What is Narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a neurological disease which affects the part of the brain which plays role in regulates the sleep. Some common symptoms like day time sleepiness and sudden loss control on muscles. As a consequence person may asleep while cooking, eating and even driving.
[Read : Sleep Disorder]
Narcolepsy Symptoms and Sign
Mostly people suffer from problem in between the age of 10 to 25. It differs from one person to another but the main symptom is excessive daytime sleepiness and abnormal REM sleep. Symptoms related to abnormal REM sleep is hallucination, sleep paralysis and cataplexy.
The most common symptoms of Narcolepsy excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy are connected to emotional state of person.
[Read : Effects of Lack of Sleep]
Common Narcolepsy symptoms–
Cataplexy– Cataplexy means loss control on muscles usually triggered by strong emotions such as crying and laughing.
Hallucinations– sometimes people experience frightening, visual or auditory sensation while they are asleep.
Sleep paralysis– you may not be able to talk or move at the time of beginning of sleep or end.
Microsleep– it is a sleep which comes in episodes during you are continue to work, talk or any function and after the episode you even not remember those activities.
Night time wakefulness– if you are suffering from the disorder Narcolepsy then you may awake frequently in night with elevated heart rate, hot flashes and intense alertness.
Causes of Narcolepsy
A generally accepted opinion about the cause of Narcolepsy is your genetics accompanied by a virus, which affect you brain chemicals and cause Narcolepsy.
Researchers have found that people who are suffering from narcolepsy lack in hypocretin. It is a chemical in the brain, which regulates sleep and activates arousal. Narcoleptics do not have as many HCRT cells; inhibit the person’s ability to fully control alertness which account the person’s tendency to fall asleep. [Read : Sleeping Problem Causes Health Problem]
To diagnose Narcolepsy sleep specialists use these methods-
Nocturnal Polysomnogram– this is an overnight test in which electrical activities of your brain and heart and the movement of muscle and eye is examined.
Multiple sleep latency test– this method measure the time you take to fall asleep during the day.
Spinal fluid analysis– deficiency of Hypocretin in cerebrospinal fluid is a sign of Narcolepsy. So examining the spinal fluid is also a method to diagnose Narcolepsy.
[Read : Sleep Disorders in Children]
Treatment of Narcolepsy
This is a fact that there is no cure yet to treat Narcolepsy but still there is some solution which can help to control Narcolepsy symptoms and help you to enjoy daily life activities.
- You should consult a psychologist or a counselor to control your Narcolepsy symptoms if you are suffering from depression.
- You should change your lifestyle to ease the symptoms of Narcolepsy.
- You have to maintain circadian rhythm of your body.
- You have to avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.
- You should alert your friends and family members so that they can help you when needed.
- You should do exercise at the daily basis.
- Eat healthy diet and relax and manage your emotions.
You can use stimulant, sodium oxybate and antidepressant pill to cure the symptoms of Narcolepsy. But before use you have to consult your physician about it because it has serious side effects. You should use these medications only when prescribed by your physician.