Pac-Man instead of eye patch

eyegame imageBy Emily Caldwell
Ohio State Research Communications

Scientists have created video games that add an important element of fun to the repetitive training needed to improve vision in people – including adults – with a lazy eye and poor depth perception.

The training tools, including a Pac-Man-style “cat and mouse” game and a “search for oddball” game, have produced results in pilot testing: Weak-eye vision improved to 20/20 and 20/50 in two adult research participants with lazy eyes whose vision was 20/25 and 20/63, respectively, before the training began.

Unlike the common use of eye patches on dominant eyes to make lazy eyes stronger, this type of testing uses a “push-pull” method by making both eyes work during the training. Patching is push-only training because the dominant eye remains completely unused.

With push-pull, both eyes are stimulated but with the weaker eye exposed to more complex images that create a stronger stimulus. In this way, both eyes are encouraged to interact as they should, but the dominant eye’s power in the relationship is suppressed. This technique targets important pathways in the brain that must be active to produce balanced vision.

Read more at Ohio State’s research news site >>

Schweitzer fellows engage communities to improve health

By Melinda Cassidy
Outreach and Engagement Communications Student Intern

By the age of 30, Albert Schweitzer had already authored three books and made landmark scholarly contributions in the fields of music, religion and philosophy. However, aware of the desperate medical needs of Africans, he decided to become a doctor and devote the rest of his life to direct service in Africa. In 1913, when he was 37, Dr. Schweitzer and his wife, Hélène, opened a hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952. The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship supports graduate and professional students who wish to follow in pioneering humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s footsteps*.

T.M. Ayodele Adesanya, an MD-Ph.D. student in biomedical sciences, had a passion for the kids at Champion Middle School on the Near East Side of Columbus after learning in 2010 that the state declared it to be the most underperforming middle school in Ohio. The Columbus-Athens Albert Schweitzer Fellows program (ASF), a year-long fellowship in which graduate and professional students design and implement community engagement projects, gave him an opportunity to help.

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“I read an article talking about the poor academic state of the middle school at the time unfortunately, and the article really just went in on the school,” Adesanya said. “I was reading it the whole time thinking, ‘They’re sixth graders, you can’t give up on them.'”

Wanting to expose students to healthcare professions, Adesanya started a mentorship program at Champion in 2012. When he became a Schweitzer Fellow in 2013, he had the opportunity to expand his program, spending more than the ASF-required 200 hours on the project.

Read more at Office of Outreach and Engagement >>

Student’s Ghana experience led to creating a development foundation

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Hannah Bonacci is a graduate student with a big heart and an even bigger passion for sustainable solutions like health care and access to clean water.

Over the last four years, she has made multiple trips to Ghana to provide much needed aid resulting in the co-founding of The Akumanyi Foundation, which helps to fund development projects in Western Africa. Her heart for women and children in need has become a powerful instrument of change in Ghana.

Born in Akron, Bonacci attended Ohio State where she majored in social work. Now in her first year of graduate school, she is enrolled in both social work and public health master’s programs.

“I think through a system of different supports at Ohio State I found the confidence to take a risk and launch the foundation,” said Bonacci.

 

Prospective optometry students get a good look at Ohio State

NIH grant to study gall bladder salmonella infection

Ohio State’s John Gunn, PhD, vice chair and professor of Microbial Infection and Immunity in the College of Medicine, has received a bridge grant of $617,000 from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to study of chronic infection of the gall bladder by salmonella. The grant could help millions of people in developing countries, as well as travelers.

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Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella typhimurium (red) bacteria invading cultured human cells. Photo credit: NIAID, public domain.

Salmonella is bacteria that cause many diseases in humans and animals, including typhoid fever and gastroenteritis. Typhoid fever alone infects an estimated 21 million people a year, causing about 600,000 deaths worldwide. Salmonella also is highly correlated with liver, gallbladder bile duct and pancreatic cancer.

Typhoid fever is typically treated with antibiotics, but salmonellae (S. Typhi) are often resistant. Even with treatment, 2–3 percent of those infected die. In addition, many people infected with typhoid fever have no symptoms but become carriers, with the infection settling in their gall bladders.

Read more at the College of Medicine website >>