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LSUHSC AWARDED GRANT FOR RESEARCH ON BLINDING EYE DISEASES

New Orleans, LA – Dr. Donald Bergsma, Professor and Chairman of Ophthalmology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, has been awarded a $100,000 grant by Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of blinding diseases. RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. To date, the organization has awarded grants totaling $2,182,100 to LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans.

"My faculty and I at the LSUHSC Department of Ophthalmology and LSUHSC Eye Center of Excellence are delighted once again to have the approval and financial support of Research to Prevent Blindness for our research programs," notes Dr. Bergsma. "This support underlies a variety of clinical and laboratory projects in corneal, retinal, pharmacologic, and other research areas which historically have lead to medical advances that help people enjoy good vision. This support from Research to Prevent Blindness facilitates promising projects."

According to RPB, the current epidemic of eye disease will continue its surge as our country's population ages. More than six million Americans are newly diagnosed each year as having a serious visual affliction. Age-related eye diseases—macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy—threaten the sight of more than 119 million Americans over the age of 40. Other eye conditions such as uveitis, corneal disorders and amblyopia threaten millions more. It is a tragic fact that, in 8 out of 10 cases, loss of sight results from diseases which can not yet be prevented or cured. The staggering costs of caring for the visually impaired and those already blind in this country is estimated at $68 billion per year.

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LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates the majority of Louisiana's health care professionals.  The state's academic health leader, LSUHSC comprises a School of Medicine, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, Schools of Allied Health Professions and Graduate Studies, as well as the only School of Nursing in Louisiana within an academic health center. LSUHSC faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout Louisiana. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas worldwide, LSUHSC faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, treat, or cure disease. LSUHSC outreach programs span the state.

Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions throughout the United States for research into all blinding eye diseases.

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