12 March 2008

Restoring Eyesight?

This is absolutely amazing and I hope it's as close as they make it appear.  If they can get successful animal testing done this summer, a couple of years before it's approved for humans is not out of the question.

My oldest daughter is blind in one eye and we were told as recently as last year that it wasn't something they could fix.  The doctor didn't even mention this, so I don't think the research is very common knowledge.  Our daughter's very good eye surgeon and I had discussed what advances were being made, and what more needed to happen, before we could reasonably hope my daughter's vision might be restored.  According to what we looked at, the medical science seemed to be between 10 and 15 years away, but now it's time to make another appointment I think.  Just to talk.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 14:10:27 | Comments (21) | Add Comment
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1 This is amazing and what a wonderful development.  There's nothing better in the world than making your child's life better. 

I don't think MIT has a medical school so they must be partnering with someone.  There are so many options in that area but it may be the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins.  Wilmer is light years ahead of everyone else when it comes to the eyes.

Posted by: DRJ at 12 March 2008@16:20:09 (wE7Og)

2 I've been to Johns Hopkins, but not the WEI.  Thanks for the link, I've got it bookmarked so I can go through it in detail.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 12 March 2008@18:25:42 (Q5ggV)

3 Hmm, my first comment got ate.  Here's the gist of it:
1) There are enough first rate hospitals and med schools in Boston,  like the Boston Eye and Ear Clinic, that I suspect MIT doesn't need to slumming in Baltimore.   (nothing wrong with Johns Hopkins, of course; one of my doctors went there).
2) Have you checked out the Bascom Palmer here in Miami?  They are consistently labeled the best eye hospital in the US, and I do know they are involved in some cutting edge research.  They may not be actively involved in your daughter's problem, but I would bet the doctors in that specialty  know about the research.

3) Tasteless joke about Boston's Peter Bent Brigham hospital (local name: Peter Bent) omitted for the sake of time.

Posted by: kishnevi at 12 March 2008@21:10:17 (r8BvQ)

4 Kishnevi,

I don't want to get in a contest over best eye institutes between UMiami and Hopkins, especially since I'm a Mayo Clinic fan.  However, Bascom Palmer and the Wilmer Eye Institute have shared top billing for the past 12+ years.  I suggested Wilmer because its proximity to Boston makes it a more likely partner in MIT research.

Posted by: DRJ at 12 March 2008@21:37:30 (wE7Og)

5 Thanks kishnevi,

I'll check out Bascom Palmer too (although the name is familiar, I can't swear that I've actually talked about them with our daughter's surgeon).

Tasteless jokes are always welcome.  That one has so many possibilities that leaving it to the imagination may have been even better than the actual joke. 

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 12 March 2008@21:37:52 (Q5ggV)

6 Oooh... could this be my first flame thread???
***wrings hands***
Boston has crabs.
Miami has vice.
Ok.... FIGHT!!!

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 12 March 2008@21:42:16 (Q5ggV)

7 Stashiu - Possibly ... I'll work on it!

Kishnevi - There's a recent autism link at the Hopkins website that focuses on possible neuroimmunological aspects.  That is particularly interesting to me because I'm a believer in Sudhir Gupta's theory of autism.  In fact, he pioneered the use of IVIG for autistics.

Posted by: DRJ at 12 March 2008@22:15:51 (wE7Og)

8 DRJ,

You're not very good at this "flame thread" stuff... just sayin'

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 12 March 2008@22:21:20 (Q5ggV)

9 Well, Stash, my problem is that Kishnevi is right about going to Hopkins.  It's in a terrible neighborhood and there's no comparison if you have a choice between Baltimore and Miami.  But it really depends on what your daughter needs and whether the specialists have anything to offer her, and I can't answer that.  I still think the MIT people are more likely to partner up with Wilmer - more likely than even the good Boston facilities - because Wilmer has the prestige that can pull in grant money.

Posted by: DRJ at 12 March 2008@22:26:06 (wE7Og)

10 Right now, there is literally nothing to be done.  That's why this is exciting to me... because as it stands, the best doctors and surgeons in the world cannot fix this and until I saw this, were not expected to have that ability for 10 to 15 years at best.

I'm hoping that when I talk to our daughter's surgeon, she will think this is something worth exploring.

And don't worry, just keep watching me and you'll be flaming others with style and panache in no time.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 12 March 2008@22:40:17 (Q5ggV)

11 Will that make you my Flaming Mentor?

Posted by: DRJ at 12 March 2008@22:59:16 (wE7Og)

12 DRJ--are you implying Harvard Med couldn' get grant money?

Although I have noting against Johns Hopkins.  One of my better MDs went there.

