Stop the Stupid, Stop the Stare

The click clacking of her fingers across the keyboard sounds like the rapid fire of a machine gun. Her hands are on complete autopilot. Glasses perched on the very edge of her nose, she listens attentively to a client who sits across from her, separated by a sheet of glass.

A triage nurse with over 20 years of experience, Julie has seen it all. From cuts and bruises, coughs and colds, to life threatening illnesses and injuries.

While dedicating her life to helping others, she herself has hidden a lifelong struggle with a little understood disease which is affecting a growing number of people.Without warning, synapses in her brain fire off, initiating a cascade of uncontrollable spasm like movements .

It’s neurochemical warfare within her own body.

The muscles in her face tighten beyond her control. Her upper lip is forced into rigidity.
All the while fighting against it, Julie’s powerful extraocular muscles pull her eyes upward and in a clockwise direction until only the whites can be seen

Julie suffers from STARE syndrome.

Stupidity Triggered Acute Rolling of the Eyes is a recently discovered seizure disorder characterised by uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain leading to painful and debilitating eye rolling. With no known trigger , Julie can go into a STARE at anytime.

“It usually only lasts a few seconds but can happen a seven or eight times a day” says Julie

“Its getting worse though , a couple of months ago I had to get someone to drive me home because I couldn’t see”

Finding it difficult to even walk through the door at work without going into an eye roll, Julie contacted multiple neurologists looking for answers. Drs at the University of Western Australia conducted two years of intensive research and trials identifying possible treatment options for this growing neurological epidemic.

MRI and EEG scans revealed Julie’s brain to have a deficiency in a type of neurotransmitter that regulates activity in the cerebral cortex.

Thankfully, some relief has come in the form of an Australian pharmaceutical breakthrough.
Julie now takes SSRI medications daily to minimise her STAREs.

SSRI’S or Selective Stupidity Reuptake Inhibitors have shown promise is decreasing her episodes.

” Drs found that some workplaces expose the brain to more stupidity than a healthy person can manage”. says Julie, who now feels like there is some hope of living a normal life.

This medical breakthrough is also helping others with similar conditions in the spectrum of seizure disorders.

David knows the plight of Julie all too well. The young and fit nurse suffers from LEER syndrome. Localised Epileptic Eye Rolling is a disorder with similar symptoms to STARE but completely different neurological pathway and triggers.

” I have the painful eye rolling , but also have a mouth palsy which causes excessive drooling ” says David.

” It’s a little awkward at the club when I’m trying to meet a lady and I just start going into a LEER. ”

Doctors hope to use progress from the Doctors hope to use progress from the STARE study to make some advances in the treatment of sufferers like David. With new medical developments every day, he hopes to one day become completely LEER free.

Donate now to help eradicate these terrible diseases and spread awareness of STARE and LEER


Matt Szabo

Paediatric Emergency Nurse and blogger.

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