, the researchers explored new optical techniques to create higher power image shifting devices designed to bend the light farther than the 30-degree limit of conventional prisms. In conventional prisms, increasing the angle eventually results in the light bending back into the prism, trapped by what is called “total internal reflection.”

“It’s not just that we need a device with a higher angle of light shifting to let them see farther,” said Dr. Peli (pictured right). “We also want the new devices to provide the additional range of vision when the patient scans their eyes in both directions. The current prism devices support such flexibility only when scanning into the seeing side.”

The authors introduced three new high-power prism concept devices in the Optometry and Vision Science paper:

Yoked Prisms in the Carrier Lens

By embedding the current prism in a spectacle lens that has prismatic power in the opposite direction, the image shifting effect is increased by the summation of the power of both prism types. This design allows for up to 36 degrees of expansion to the visual field on the patient’s blind side. This design permits 5 degrees of scanning range to the blind side with full effect.

Bi-Part Double Fresnel Prism

To increase the power of the peripheral prism, the bi-part double Fresnel prism combines two prism segments angled to each other. This design allows for up to 43 degrees of expansion to the visual field on the patient’s blind side and an increase to 14 degrees scanning range into the blind side.

Mirror-Based Periscopic Prism

The third approach – not yet fully manufactured — uses a pair of angled mirrors to deflect the image from the blind side to the seeing side — not unlike prism correction. Due to the mirror-based design, this device is distortion-free and does not suffer from the color splitting effect of prisms, which reduces image clarity. It may allow for up to 40 degrees of expansion to the visual field on the patient’s blind side with much wider scanning range permitted.

The researchers intend to fully design and implement the mirror-based periscopic prism and also begin testing all three designs in patients with hemianopia.

“The new optical devices can improve the functionality of the current prism devices used for visual field expansion and may find use in various other field expansion applications such as a mobility aid for patients with tunnel vision,” Dr. Peli said.

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Authors on the Optometry and Vision Science paper include Dr. Peli, Alex Bowers, Ph.D., MCOptom, FAAO, and Jae-Hyun Jung, Ph.D., of the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School, and Karen Keeney, M.S from Chadwick Optical.

This research study was supported in part by NIH grants R01EY12890 and R01EY23385, R00EY018680 and R44EY014723.

About Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. Now united with Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear is the world’s largest vision and hearing research center, developing new treatments and cures through discovery and innovation. Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships. Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals Survey” has consistently ranked the Mass. Eye and Ear Departments of Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology as top in the nation. For more information about life-changing care and research, or to learn how you can help, please visit MassEyeAndEar.org.

About Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology

The Harvard Medical School (HMS) Department of Ophthalmology (eye.hms.harvard.edu) is one of the leading and largest academic departments of ophthalmology in the nation. More than 350 full-time faculty and trainees work at nine HMS affiliate institutions, including Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Joslin Diabetes Center/Beetham Eye Institute, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, VA Maine Healthcare System, and Cambridge Health Alliance. Formally established in 1871, the department has been built upon a strong and rich foundation in medical education, research, and clinical care. Through the years, faculty and alumni have profoundly influenced ophthalmic science, medicine, and literature–helping to transform the field of ophthalmology from a branch of surgery into an independent medical specialty at the forefront of science.

originally posted at eurekalert.stfi.re

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Lack Of Outdoor Sunlight Causes Eyesight Problems

Computer Screens Don’t Cause Eyesight Problems

Increasing exposure to outdoor light is the key to reducing the myopia (short-sightedness) epidemic in children, according to ground-breaking new research by Australian optometrists.

Optometrist and lead researcher on the project, Associate Professor Scott Read, who is the director of research at QUT’s School of Optometry and Vision Science, said that children need to spend more than an hour and preferably at least two hours a day outside to help prevent myopia from developing and progressing.

Image: shutterstock

Speaking over the weekend at the Australian Vision Convention in Queensland, Assoc. Prof. Read explained it was not ‘near work’ on computer and other screens causing myopia, but a lack of adequate outdoor light. While screens are contributing to children spending more time indoors than in previous years, the research shows they are not the direct cause of the increased incidence of myopia.

“Optometrists need to make their patients aware that less than 60 minutes’ exposure to light outdoors per day is a risk factor for myopia,” he said. “It looks like even for those with myopia already, increasing time outside is likely to reduce progression.”

President of Optometry Australia, Kate Gifford said “this new finding is of significant importance in our endeavour to mitigate the growing rate of myopia in children.”