Stash--I was born in Boston and live in Miami.  Best of both words.  So I can loftily ignore your flaming

Posted by: kishnevi at 12 March 2008@22:59:22 (xtp2U)

13 DRJ--thanks for the links.  Look pretty interesting.

Posted by: kishnevi at 12 March 2008@23:03:39 (xtp2U)

14 Ah, but can you ignore my padawan's?

The Force is strong in my apprentice. 

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 12 March 2008@23:04:59 (Q5ggV)

15 Kishnevi,

The easy answer is to wait and see where MIT takes its new development.  Frankly, it could go anywhere or even stay in-house.

In addition, I'm sure most/all of the Boston medical centers know how to get grants -- who doesn't in this day and age? -- but I was trying to think of a place (1) reasonably near MIT that (2) has a top-notch reputation for opthalmology and (3) could handle the medical and administrative issues presented by a big development like this.  To me, Wilmer fits that bill best.  MIT may not agree, but I'm sure Stashiu will get the facts before he schedules a consultation.

So, at the risk of ending a flame war, I'm delighted Stashiu has input on several possibilities, even though I suspect he already knew all of this (and more) and is being a gracious host.

Posted by: DRJ at 12 March 2008@23:31:35 (wE7Og)

16 Not at all DRJ,

There are at least three new topics to talk with the surgeon about generated solely by the comments and not counting the post. I am grateful for all the input and advice. Even when an area has been thoroughly covered, it's good to get additional perspectives and new leads because things change all the time.

I try to keep up with new developments, but our family also goes on with our lives. My daughter is a superb dancer who was selected for the Governor's Honors Program and will attend this summer. We're always open to new ideas, but we've never been obsessed about making sure our information is up-to-the-minute. This is now a wonderful opportunity to explore the current state of medical research and again discuss the options with the surgeon.

Thank you both very much for this. Much better than a flame war anyway (now, if we had more people....)

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 12 March 2008@23:44:05 (Q5ggV)


Now I'm excited, I hope it can help me too.

When I was 19 I was hit in the eye and it swelled up and got little, crescent tears in the back of the eye, including right through the fovea, so I have like 20/400 vision that is uncorrectable.

I can see shadow and movement but that's about it. My depth perception is bad at best and when I've been drinking, forget about it.

I think that's why they keep putting me on third base at company soft-ball games. For the comedic effect.

I'm not bad, but I don't often catch the ball in my glove.

Oh well, bruises heal and it's much better than being hit in the head with a long, fly ball in the outfield. Trust me on that.

Posted by: Veeshir at 13 March 2008@15:32:51 (zXUuJ)


I think I didn't make that clear, only one eye was affected.

Good luck for your daughter. I'm rooting for her.

Posted by: Veeshir at 13 March 2008@15:33:54 (zXUuJ)

19 Veeshir,

Appreciate you stopping by and sharing that.  Do you wear glasses to protect the uninjured eye?  Especially playing softball.  I played shortstop or third base usually... with great comedic effect of my own many times. 

If I run across anything interesting I'll let you know.  I see you at doubleplusundead often.  Thanks from my daughter and me for the well-wishes... here's hoping!

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 13 March 2008@20:09:57 (Q5ggV)


I wear protective glasses when I'm playing sports, but that's about it. My eye Dr. yells at me each and every time when I tell him that. I have some goggles for raquet ball that I use. I have owned safety glasses occasionally over the last 20 years, but I just don't wear them.

 My good eye is 20/10 so I don't really have a reason to wear glasses and if they get at all dirty, I can't see for crap.
The problem with depth perception is that I, as I'm sure your daughter either knows or is learning, that you have to use other stuff like size or shadows to judge depth. I can tell how far I am from a car, but I can't tell how far that car is from the car behind it.

So if my glasses get dirty at all, I then can't tell how far anything is from the dirt on the lenses.

That gives me optical delusions that freak me out sometimes, like when I think two cars are about to collide when one of them is 1/4 mile from the other.

Posted by: Veeshir at 15 March 2008@08:02:13 (ThMnZ)

21 My daughter is the same way about protective glasses.  The doctor wants her to wear them all the time and she thinks that's unnecessary.  I understand the doctor's point, but on this I let my daughter choose when to wear them (of course, when we grew up we played football and hockey without protective equipment... even the goalie!  Not even a glove to catch the puck, so..... )

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 15 March 2008@09:12:45 (2d2df)

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