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Preface

The eye is a microcosm for the world of disease. Its synonym, “the globe,” has profound implications because, in addition to the geometric meaning, within its tablespoon of contents there is a world of physiology and pathophysiology. Autoimmune diseases, neoplasms, infections, neurodegenerations, infarcts: these all occur within the eye and the eye's transit stations within the central nervous system. Almost all of the same pathophysiological principles that apply to the eye apply equally to the body.

This book is a guide to the world of ocular disease. Each chapter is written by scientists who carry out exciting research in the corresponding field. Like tour guides who are native to a region or country, these experienced authors can help the reader travel through a scientific landscape, pointing out new features of familiar territory and blazing trails through areas of wilderness. We believe this familiarity with the mechanics of the disease lend each chapter an immediacy and relevance that will inform the reader for and serve as a map or GPS for his or her subsequent visits. The chapters themselves are deliberately succinct, a Baedeker somewhere between a gazetteer and a comprehensive travelogue, but with all the critical details that make understanding of a specific pathological mechanism possible.

This book arose from a long-running a series named “Mechanisms of Ophthalmic Disease” in the Archives of Ophthalmology. Similar goals to those enunciated above were followed in soliciting chapters from internationally recognized experts in specific areas of ophthalmic pathophysiology, targeted to readers of the Archives who had curiosity about current advances in diagnosing and treating eye disease. The concept – focused reviews by working scientists describing up-to-date research in a clinically relevant area – has been carried through to “Ocular Disease: Mechanisms and Management.” The world of disease is covered from pole to pole, and the book is organized by “continent”, i.e. area of disease. A short publication cycle has been used so that the information contained within is as current today as is possible with contemporary publishing technology. Critical references are at the end of each chapter, and more extensive references are available online.

We hope that this book will be as instructive for the readership as it has been for its editors and the authors in its planning and writing. Its successful production would not have been possible without the contributions of Laura Cruz, who did the administrative organizing for the authors, and the helpful involvement of the publisher, particularly Russell Gabbedy and Ben Davie.

LAL

DMA