NEI Pays Tribute to Doheny Eye Institute's Dr. Stephen J. Ryan

Image courtesy of Doheny Eye Institute
The National Eye Institute recently recognized the life and work of Stephen J. Ryan, former president of the Doheny Eye Insitute, who recently passed away after decades of work in the ophthalmic field.
NEI Director Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D. is quoted as saying: 
Steve was one of the giants of ophthalmology and, indeed, of medicine. He had a great impact in many dimensions, including his involvement in the early days of the formation of the NEI. Steve once told me that he would accompany Ed Maumenee in driving from Baltimore to Washington to visit congressional offices and to advocate that the nation should have a medical institute at the NIH with a focus on preserving and treating vision disorders. Steve had an eloquent voice and presentation, and I am sure that he held sway on those occasions. We owe Steve a debt of gratitude for his contribution in establishing NEI.
A wonderful tribute website has been set up in Mr. Ryan's memory. Guests may share their memories here as well.

What a Flying Pig Has to Do with the Human Brain

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NPR's Jon Hamilton reported on scientists who have been studying how the brain responds to words. What they have found is quite revealing:

"They found something totally surprising," Bergen says. "It's not just certain specific little regions in the brain, regions dedicated to language, that were lighting up. It was kind of a whole-brain type of process."

If someone read a sentence like, "the shortstop threw the ball to first base," parts of the brain dedicated to vision and movement would light up, Bergen says. "The question was, why?" he says. "They're just listening to language. Why would they be preparing to act? Why would they be thinking that they were seeing something?"

Hear the entire story: Imagine A Flying Pig: How Words Take Shape In The Brain


The U.S. Sees an Increase in Myopia Cases

The Boston Globe published an article this week citing the "epidemic" of myopia (nearsightedness) in the United States, citing a 66% increase since 1970-1971. Because lifestyles have shifted to more indoor activities versus outdoor activities in recent decades, researchers believe this accounts for the rise in myopia cases.

It noted that while genetics is still a factor, younger generations tend to stay indoors.

According to one NEI study, coauthored by Donald Mutti, professor of Optometry at Ohio State University, less sports and outdoor activity increased the odds of myopia in children who had two myopic parents more than in those children with none or one myopic parent. The study was published in the 2010 journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Mutti believes that being outdoors is the key. 

Read the Article: Myopia on the rise


Aspirin May Increase AMD

ORSF Symposium's Dr. Barbara Klein and Dr. Ronald Klein from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health published a 2012 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finding a long-term link between aspirin and AMD. The study concluded:

Among an adult cohort, aspirin use 5 years prior to observed incidence was not associated with incident early or late AMD. However, regular aspirin use 10 years prior was associated with a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of incident late and neovascular AMD.

The Study: Long-term use of aspirin and age-related macular degeneration


The Personal Story Behind the Bionic Eye Inventor


Eggs a Good Source for Eye Health


A recent article in The Washington Post discussed the pros and cons of eggs, particularly recent research on the yolk and saturated fat. The article states that some of the benefits include:

On the plus side, eggs have many nutritional benefits. They’re a good source of high-quality protein, with relatively few calories (6.3 grams of protein for only 72 calories in a large egg). Eggs also contain vitamins B12 and D, and several essential micronutrients, including choline (important for brain health) and lutein (for eye health).

Read the Article: Eggs, even with their cholesterol, are a good source of protein for most people


ORSF Symposium's Emily Chew Discusses Her New Study

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ORSF is honored to have Emily Y. Chew, MD, of the National Eye Institute (NEI) participate in our June 2013 Symposium on the Aging Eye. She recently published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association on supplements and macular degeneration. 

Some of the findings included:

To probe whether the addition of lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids to the currently recommended supplement offers benefit, the AREDS team conducted a randomized study of 1608 participants comparing progression of macular degeneration among individuals taking the original supplement plus lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids or the original supplement plus placebo. They did not find any additional reductions in progression in the group receiving the add-on supplementation. They did, however, find that former smokers taking the original supplement (current smokers were excluded from groups receiving beta carotene) had an increased rate of lung cancer compared with those taking a revised version of the original supplement that substituted lutein and zeaxanthin for beta carotene.

JAMA conducted a Q & A with Dr. Chew about her study. Read it here.


Watch Andrew A. Moshfeghi, MD Speak on Surgical Venue Trends

Andrew A. Moshfeghi, MD spoke at the annual ARVO conference in Seattle, WA this week on surgical venue trends.