Newswise — BROOKLYN, NY, JANUARY 18, 2018Julie DeBacker, MD, a board-certified neurologist who is an expert in visual dysfunction, has returned to NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, where she once trained as a medical student and resident, to launch the hospital’s first Neuro-Ophthalmology Program. 

This new service is yet another step forward in NYU Langone Health’s ongoing commitment to provide the most advanced neurological care in Brooklyn and the outer boroughs. 

“More than half of the brain is dedicated to processing visual information,” explains DeBacker. “Events and conditions such as concussions, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and other nervous system disorders can seriously impact visual function for many patients.” 

NYU Langone Health’s nationally renowned Neuro-Ophthalmology Program, one of the largest and most experienced in the country, focuses principally on diagnosing and treating disorders of the nervous system associated with the optic nerve, orbit (eye socket), and brain, such as impaired or loss of vision, double vision, or involuntary movement of the eyes. 

“This highly specialized service complements other neurological programs at NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, and will help our most at-risk patients preserve their eyesight,” said Steven L. Galetta, MD, the Philip K. Moskowitz, MD Professor and Chair of Neurology, and professor of ophthalmology at NYU Langone Health. “Dr. DeBacker is an excellent addition to Brooklyn’s growing neurology team.” 

Many neuro-ophthalmic conditions are dually managed between medical specialties. For example, neuro-ophthalmologists like DeBacker work in partnership with ophthalmologists and neurosurgeons on visual impairments that require surgery; rheumatologists for systemic diseases; endocrinologists to prevent optic nerve damage caused by thyroid disease and see patients with diabetes who have double vision; cardiologists for the consequence of high blood pressure and blockage or hardening of arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the eyes; and oncologists for cancer affecting the visual pathway.

“Advanced neuro-ophthalmology adds so much to patient care in Brooklyn,” said Douglas R. Lazzaro, MD, MBA, FACS, chief of ophthalmology, NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, and vice chair of clinical affairs and business development for the Department of Ophthalmology. “This specialty is essential to the management of a myriad of disorders and multiple health risk factors.” 

About Dr. DeBacker 

An undergraduate alumna of University of California-Santa Barbara, DeBacker earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine, and completed clinical training in various medical centers in New York and Vermont. A medical rotation with neurologist Blanca Vazquez, MD, who heads the epilepsy program at NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, inspired DeBacker to change course and specialize in neurology and then neuro-ophthalmology. 

Her affinity and fondness for Brooklyn grew from her time spent as a medical student and resident at NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, followed by a neurology residency (including one year as chief resident) at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. DeBacker most recently completed a clinical fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology at NYU Langone Health in Manhattan. 

“I’m very excited to join the neurology and ophthalmology teams at NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn and to be part of the extraordinary expansion in neuroscience that is taking place there,” DeBacker says. “Broadening the scope of these services is testament to NYU Langone’s commitment to bring clinical excellence directly to the people who live and work in Brooklyn.” 

To schedule an appointment, please call NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn at 718-630-8600 or 718-376-1004. 

About NYU Langone Health 

NYU Langone Health is a world-class, patient-centered, integrated academic medical center, known for its excellence in clinical care, research, and education. It comprises more than 200 locations throughout the New York area, including five inpatient locations, a children’s hospital, three emergency rooms and a level 1 trauma center. Also part of NYU Langone Health is the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute–designated cancer center, and NYU School of Medicine, which since 1841 has trained thousands of physicians and scientists who have helped to shape the course of medical history. For more information, go to, and interact with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.