Narcolepsy By Minh Tran
What is Narcolepsy? Narcolepsy is a neurologic disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and abnormal REM sleep.
More about Narcolepsy • Narcolepsy has a genetic component and tends to run in families • About 8 - 10% of people with narcolepsy have a close relative who has the disorder
Symptoms of Narcolepsy Hallucinations frightening, visual or auditory sensations while falling asleep or upon awakening.
Symptoms of Narcolepsy Sleep paralysis unable to move or talk at the beginning or end of sleep.
Symptoms of Narcolepsy Cataplexy (60-90%) sudden loss of muscle control while awake, usually triggered by strong emotions, such as laughing or crying.
Causes of Narcolepsy • Hypocretin, also called orexin, is a peptide promotes wakefulness, inhibits REM sleep, and associates with motor control • Narcoleptics generally do not have as many neurons that secrete hypocretin, which inhibits the ability to fully control alertness and accounts for tendency to fall asleep
Complications of Narcolepsy • Public misunderstanding of the condition • Interference with relationships • Physical harm
Treatments for Narcolepsy • Excessive daytime sleepiness is treated with stimulants. Ex: modafinil • SSRIs suppress REM sleep and help alleviate the symptoms of cataplexy, hallucinations and sleep paralysis. Ex: fluoxetine • Sodium oxybate is used for severe cataplexy and helps to improve night time sleep. Ex: Xyrem
Lifestyle modifications • Stick to a schedule Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. • Take naps Schedule short naps at regular intervals during the day.
Lifestyle modifications • Avoid nicotine and alcohol Using these substances can worsen your signs and symptoms. • Get regular exercise Moderate, regular exercise at least four to five hours before bedtime may help you feel more awake during the day and sleep better at night.