Joseph Berger (neurologist)

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Joseph R. Berger is an American internist and neurologist who is known[1][2] for his research interests in progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), the neurological complications of HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other inflammatory disorders of the brain. Particularly, he contributed research on why PML occurs more frequently in AIDS than in other immunosuppressive conditions.[3]

He has also made substantial contributions to the understanding of the spectrum of neurological complications that accompany HIV infection occurring as a consequence of the direct effects of the HIV on the central and peripheral nervous system and those that result from the accompanying immunosuppression of AIDS. Berger is the discoverer of the value of the anabolic steroid oxandrolone in the treatment of AIDS wasting and AIDS myopathy.[4] He is the recipient of the 2015 Pioneer in NeuroVirology award of the International Society for NeuroVirology.[5]


In 1981, Berger joined the faculty of the University of Miami School of Medicine, serving in the Departments of both Neurology and Internal Medicine.[6] At that institution, he held the Whigham-Berger Endowed Chair for the study of the neurological complications of HIV/AIDS.[7] He is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, and the American College of Physicians.[8]

From 1995 through 2014, he was Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, where he held the Ruth L. Works Professorship and was director of the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic and the Neuro-AIDS Program.[9]

In 2014, he joined the faculty of the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, as Professor of Neurology and Chief of the Multiple Sclerosis Division.

Berger was a summa cum laude graduate of the Pennsylvania State UniversityJefferson Medical College Five-Year Accelerated Medical Program. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Georgetown University Hospital and his neurology residency at the University of Miami School of Medicine.[10]

Berger is the case report editor of the Journal of NeuroVirology and serves or has served on other editorial boards. He co-founded the International Neuroscience of HIV meeting with Dr. Robert Levy and has served in numerous administrative capacities for the American Neurological Association and the American Academy of Neurology.


Berger has published more than 210 refereed papers, more than 100 chapters, and has co-edited three textbooks,

  • Berger JR; Levy RM (1996). AIDS and the Nervous System (2nd ed.). New York: Raven Press. 
  • Nath A; Berger JR (2003). Clinical Neurovirology. New York: Marcel Dekker. ISBN 978-0-8247-4081-8. 
  • Portegies P; Berger JR (2007). HIV/AIDS and the Nervous System. Amsterdam: Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-444-52010-4. 


  1. ^ Berger, JR; Kaszovitz, B; Post, MJ; Dickinson, G (1987). "Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection. A review of the literature with a report of sixteen cases". Annals of Internal Medicine. 107 (1): 78–87. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-107-1-78. PMID 3296901. [non-primary source needed]
  2. ^ Berger, JR; Houff, S (2006). "Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy: Lessons from AIDS and natalizumab". Neurological research. 28 (3): 299–305. doi:10.1179/016164106X98198. PMID 16687057. [non-primary source needed]
  3. ^ Berger, Joseph (2003). "Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy in Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: Explaining the High Incidence and Disproportionate Frequency of the Illness Relative to Other Immunosuppressive Conditions". Journal of Neurovirology. 9 (2): 38–41. doi:10.1080/13550280390195261. PMID 12709870. [non-primary source needed]
  4. ^ Berger, JR; Pall, L; Hall, CD; Simpson, DM; Berry, PS; Dudley, R (1996). "Oxandrolone in AIDS-wasting myopathy". AIDS. 10 (14): 1657–62. doi:10.1097/00002030-199612000-00010. PMID 8970686. [non-primary source needed]
  5. ^ ISNV Pioneer
  6. ^ "Previously University of Miami Faculty". University of Kentucky College of Medicine. 
  7. ^ "Whigham-Berger Endowed Chair". University of Kentucky College of Medicine. 
  8. ^ "American Academy of Neurology". American Academy of Neurology. 
  9. ^ "Neurology Clinical Faculty, Joseph R. Berger, MD, Chairman". University of Kentucky College of Medicine. 
  10. ^ "Residency". University of Kentucky College of Medicine. 

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