A possible early description of nystagmus and photophobia in albinism.

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It is recognized today that albinism is accompanied by a cohort of ophthalmic and neuro-ophthalmic problems. These may not always be as obvious to the casual observer as the lack of pigment in the eyebrows, hair, or skin, and thus early descriptions of this rare genetic condition may have initially focused on the unusual colour of the hair, skin, or eyebrows and not the eye-related problems. While it is not easy to find an accurate ancient description of albinism, we here propose that a Talmudic account from over 1500 years ago may possibly be describing nystagmus and photophobia in albinism in a population which resided along the River Tigris.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-52
Number of pages4
JournalVesalius : acta internationales historiae medicinae
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2008


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