By Michael Szkarlat, Partner Development Director
We were joined by Mohammad H. Dastjerdi, MD, of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School for our January webinar "Cornea and vitamin A: a new perspective."
The webinar begins with a review of the chemistry, biology and physiology of vitamin A. Dr. Dastjerdi discusses the ocular manifestations of vitamin A deficiency in great detail, reviewing the timeline of presentation including both patient symptoms and slit lamp evaluation findings. He continues this discussion with the most severe manifestations from ulcers to descemetocele and corneal perforation.
Dr. Dastjerdi reviews the incidence and prevalence of vitamin A deficiency with historical context, comparing western and developed worlds in terms of prevalence and demographics of the risk of vitamin A deficiency. He dives deep into the common underlying conditions associated with vitamin A deficiency in the developed world and their physiological basis.
Finally, we review a series of cases that presented in Dr. Dastjerdi’s clinic and the course of treatment for these patients. There are several cases just in the last few years suggesting that, although not common, vitamin A deficiency causing ocular manifestations may be more prevalent than we think in the developed world. The webinar concludes with a Q&A session and audience discussion with Dr. Dastjerdi.
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Michael has been with Eversight since 2016 and has recently worked to develop Eversight's educational wet lab programs for EK surgery and a standardized protocol for DALK practice in a wet lab setting. His eye banking experience is rooted in the preparation of corneal grafts and spent nearly five years as Eversight’s Medical Director designee in charge of training clinical team members to prepare corneal tissue for DMEK and DSAEK surgery. In his time at Eversight, Michael has presented at scientific conferences, been involved in clinical research and developed innovations in tissue processing. He was named an IAPB Eye Heath Hero in the innovations category. Michael is passionate about community-based eye banking and honoring the precious gift that is donation. When not at work, he enjoys traveling with his wife and baking artisan sourdough bread.