In February, it was announced that half the world’s population will be short-sighted by 2050 with many at risk of blindness. The global study, published by the Brien Holden Vision Institute, forecasts that 10 per cent of the world’s population will be at risk of blindness by 2050 if steps aren’t taken to stop myopia turning into high myopia (requiring glasses with a prescription of minus 5 or stronger).

The QUT study measured children’s eye growth via study participants wearing wristwatch light sensors to record light exposure and physical activity for a fortnight during warmer then colder months to give an overall measurement of their typical light exposure.

“Children exposed to the least outdoor light had faster eye growth and hence faster myopia progression,” Professor Read said.

“The work of Scott Read and his colleagues is an exciting development and the onus is now on optometrists to help spread the message of the one-hour-a-day prescription of outdoor light,” Mrs Gifford said.

originally posted at gizmodo.com by Rae Johnston

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blueeyesfeature

Scientists found something huge..

…..that all blue-eyed people have in common

Scientists working to uncover our DNA history.

You’ve probably wondered, why do we have the colour eyes we do? It comes down to our genes. And scientists are really starting to get to the bottom of it.

Produced By Matt Johnston. Research by Lauren Friedman. 

RABGGTA is a candidate gene for hair color.

Originally posted by businessinsider.com

New research shows that people with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor. A team at the University of Copenhagen have tracked down a genetic mutation which took place 6-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye colour of all blueeyed humans alive on the planet today.

Studies carried out by scientists from the Institute of Forensic Genetics at the University of Copenhagen have concluded that all blue-eyed people share a common ancestor, someone who lived 6,000 to 10,000 years ago near the area by the Black sea.

Researchers analyzed and compared the unique genetic make-up of the chromosomes in the iris from 155 blue-eyed individuals from diverse regions such as Denmark, Turkey and Jordan.

All of the subjects that participated in the study had the exact same genetic “mutations” in specific chromosomes of the eye with very little variation on the genes, indicating that the “mutation” responsible for blue-eyes first arose and spread relatively recently.

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Abstract

The human eye color is a quantitative trait displaying multifactorial inheritance. Several studies have shown that the OCA2 locus is the major contributor to the human eye color variation. By linkage analysis of a large Danish family, we finemapped the blue eye color locus to a 166 Kbp region within the HERC2 gene. By association analyses, we identified two SNPs within this region that were perfectly associated with the blue and brown eye colors: rs12913832 and rs1129038. Of these, rs12913832 is located 21.152 bp upstream from the OCA2 promoter in a highly conserved sequence in intron 86 of HERC2. The brown eye color allele of rs12913832 is highly conserved throughout a number of species. As shown by a Luciferase assays in cell cultures, the element significantly reduces the activity of the OCA2 promoter and electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrate that the two alleles bind different subsets of nuclear extracts. One single haplotype, represented by six polymorphic SNPs covering half of the 3? end of the HERC2 gene, was found in 155 blue-eyed individuals from Denmark, and in 5 and 2 blue-eyed individuals from Turkey and Jordan, respectively. Hence, our data suggest a common founder mutation in an OCA2 inhibiting regulatory element as the cause of blue eye color in humans. In addition, an LOD score of Z = 4.21 between hair color and D14S72 was obtained in the large family, indicating that

link.springer.com

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Chris Paul app will make you a better Point Guard

CP3 NBA superstar Chris Paul has launched his own app

NBA superstar Chris Paul has followed in the steps of other celebrities and launched his own branded app: Game Vision by Chris Paul.

chris paul and son

Photo: Harvy How/Getty

The app is a game meant to strengthen your visual reaction time, and consequently make you a better point guard, baseball hitter, and so on. It’s not a new idea, especially in baseball, where vision science has made its way into MLB clubhouses, and vision training apps have sprung up.

But Game Vision is trying to appeal to a younger crowd, with a kid-focused design and the Chris Paul endorsement.

This aspect was actually a big thing that drew Paul to the app, as a father who admits his own cell phone is populated with tons of kids games.

“I was able to give [the app developers] feedback both as a professional athlete and as a father,” he tells Business Insider.

Paul has done a bit of computer coding himself, and his brother actually majored in computer science, but he didn’t have any technical role in the app development. That doesn’t mean he just put his name on it though. Paul and his son tested the app together and worked with the team to make changes, he says.

So did the app improve his son’s reactions?

“Well, he is six,” he laughs. But proud papa Paul did note that his son got on base three times in his latest baseball game.

Game Vision works by having you tap targets as they appear in circles, which in turn destroy brick formations.

