SOUTH NEW CALEDONIA, ND – Local neurologist, John Klinston, MD, was flummoxed this week by an unusual physiologic phenomenon in one of his patients, Paula Lansdowner, who he recently diagnosed with adult neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.
“Liquid just keeps pouring out of her eyes!” marveled Dr. Klinston.
Adult neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses are a group of rare neurodegenerative disorders with no known cure.
“When I first diagnosed her with the condition, I explained to her how fascinating and rare this illness is, and I invited many of the resident doctors to see her in the exam room. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to see such a disease, as they may never have the chance again,” said Klinston.
Interestingly, even at that first visit, Ms. Lansdowner began to demonstrate high levels of lacrimation, with excessive secretions from the eyes and often spells of gasps or sobbing.
“I explained to her that the causative gene for this illness has not yet been identified and that she would be a wonderful specimen for study at a specialty center. I strongly encouraged her to have her family request an autopsy after she is deceased as there are many fascinating things we have yet to learn about the condition.”
However, his patient seems to lack even a basic appreciation for the wonder of medical science.
“There are numerous mysterious and intriguing things about her illnesss, but Ms. Lansdowner seems unable to admire them, because she is hindered by excessive bouts of ocular secretions during nearly every clinic visit with me,” explained Dr. Klinston.
“Perhaps this abundant lacrimation is an unrecognized part of the syndrome that has not yet been described in the literature.”
Klinston tells the DME that he is actually considering writing up a scholarly case report on the patient’s copious liquid eye secretions so that other providers who don’t have the chance to see such a fantastic case themselves can also learn from his experiences with this rare disease.
In recognition of his ardent scientific passion – untainted by the burdens of human empathy – Dr. Klinston is this week’s DME Health Hero.