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Media contact:  Joy Bell, 404-778-3711, jbell@emory.edu

Jan. 22 , 2014

International Congenital Cataract Symposium meets again in NYC


(Atlanta) Emory Eye Center pediatric ophthalmologists Scott Lambert and Phoebe Lenhart, along with Edward Cotlier of the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, will co-direct the second International Congenital Cataract Symposium in New York on March 7 at the Yale Club. Seventeen other faculty members from numerous countries will join them in the intensive, one-day symposium. Participants include other Emory University faculty members as well as practitioners from the United Kingdom, South African, Nigeria, Nepal, India, Egypt, Brazil and eight other U.S. states.

Childhood cataracts have become a leading cause of preventable childhood blindness in many developing countries. The symposium will bring together some of the world's leading vision scientists, epidemiologists, and pediatric ophthalmologists to discuss ways of improving the management and visual outcomes of children with congenital cataracts.

"This international symposium will bring together some of the world's leading vision scientists, epidemiologists, and pediatric ophthalmologists to discuss ways of improving the management and visual outcomes of children with congenital cataracts," says Lenhart. "Recent studies have shown that as preventable blindness due to measles and Vitamin A deficiency is declining, childhood cataracts have become a leading cause of preventable blindness in some areas of the world."

The symposium will be divided into four sessions.

1) The Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS) team will report on the 5-year outcomes of the study, based at Emory.

2) The Pediatric Cataract Initiative.

3) A global perspective on efforts to treat congenital cataracts in the developing world.

4) Small group discussions aimed at developing specific guidelines for the management of congenital cataracts, similar to the American Academy of Ophthalmology's "Preferred Practice Patterns.

Recommendations from the symposium will be published in a peer-reviewed ophthalmology journal. The course will be of help to physicians-in-training and public health professions interested in pediatric cataract.

At course conclusion, participants will be able to explain the visual development of infants and various treatments of amblyopia; to apply results of IATS to clinical practice; and to describe the unique challenges of managing congenital cataracts in developing countries.

Topics covered include Visual Outcomes at 5 years of age for patients in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS); myopic shift after IOL implantation in infantile eyes; glaucoma outcomes in the first 5 years of the IAT study; pediatric cataract initiative; global perspectives on pediatric cataracts; and cost of pediatric cataract surgery in sub-Saharan Africa, among other topics.

Symposium brochure (pdf)

Register online: www.emory.edu/CME

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