Update from our Chair

February 2, 2017



Do you use social media?  We do.

For the past year, the American Board of Optometry has been using Facebook to post links to clinically relevant journal articles, most of which are not available in general optometry literature. Thanks to Alan Glazier, administrator of OD’s on Facebook, which has over 27,000 followers, we then can share ABO’s post on that page (and several others), enabling ABO to reach optometrists all over the United States.

We think that this is an important service. There is so much information in the world these days; it’s difficult to keep up with literature.  We think that board certification indicates a commitment to lifelong learning. What better way to communicate that than to share what we are learning with our colleagues?

Here are some things you can do to benefit from this service, and increase ABO’s reach in the process:

  • Follow American Board of Optometry on Facebook. (You can set up a separate OD Facebook page for just this information if you like.)
  • Share what we are doing with your optometric colleagues.
  • Like, share, and comment on posts.
  • Contact us with any literature you find that you think should be shared with your colleagues.

Here are some of the most popular articles from 2016:

American Academy of Ophthalmology Revises Schedule and Testing for Patients taking Plaquenil.
This thorough analysis of current research outlines risk factors for toxicity and best practices for managing patients taking the medication.

Does Under-Correcting Myopia Reduce Progression?
In this single masked randomized control trial, 150 children were given either full myopic correction or under-correction by 0.50 diopters. The under-corrected group showed decreased lag of accommodation compared with the fully corrected group. But there was no significant difference in the rates of myopia progression between the 2 groups.

What is the Standard of Care for Central Serous Chorioretinopathy?
Researchers sent a survey to retina specialists who had at least one publication on central serous chorioretinopathy in the last 2 years. Of 130 physicians, 107 responded, with nearly 80% preferring to observe acute central serous. 66.7% offered PDT as treatment in chronic cases. 43.1% chose observation in chronic cases with intraretinal cystic changes. OCT and indocyanine green angiography were options for enhanced depth imaging. In Asia, focal laser was the most common initial treatment. The researchers concluded that definitive practice guidelines still need to be established.

Do patients with fovea-on RD need same day surgery to preserve vision?
From this retrospective chart review, researchers concluded that same-day surgery on high-risk fovea-on RRDs may not significantly influence visual outcomes and would only prevent about half of the conversions to fovea-off.

Brimonidine may one day be a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
In trials on rats, the drug brimonidine has been found to reduce the formation of amyloid proteins in the retina, which are believed to be linked to Alzheimer’s.
Researchers found that brimonidine reduces neurodegeneration of cells in the retina by cutting the levels of beta amyloid in the eye. This was achieved by using the drug to stimulate the production of amyloid precursor protein protein which does not kill nerve cells.
The researchers hope that the drug will have a similar effect on the brain, although this was not tested in the current study.

Trabodenoson, a new intraocular pressure lowering medications, shows promise for clinical safety and efficacy in phase 2 trials.

Scientists find 52 genes that set age-related macular degeneration into motion.
Researchers analyzed the genes of more than 33,000 individuals in the hope of finding genetic variations responsible for AMD. Their research, involving analysis of more than 12 million genetic variations across the human genome, identified 52 variations associated with the disease. This brings scientists a step closer to developing diagnostics that identify which patients are at high risk for acquiring the disease, and formulating therapeutics either to prevent or treat the disease caused by these genetic variations.

Best wishes,

Barbara L. Reiss, OD, FAAO
Chair, American Board of Optometry



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