Dr. Thomas Preziosi, 74, noted Hopkins neurologist

August 19, 1999|By Zerline A. Hughes | Zerline A. Hughes,SUN STAFF

Dr. Thomas J. Preziosi, a neurologist and noted researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, died Saturday at University of Maryland Hospital Center of injuries suffered in an automobile accident. He was 74 and lived near Parkville.

He and his wife of 48 years, the former Perella V. Sullivan, were driving in Baltimore County on Manor Road around noon July 16 when the car went off the road, struck a tree and flipped over.

Mrs. Preziosi, who also was injured, is in stable condition at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Dr. Preziosi, who spent 48 years as a clinical neurologist at Hopkins , was the first to describe the effects of carbon monoxide on the brain in detail. He also helped develop a process to remove plaque from arteries in the brain. He did research on Parkinson's disease and vascular diseases.

"For many of us who he taught and trained, we viewed him as the neurologist's neurologist," said Dr. Justin McArthur, deputy director of the Department of Neurology at Hopkins and a former student of Dr. Preziosi's. "He helped develop many of what are now standard approaches to the treatment of Parkinson's disease. He was a superb teacher and a very accomplished clinician."

"The thing that was outstanding about Tom was he was a master physician," said Dr. Donlin Long, head of neurosurgery at Hopkins and a longtime friend and colleague. "He was really conscientious and kind about his patients' care. He wasn't just a consultant. He was a complete physician."

In recognition of Dr. Preziosi's accomplishments, Hopkins established an award in his name for the outstanding student in the neurology department.

Born in the city of Quebec, Canada, Dr. Preziosi did his undergraduate work and earned his medical degree at McGill University in Montreal, where he played hockey. He then joined the U.S. Navy, serving as a lieutenant for about two years in the late 1940s.

He worked at Bethesda Naval Hospital and the National Institutes of Health. He joined the neurology department at Hopkins in 1951.

Interested in the history and culture of Baltimore, he bought a pre-Civil War era home on Oakcrest Avenue near Parkville in 1963. He enjoyed going to Orioles games and to state parks with his family.

"He was a dedicated husband and father in a quiet type of way," said a son, Mark T. Preziosi of Ocean Pines. "We would always wait for him to have our dinner together no matter how late he got home. Family dinners were extremely important to our family."

Dr. Preziosi and his wife became U.S. citizens in 1998 when it became possible to retain their Canadian citizenship, of which they were also proud.

A lover of music, art and theater, Dr. Preziosi played classical music on the piano. He enjoyed hiking and traveling with his wife. In the mid-1990s, they traveled to Malta, where his father was born.

He was devoted to his dog, Tadzio, a Newfoundland.

Memorial services will be announced in October.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Diane C. Preziosi of Baltimore; two other sons, Stephen T. Preziosi of Laurel and Paul T. Preziosi of Baltimore; three brothers, Philip Preziosi of Montreal, Frederick Preziosi of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Eric Preziosi of Ontario; and seven grandchildren.

Pub Date: 8/19/99

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