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 >>

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 >>

College of Vet Med profiled in the Columbus Dispatch

Making old lungs look new again

By Emily Caldwell

New research shows that the lungs become more inflammatory with age and that ibuprofen can lower that inflammation.

In fact, immune cells from old mouse lungs fought tuberculosis bacteria as effectively as cells from young mice after lung inflammation was reduced by ibuprofen. The ibuprofen had no effect on the immune response to TB in young mice.

This was a rare look at inflammation in the aging lung environment by Ohio State University scientists who study the immune response to TB. The researchers already knew that old mice had a harder time clearing TB from the lungs than young mice, but had not investigated the role of lung inflammation in that response.

 

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Joanne Turner, associate professor and the study’s senior author

“Very few researchers have linked inflammation to infectious disease in old age, even though TB in particular will drive that inflammation even further,” said Joanne Turner, associate professor of microbial infection and immunity at Ohio State and senior author of the study.

Read more at osu.edu >>

Washing hands, not alcohol gel, prevents enterovirus

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In recent years, alcohol-based antiviral rubs have become the go-to for hand hygiene and combating illness. With perfumed scents and cutesy carriers, they’re even considered chi-chi among trendy tweens.

However, an expert at The Ohio State University says that such rubs are no help against the recent outbreak of enterovirus EV-D68, which has sent children to hospitals in several Midwestern states.

Timothy F. Landers, assistant professor in the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar, is a hand-hygiene researcher. He recommends washing hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds to help prevent the spread of this enterovirus.

Read more at College of Nursing website

Optometry prof receives national education award

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Dr. Barbara Fink, associate professor of optometry and vision science and chair of the Committee for Inclusion and Diversity at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, received the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) Dr. Jack Bennett Innovation in Optometric Education Award.

Named after Dr. Jack Bennett, a leader in optometric education who served as dean at three optometric institutions, the award recognizes outstanding innovation in optometric education through ASCO. Dr. Fink received the Bennett award for her work to consistently put into practice ASCO Cultural Competency Curriculum Guidelines at schools and colleges of optometry nationwide.

“I have a high regard for Dr. Jack Bennett, and I feel privileged to receive this award that was named in his honor,” Dr. Fink says. “The list of previous award winners is humbling. I am pleased that my efforts for ASCO have been deemed valuable.”