Sensory perception: supernormal hearing in the blind?
A recent experimental study suggests that blind individuals may compensate for their lack of vision with better-than-normal hearing. This provides support for a view dating back to 18th century philosophers, but the data raise as many problems as they solve. (+info)
Histologic analysis of photochemical lesions produced in rhesus retina by short-wave-length light.
The photopathology of retinal lesions produced by extended exposure (1000 sec) to low corneal power levels (62 microW) of blue light (441 nm) was investigated by light microscopy in 20 rhesus eyes over an interval ranging from 1 hr to 90 days after exposure. Results indicate a nonthermal type of photochemical lesion originating in the retinal pigment epithelium and leading to a histological response with hypopigmentation which requires 48 hr to appear. This type of lesion helps to explain solar retinitis and eclipse blindness and has significance for aging and degenerative changes in the retina. (+info)
A new X linked neurodegenerative syndrome with mental retardation, blindness, convulsions, spasticity, mild hypomyelination, and early death maps to the pericentromeric region.
We report on a family with an X linked neurodegenerative disorder consisting of mental retardation, blindness, convulsions, spasticity, and early death. Neuropathological examination showed mild hypomyelination. By linkage analysis, the underlying genetic defect could be assigned to the pericentromeric region of the X chromosome with a maximum lod score of 3.30 at theta=0.0 for the DXS1204 locus with DXS337 and PGK1P1 as flanking markers. (+info)
Changing trends in barriers to cataract surgery in India.
Cataract is a major cause of blindness in Asia. Efforts in India to provide cataract surgical services have had limited success in reaching the cataract-blind population. Earlier studies identified the major barriers to cataract surgery as poverty, lack of transportation or felt need, or sex related; and the critical barriers in rural areas as lack of awareness, difficult access, and cost. Compared with these earlier data, the results of the present study in Karnataka State indicate a shift in the character of the barriers. They now appear to be more related to case selection and service provision. These shifts are analysed and alternative strategies to increase the uptake to cataract surgery are recommended. (+info)
Economic burden of blindness in India.
Economic analysis is one way to determine the allocation of scarce resources for health-care programs. The initial step in this process is to estimate in economic terms the burden of diseases and the benefit from interventions for prevention and treatment of these diseases. In this paper, the direct and indirect economic loss due to blindness in India is calculated on the basis of certain assumptions. The cost of treating cataract blindness in India is estimated at current prices. The economic burden of blindness in India for the year 1997 based on our assumptions is Rs. 159 billion (US$ 4.4 billion), and the cumulative loss over lifetime of the blind is Rs. 2,787 billion (US$ 77.4 billion). Childhood blindness accounts for 28.7% of this lifetime loss. The cost of treating all cases of cataract blindness in India is Rs. 5.3 billion (US$ 0.15 billion). Similar estimates for causes of blindness other than cataract have to be made in order to develop a comprehensive approach to deal with blindness in India. (+info)
No effect of pinealectomy on the parallel shift in circadain rhythms of adrenocortical activity and food intake in blinded rats.
Twenty-four-hr patterns of plasma corticosterone levels were determined at 4-hr intervals every 3-4 weeks in sighted and blinded pinealectomized rats of adult age. Through the whole period of the experiment, 24-hr patterns of food intake were also measured weekly. The sighted rats manifested the same 24-hr patterns of plasma corticosterone levels and food intake for 15 weeks after pinealectomy as those observed in the intact control rats. The magnitude of peak levels of plasma corticosterone and the amount of food intake did not differ between the two groups. A phase shift in circadian rhythms of plasma corticosterone levels and food intake was observed in both groups of blinded rats, with and without pinealectomy. Between the two groups, the patterns of phase shift were essentially similar for 10 weeks examined after optic enucleation. The peak elevation of plasma levels took place at 11 p.m. at the end of the 4th week after optic enucleation. Thereafter, 4- to 8-hr delay of peak appearance was observed every 3 weeks. No significant differences were found in peak values between the two groups of blinded rats. Furthermore, the circadian rhythm of food intake shifted in parallel with that of plasma corticosterone levels. A phase reversal of these two activities was observed between the 8th and 10th week after the operation. These results indicate that the pineal gland does not play any important role either in the maintenance of normal circadian periodicities of adrenocortical activity and food intake or in the shift in circadian rhythms of the two activities in the blinded rats. (+info)
Elementary visual hallucinations, blindness, and headache in idiopathic occipital epilepsy: differentiation from migraine.
This is a qualitative and chronological analysis of ictal and postictal symptoms, frequency of seizures, family history, response to treatment, and prognosis in nine patients with idiopathic occipital epilepsy and visual seizures. Ictal elementary visual hallucinations are stereotyped for each patient, usually lasting for seconds. They consist of mainly multiple, bright coloured, small circular spots, circles, or balls. Mostly, they appear in a temporal hemifield often moving contralaterally or in the centre where they may be flashing. They may multiply and increase in size in the course of the seizure and may progress to other non-visual occipital seizure symptoms and more rarely to extra-occipital manifestations and convulsions. Blindness occurs usually from the beginning and postictal headache, often indistinguishable from migraine, is common. It is concluded that elementary visual hallucinations in occipital seizures are entirely different from visual aura of migraine when individual elements of colour, shape, size, location, movement, speed of development, duration, and progress are synthesised together. Postictal headache does not show preference for those with a family history of migraine. Most of the patients are misdiagnosed as having migraine with aura, basilar migraine, acephalgic migraine, or migralepsy simply because physicians are not properly informed of differential diagnostic criteria. As a result, treatment may be delayed for years. Response to carbamazepine is excellent and seizures may remit. (+info)
Developing a model to reduce blindness in India: The International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye Care.
With the continuing high magnitude of blindness in India, fresh approaches are needed to effectively deal with this burden on society. The International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye Care (ICARE) has been established at the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad to develop such an approach. This paper describes how ICARE functions to meet its objective. The three major functions of ICARE are design and implementation of rural eye-care centres, human resource development for eye care, and community eye-health planning. ICARE works with existing eye-care centres, as well as those being planned, in underserved areas of India and other parts of the developing world. The approach being developed by ICARE, along with its partners, to reduce blindness is that of comprehensive eye care with due emphasis on preventive, curative and rehabilitative aspects. This approach involves the community in which blindness is sought to be reduced by understanding how the people perceive eye health and the barriers to eye care, thereby enabling development of strategies to prevent blindness. Emphasis is placed on providing good-quality eye care with attention to reasonable infrastructure and equipment, developing a resource of adequately trained eye-care professionals of all cadres, developing a professional environment satisfactory for patients as well as eye-care providers, and the concept of good management and financial self-sustainability. Community-based rehabilitation of those with incurable blindness is also part of this approach. ICARE plans to work intensively with its partners and develop these concepts further, thereby effectively bringing into practice the concept of comprehensive eye care for the community in underserved parts of India, and later in other parts of the developing world. In addition, ICARE is involved in assessing the current situation regarding the various aspects of blindness through well-designed epidemiologic studies, and projecting the eye-care needs for the future with the help of reliable information. With balanced attention to infrastructure, manpower, financial self-sustenance, and future planning, ICARE intends to develop a practical model to effectively reduce blindness in India on a long-term basis. (+info)