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Video games used in new treatment that may fix 'lazy eye' in older children
Date:10/23/2011

ORLANDO, Fla. -- October 23, 2011 -- A new study conducted in an eye clinic in India found that correction of amblyopia, also called "lazy eye," can be achieved in many older children, if they stick to a regimen that includes playing video games along with standard amblyopia treatment. Today at the 115th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Dr. Somen Ghosh will report on the approaches that allowed about a third of his study participants, who were between 10 and 18 years old, to make significant vision gains.

By the end of the one year study, nearly 30 percent of the 100 participants achieved significant vision gains. About 60 percent showed at least some improvement. Significant gains were more likely in children who participated in Groups 3 or 4 of the four treatment regimens. Treatment Group 3 completed daily video game practice and Group 4 took the supplement citicoline, which is associated with improved brain function. Improvement was more likely in children younger than age 14 than in those 14 and older.

The prevailing wisdom has been that if amblyopia is not diagnosed and corrected before a child reaches school age, it is difficult or impossible to correct. But recently the United States-based Pediatric Eye Disease Investigation Group (PEDIG) reported significant vision gains in 27 percent of older children in a study funded by the National Eye Institute. This report motivated Dr. Ghosh to test new approaches to learn what might be particularly effective in this age group.

His study was divided into four treatment groups. Students in all groups followed a basic treatment plan that required them to wear eyeglasses that blocked the stronger eye for at least two hours a day, during which time they practiced exercises using the weaker eye. This "patching" technique is a standard amblyopia treatment that works by making the weaker eye work harder. Group one followed only the basic plan and served as the contr
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Contact: Mary Wade
mwade@aao.org
510-725-5677
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert  

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