When I came across the C-Pen Reader at the FETC conference this past year, I knew that I had to request a review unit to test it out. After contacting the company, they approved my request and
provided me a C-Pen Reader for the review. The opinions reflected in this blog are my own. I have been in the field of assistive technology for over 25 years and over these years have looked at a number of portable hand held reading solutions that promised to make the reading process easy and quick from scanning to reading text.
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These are from Lauren Tappan:
CREATING A CURE
Macular degeneration affects more than 10 million people in the U.S., and is the most common cause of vision loss. It is caused by the deterioration of the middle of the retina, called the macula. The macula focuses central vision and controls our ability to see objects in fine detail, read, recognize colors and faces, and drive a car. Until now, the disease has been considered incurable.
An octogenarian with the condition is now the first person to receive successful treatment with induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The progression of the woman’s macular degeneration was arrested by new retinal cells made in the lab. Unlike embryonic stem cells, iPS cells can be created from regular adult cells. In this case, the cells used to repair the damaged retina from macular degeneration came from the woman’s skin.
The team at Kobe, Japan’s RIKEN Laboratory for Retinal Regeneration, led by Masayo Takahashi, created iPS cells from the patient’s skin cells. Then, they encouraged them to form cells to patch the retinal pigment epithelium. These cells help nourish and support the retina, allowing it to capture the light the eye needs to see.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss among older adults in the United States, is often associated with psychological stress. A simple stress rating scale (the Perceived Stress Scale) is a valid and useful way to evaluate the connection between stress and progressive vision loss from AMD, reported Bradley E. Dougherty, OD, PhD, of The Ohio State University College of Optometry.
Patients with vision loss in AMD experience high rates of stress, anxiety, and other problems, including depression. Less is known about the relationship between the stress that AMD patients experience and the severity of their disease — for example, whether stress can cause AMD to worsen or not.
The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) is a well-established stress rating scale that can predict objective biological markers of stress, as well as the risk of stress-related diseases. In previous studies, the PSS has been shown to be predictive of general markers of inflammation, including C-reactive proteins. In the new study, Dr. Dougherty and colleagues extend the use of this survey to determine how well it measures perceived stress in patients with vision loss due to AMD.
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