Larry Alexander, OD FAAO (1947 - 2016)


My heart is broken hearing of Larry's passing. Anyone who knew Larry was a better person for it. Last week Larry asked me to remove EyeLessons in its entirety so I reluctantly took it down. He also told me I could do with it whatever I want with it, so I'm putting it back up so others can enjoy Larry's style of education for a little longer.  EyeLessons was a labor of love, and I was constantly amazed at the content output by one of Optometry's leading educators.

Larry, I will miss you. It was an honor working with you and calling you a friend.

-Adam Parker, OD
(the guy behind the scenes of EyeLessons)

posted April 18, 2016

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Literature Review – June 2013

Lutein is a small-molecule carotenoid that has been studied with varying degrees of interest in both general nutrition and ophthalmology. This molecule is derived from green leafy vegetables (as well as commercially available dietary supplements) and has been postulated to act as a modulator in retinal health, specifically as a factor in the prevention of macular degeneration. The available clinical data do not suggest that lutein or the carotenoid zeaxanthin have any inherent toxicity. The presence of either or both has been linked to the prevention, but not necessarily the treatment, of macular degeneration. The available information may suggest that lutein intake as an oral supplement, coupled with awareness (and where possible modulation) of certain risk factors such as elevated body weight, smoking, and a family history of AMD, taken as part of an entire personalized treatment regimen, could positively impact the development of age-related macular degeneration.

Literature Review – April May 2013

This study aims to develop water-soluble low molecular weight chitosan (LMWC) nanoencapsules with lutein to improve its bioavailability. Lutein-LMWC nanoencapsules were prepared, characterized and bioavailability was studied in vitro and in vivo with lutein in mixed micelles (control). The particle size ranged between 80-600nm, which was confirmed by Atomic Force Microscope. The interaction between LMWC and lutein in nanocencapsules by 1H and 13C NMR showed the essentiality of water molecules to hold the lutein between LMWC chains of nanoparticle with a reversible weak bond. Bioavailability of lutein (200μM) in vitro showed that lutein-LMWC nanoencapsules was significantly higher (27.7%) than control. Postprandial lutein level in the plasma (54.5%), liver (53.9%) and eyes (62.8%) of mice fed on nanoencapsulated lutein were higher than the control. LMWC may serve as novel carrier for enhancing the lutein bioavailability and can be suggested as the better dietary compound in food and pharmaceutical applications.

Literature Review – March 2013

Carotenoids are important substances for human skin due to their powerful antioxidant properties in reaction of neutralization of free radicals and especially reactive oxygen species, including singlet oxygen. Concentration of carotenoids in the skin could mirror the current redox status of the skin and should be investigated in vivo.

Optical methods are ideally suited for determination of carotenoids in mammalian skin in vivo as they are both noninvasive and quick. Four different optical methods could be used for in vivo measurement of carotenoids in the human or animal skin: (1) resonance Raman spectroscopy; (2) Raman microscopy; (3) reflection spectroscopy; (4) skin color measurements. The advantages, shortcomings, and limitations of the abovementioned optical methods are discussed.