Walking Reduces Risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration

October 31, 2011

Recent research out of the University of Wisconsin is confirming that walking regularly assists in the prevention of the disease. TrekDesk treadmill desks get people out of their chairs and moving again which will reduce their odds of developing ARMD.

Women who were the most active registered a 54% lower risk of ARMD. Those who were most active and ate a healthy diet had a 71% decreased risk of developing ARMD. Mares and her colleagues believe that walking and proper diet contributed to reductions in blood pressure, inflammation and oxidative damage which would contribute to the preventative results.



Possible Side Effect of Lucentis

October 31, 2011
Mayo Clinic Detective Work Shows Possible Side Effect in Macular Degeneration Drug
 Two major drug trials conclude there was little risk from a drug aimed at age-related macular degeneration. Yet a Mayo Clinic ophthalmologist began to note something concerning in some of her patients: an increase in pressure inside the eye. It led to a retrospective study and findings that will be presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Orlando.

Sophie Bakri, M.D., had been treating patients in her clinic with Food and Drug Administration-approved ranibizumab (Lucentis), when she began noticing a change in some patients.

“I was treating patients and measuring pressures, and I was surprised to see that in some of these people, their intraocular pressure was higher, and they didn’t have a diagnosis of glaucoma,” Dr. Bakri says. “So, why did the pressure go up? Was it from the drug itself, or the actual injection? Is this real? You don’t know if it’s a fluke unless you go back and look at the clinical trials. I took a closer look at the pooled data.”

Intraocular pressure (IOP) is a measure of fluid pressure inside the eye. Measured in millimeters of mercury (mm/Hg), IOP that is higher than normal or above baseline (higher than 21 mm/Hg) can indicate glaucoma.

Data from the two clinical trials in many ways held the answers to Dr. Bakri’s questions, but she found that knowing what to look for helps.

Dr. Bakri found what she suspected: a subset of patients had increased IOP.

“We still don’t know if it goes up because of the drug or the pressure of the repeated monthly injections, or both,” she says. The take-home finding: intraocular pressure should be monitored in eyes receiving ranibizumab.

“A greater proportion of eyes in the ranibizumab groups had IOP increases regardless of the presence or absence of pre-existing risk factors, such as history of glaucoma, suspicion of glaucoma, ocular hypertension or use of a glaucoma medication,” Dr. Bakri says.

About Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about and http://www.mayoclinic.org/news .

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic


Accessibility Features of Apple’s iOS 5

October 23, 2011

This article is dedicated to Herb Halbrecht. Herb was always a strong proponent of Assistive Technology, the Apple devices and Accessibilty features. Sadly, Herb passed away Oct 2 from a heart attack. He will be missed… Gail Johnson and John Logan.

Apple users have long known about the company’s commitment to accessibility in most (if not all) of its devices.

In iOS 5–the latest version of the operating system used by the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod Touch–Apple has provided even more accessibility features for their mobile platform. Apple’s attention to built-in accessibility features allows people with disabilities to use these products right out of the box instead of needing to purchase costly accessibility software.

With the current release of iOS 5, Apple has added the following features:

Text Size Changes
Speak Selection
Hearing Aid Mode
Custom Vibrations
LED Flash for Alerts
Mono Audio
Incoming Call Route
Assistive Touch
The last of these new features is really amazing, so let’s take a look at Assistive Touch in a little more detail. These accessibility features really can help anyone, not just those with certain abilities. Assistive Touch is a way for users with physical or motor impairments to better control their iOS devices. Turn on this feature by tapping Settings > General > Accessibility > Assistive Touch > ON.

When you turn this feature on, you will get a small bubble in the lower, left-hand corner of the screen. This bubble will appear on every iOS 5 screen, and in any application. Tapping on the button will present you with 4 different options: Gestures, Device, Home, and Favorites. This menu is different actions that can be performed with Assistive Touch. Let’s explore the Gestures.

After tapping on the Gestures link, you will see additional buttons for 2, 3, 4, and 5-finger gestures. So, if you need to perform a 2-finger gesture, but can only use 1-finger to perform the gesture, simply tap on the 2-finger button, and then perform the gesture. The iPhone will recognize your 1-figner on the screen as 2-fingers.

Aside from Gestures, you can also tap on Device to get access to the following device settings that would normally require extra button presses:

Rotate Screen
Lock Screen
Volume Up
Volume Down
For more accessibility features in iOS 5 and the new iPhone 4S, check out Apple’s Accessibility Guide for iPhone or iPad.

How about you? Do you take advantage of any of the iOS accessibility features? Tell us about it in the comments.

Cory Bohon