Here’s what Game Vision is like to play:

Visit the original post to see the app at businessinsider.com
by Nathan McAlone
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Significant Achievements in Vision Science Research

Awards for Significant Achievements in Vision Science Research

Leading Scientists from Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University Receive Prestigious 2016 Bressler Prize and Pisart Award

NEW YORK, April 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Lighthouse Guild, the leading not-for-profit vision + healthcare organization, today announced that accomplished scientists Dr. Daniel Palanker and Dr. Pradeep Y. Ramulu are the 2016 recipients of its annual vision science awards.

Dr. Daniel Palanker is the prestigious 2016 Bressler Prize recipient and Dr. Pradeep Y. Ramulu is the 2016 Pisart Award honoree. Both are being recognized for their remarkable contributions to the field of vision science. Drs. Palanker and Ramulu were chosen by an independent panel of judges from various vision care disciplines for the important impact of their research.

pardeep palanker

“Improving the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired is a core tenet of Lighthouse Guild’s mission. By recognizing leading clinicians and researchers, we bring new energy to our shared purpose and help lay the foundation for tomorrow’s breakthroughs,” said Alan R. Morse, JD, PhD, President and CEO of Lighthouse Guild. “We look forward to seeing their future work and to working with them to help people with vision loss.”

2016 Bressler Prize Recipient Dr. Daniel Palanker

Dr. Daniel Palanker, a professor of the Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, and Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory at Stanford University in Stanford, California, has a long history of leadership and service to vision research.

“I’m very pleased to be named the recipient of the 2016 Bressler Prize,” said Dr. Palanker. “I am honored to be recognized for my research contributions. I believe there is great promise in the development of optical and electronic technologies for preservation and restoration of vision. The Bressler Prize will further energize our efforts to advance lasers and prosthetic technologies for preservation and restoration of central vision in various macular diseases.”

A physicist by training, Dr. Palanker is working at the interface of physics in medicine, with a focus on ophthalmology. AtStanford, he directs one of the most sophisticated multi-disciplinary research programs on electro-neural interfaces, including photovoltaic retinal implants that are wireless, thin and modular, allowing for easier implantation and better vision. Besides his work on retinal prosthetics and neural stimulation for treatment of dry eye syndrome, Dr. Palanker’s studies of the laser interactions with retinal cells revealed the tissue response mechanisms that lie at the root of the cellular repair following laser therapy, which led to development of the non-damaging retinal laser therapy for the macula.

Since 2003, the Bressler Prize has annually recognized a mid-career vision clinician or scientist whose leadership, research and service have led to important advancements in the understanding of vision loss, treatment of eye disease, or the rehabilitation of people with vision loss.  As the 2016 Bressler Prize winner, Dr. Palanker will receive a prize of $50,000 thanks to the generosity of the late Alfred W. Bressler. He will also lead Lighthouse Guild’s Annual Symposium in New York City, where he will be joined by other leading researchers and clinicians who will present their latest findings in vision research.

2016 Pisart Award Recipient Dr. Pradeep Y. Ramulu

Dr. Pradeep Ramulu is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. While Dr. Ramulu’s clinical activity is as a glaucoma specialist, his research broadly looks at vision loss brought about by conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, severe dry eye disease, cataract as well a glaucoma linking them to quality of life and developing innovative applications of technology to the problems that visual impairment produce for those affected.

“I am humbled to be named the 2016 Pisart Award honoree,” said Dr. Ramulu. “Lighthouse Guild is an organization committed to meeting the needs of people who are blind or visually impaired, and I appreciate their recognition. I remain dedicated to our shared mission, and look forward to continuing with innovative vision science research.”

The Pisart Award was established in 1981 and has annually recognized an early-career vision clinician or scientist whose noteworthy, innovative and scholarly contributions in vision science have the potential for substantial influence in the understanding of vision loss, treatment of eye disease or the rehabilitation of people with vision loss. As the 2016 Pisart Award winner, Dr. Ramulu will receive a prize in the amount of $30,000 at Lighthouse Guild’s Annual Symposium.

About Lighthouse Guild
Lighthouse Guild is the leading not-for-profit vision and healthcare organization with a long history of addressing the needs of people who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities or chronic medical conditions. With more than 200 years of experience and service, Lighthouse Guild brings a level of understanding to vision care that is unmatched.  By integrating vision and healthcare services and expanding access through its programs and education and awareness, we help people lead productive, dignified and fulfilling lives.  For more information, visit lighthouseguild.org.

SOURCE Lighthouse Guild
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