WBH Science Week – Edition 6

What's Inside

  • What Happens when blind people get vision correction?
  • Newly sighted can identify human locomotion
  • Blindness a common cause of depression
  • And, about 25 articles about the science, medicine and prevention of blindness

Editorial By Chris Hofstader

To be perfectly clear, I am not a scientist, a medical practitioner or researcher; I am a retired software engineer and manager thereof and I'm a writer of sorts. When I curate the articles for this Science Digest, I do my best to leave out any obvious pseudo-science but, due to my lack of expertise, some articles will get included because they sounded good to me but may be based on very flimsy evidence and, in some cases, could cause harm if their advice is followed. Please do not make any medical decisions based on something you read here without first consulting you ophthalmologist and ensuring such treatment is right for you.

The article I found most interesting is about how a newly sighted person, even if blind from birth, can recognize human locomotion immediately. It's a really interesting look at how our brains learn to determine if motion is coming from either an animal (like a human) or from an inanimate object and that babies with normal vision can do this by day two. This new research challenges some widely held notions about brain development.

We hope you enjoy this edition of the WBH Science Digest

Science and Medicine

What Happens When Blind People Get Vision Correction

The brain comes prepared to perceive the world. When babies are born, the optic nerve (which carries signals from the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye) connects to a nucleus in the thalamus, and, from there, connections go to areas of the brain’s cortex that are responsible for processing visual information. Although this wiring is built in, the areas of the brain need input in order to organize in ways that actually allow the visual world to be perceived. Visual Memory. An amazing thing about the visual system is that it supports incredible visual memory abilities. This story comes to us from: Psychology Today.

UAMS Seeking participants for National Clinical Trial for Zoster Eye Disease

The University of Arkansas for Medical sciences' Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institutes is looking for participants for a national, multicenter clinical trial concerning the varicella-zoster virus, also known as zoster eye disease or shingles of the eye. The news release said the Zoster Eye Disease Study has received $15 million from the National EYE Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health. According to UAMS, the study will help determine if prolonged low-dose antiviral treatment will reduce complications, such as blindness, for patients. This story comes to us from: KATV.

Wales in the dark about the eye disease stealing sight

Almost half of people in Wales (45 per cent) don't know what glaucoma is, despite it being the world's leading cause of irreversible blindness. This story comes to us from: Brecon & Radnor Express.

Blind woman regains her sight after surgery

This is a YouTube video and not a print article.
This story comes to us from: YouTube.

After a lifetime of blindness, newly sighted can immediately identify human locomotion

Humans are highly sensitive to the bodily movement of other people. Our ability to comprehend body language is crucial to our social thriving, providing information on emotion and behavioral predictions through subtle cues. When and how do we develop the ability to recognize human movement and distinguish it from other forms of movement? Newborns only 2 days old can tell apart random movement patterns and coordinated animal-like motion. But the ability to differentiate between the bodily movement of humans and other animals is reported to appear only approximately five months after birth. Many researchers therefore believe that babies learn to recognize human locomotion during these first months through repeated visual exposure. A new study by MIT researchers suggests that a rethinking may be in order. This story comes to us from: MIT News – Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Could Science Treat Inherited Blindness Soon? New Results Suggest So

A study in mice offers hugely promising results for treating a rare form of congenital blindness. This story comes to us from: IFLScience.

Gena Tew Says She's Experiencing 'Hemorrhages' Amid AIDS-Related Blindness

Social media influencer Gena Tew has revealed that she is experiencing "hemorrhages" amid treatment for her AIDS-related blindness. This story comes to us from: Newsweek.

Medical experts explain UCE candidate's mysterious blindness

Medical experts have come out to explain the probable causes of the mysterious and sudden blindness reported in Kitgum district where a Senior Four student experienced temporary loss of sight. This story comes to us from: 93.3 KFM.

Blindness caused by cataracts can be avoided, says medical expert

When we discuss avoidable blindness, we are referring to blindness that is treatable and preventable, Angelina Khupe Program manager at the Bureau for Prevention of Blindness, (Eye Care division of the South African National Council for the Blind) told IOL Lifestyle. This story comes to us from: IOL.

Abu Dhabi: Schools to screen students for early detection of blindness, scoliosis

The physical examinations will be done for pupils between Grades 1 and 12, comprising both annual and comprehensive screenings. This story comes to us from: Khaleej Times.

India: Universal Eye Health & Impact of COVID-19

Vision loss and impairment affects more than how people see; it has implications for inequities in employment, healthcare access, and income. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it has been estimated that 80% of vision loss is preventable or treatable. Yet, many populations do not have access to good-quality, affordable eye care. This story comes to us from: IDN-InDepthNews.

Blindness, commonest cause of depression – Prof Abayomi

Globally, at least 2.2 billion people have a near or distance vision impairment, but statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that in at least one billion – or almost half – of these cases, vision impairment could have been prevented. This story comes to us from: New Telegraph.

How far away is a cure for blindness

Losing one of your senses is a frightening prospect for most people, but for many people, it is an unfortunate reality. Millions of people in the US face the prospect of irreversible changes to their ability to see the world around them. Worldwide, there are an estimated 39 million people living with blindness. Around 82% are aged 50 and above. This story comes to us from: Dunya News.

Launching the “Sukuk Al-Nour” initiative to enhance efforts to combat blindness and visual impairments in the world

a Dubai-based charitable organization that focuses on combating blindness and visual impairment worldwide, announced today the launch of the “Sukuk Al-Nour” initiative, which aims to provide the necessary support for the operation of its health programs inside and outside the country. This is in cooperation with the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Center for Endowment and Endowment Consultation, an Emirati charitable center, and National Bonds, a Shariah-compliant savings and investment company owned by Investments Corporation of Dubai. This story comes to us from: The Bharat Express News.

Preventing Blindness

Medical Compass: Preventing diabetes-related vision loss

Here, we will discuss diabetic retinopathy (DR), the number one cause of blindness among U.S. adults, ages 20 to 74. This story came to us from: TBR News Media.


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