Retinal Degenerations

Biology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics

  • Joyce Tombran-Tink
  • Colin J. Barnstable

Part of the Ophthalmology Research book series (OPHRES)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Living with Retinal Degeneration

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Gordon Cousins, James Cape
      Pages 3-20
  3. Degenerative Diseases of the Retina

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 21-21
    2. Jie Jin Wang, Paul Mitchell, Ronald Klein
      Pages 23-59
    3. Robert K. Koenekoop
      Pages 61-90
    4. Peter E. Liggett, Alejandro J. Lavaque
      Pages 91-103
    5. Rando Allikmets
      Pages 105-118
    6. Bernhard H. F. Weber, Ulrich Kellner
      Pages 119-135
    7. David S. Williams
      Pages 137-148
    8. Bo Chang, Norman L. Hawes, Muriel T. Davisson, J. R. Heckenlively
      Pages 149-161
  4. Mechanisms Underlying Retinal Degenerations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 163-163
    2. Gerald McGwin Jr, Cynthia Owsley
      Pages 185-196
    3. Janet R. Sparrow
      Pages 213-236
    4. Malia M. Edwards, Dennis M. Maddox, Jungyeon Won, Jürgen K. Naggert, Patsy M. Nishina
      Pages 237-255
    5. You-Wei Peng, Fulton Wong
      Pages 269-289
  5. Developing Therapeutic Strategies for Retinal Degenerative Diseases

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 291-291
    2. Fiona Kernan, Alex G. McKee, G. Jane Farrar, Peter Humphries
      Pages 293-317
    3. Robert B. Aramant, Norman D. Radtke, Magdalene J. Seiler
      Pages 365-383
    4. Joanne Yau, Henry Klassen, Tasneem Zahir, Michael Young
      Pages 385-399
    5. Joyce Tombran-Tink, Colin J. Barnstable
      Pages 433-454
    6. Colin J. Barnstable, Joyce Tombran-Tink
      Pages 459-462
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 463-466

About this book


For centuries, humans have tried to explain the complex process of vision and find effective treatments for eye diseases. Perhaps the oldest surviving record of ancient ophthalmic practices is the Babylonian code of Hammurabi that over 4000 years ago, mentioned fees for eye surgery—and penalties for unsuccessful operations that led to loss of the eye. Babylonian medicine was controlled by priests who directed the work of skilled surgeons. The earliest records of Egyptian medicine date from almost the same time. The Ebers Papyrus, dating back to more than 3500 years ago is a superbly preserved document in which a section outlines a relatively advanced system of diagnosis and treatment of various ocular pathologies. The text reveals that ancient Greek and Egyptian physicians prescribed “liver juice” for night blindness. This was obtained from roasted and crushed ox liver. We now know that their prescription contained a remarkable amount of vitamin A. It was only within the last century, however, that we have recognized the importance of vitamin A to the function of photoreceptors and visual acuity and that its deficiency can result in night blindness. Egyptian ophthalmological practices were held in high esteem in the ancient world and so were their medical institutes, called “peri-ankh,” which existed since the first dynasty. Herodotus, the fifth century BC Greek historian, comments on the specialization of the physicians: “Each physician treats just one disease.


aging apoptosis biology cell death diabetes diagnostics genetics macular degeneration mutation protein receptor retina stem cell stem cells

Editors and affiliations

  • Joyce Tombran-Tink
    • 1
  • Colin J. Barnstable
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology and Visual ScienceYale University School of MedicineNew Haven

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Humana Press Inc. 2007
  • Publisher Name Humana Press
  • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-1-58829-620-7
  • Online ISBN 978-1-59745-186-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site