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    Dr. William Tasman, former Wills Eye ophthalmologist-in-chief, dies


    Ophthalmic community remembers Dr. Eliot Berson

    Dr. BersonIn the same short period, the retinal world had another sad passing of Eliot L. Berson, MD, on March 19, 2017 at the age of 79. Dr. Berson was known for founding the Berman-Gund Laboratory for the Study of Retinal Degenerations, where he advanced early understanding of retinitis pigmentosa. He is credited with discovering that electroretinography (ERG) testing could be used to detect retinitis pigmentosa (RP) as early as 10 years before the onset of symptoms or the appearance of pigment in the retina.

    He also led research about the benefits of vitamins and antioxidants on eye disease, developing the first treatment regimen for adults with common forms of RP (Vitamin A palmitate 15,000 IU/day, an omega-3-rich oily fish diet (1-2 three ounce servings per week) and lutein 12mg per day) which has the possibility of adding up to 20 additional years of vision for patients who start the treatment by age 40.

    Dr. Berson also discovered the first gene defects associated with RP–point mutations in the rhodopsin gene. In his research, he identified 20 genes with mutations that lead to RP and allied retinal degenerations.

    Dr. Berson attended medical school at Harvard in 1962, completed his residency at Washington University School of Medicine in 1966, and was clinical associate in ophthalmology at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness at the National Institute of Health from 1966-1968. He was the William F. Chatlos Professor of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston.







    Jolie Higazi
    Jolie is the Content Specialist for Ophthalmology Times. She can be reached at [email protected]

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