What Is It? Get the Facts about this Sleep Disorder
By KellyEverson on August 12, 2014
Narcolepsy is classified medically as being a disorder than can promote extreme daytime sleepiness. It can also be the catalyst for causing muscle weakness, as well, in addition. It is a neurological disorder that can affect the control of both sleep and wakefulness equally. Does manage to remain undiagnosed, and cannot be treated if it hasn't been discovered through its most common of symptoms that it does create on the average for those who suffer with this malady.
What is the cause of narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects both the overall control of sleep and also wakefulness. People who do suffer from narcolepsy are prone to having episodes of uncontrollable daytime sleepiness and also bouts with falling asleep unexpectedly. The cause of narcolepsy is unknown as of yet. Scientists are doing their very best to identify certain genes that control the production of brain chemicals that so signal sleep and wake cycles. Some experts do think that narcolepsy is caused by a deficiency in a chemical called hypocretin in the brain.
What are the symptoms of narcolepsy?
The symptoms that are associated with narcolepsy do include the following. These symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, hallucinations, sleep paralysis, sleep apnea and snoring. A lot of these symptoms can be damaging to one's health in their own ways. Therefore, if you are having any of these symptoms do get checked out by a doctor.
What is excessive daytime sleepiness?
Excessive daytime sleepiness does interfere with one's ability to do normal activities on a regular basis. It doesn't matter at all if a person has enough sufficient sleep or not. These episodes are afflict people with mental cloudiness, a lack of real energy and concentration, pronounced exhaustion, a depressed mood, and also memory lapses.
How do they diagnose narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a medical disorder that is diagnosed by having two main things on hand. What are these two things? They are no other than a physical exam and an exhaustive medical history that is done. Both of these things are required in order for a physician or neurologist to do a proper diagnosis on someone who is suffering from narcolepsy. Nonetheless, none of the major symptoms are exclusive to narcolepsy alone, and this is because the origins of the disease are something that is still being studied closely by researchers. There are several specialized tests that can be performed at a sleep disorder clinic or sleep lab. However, there are two key tests, which do stand out the most that are required for a diagnosis of this sleep disorder. These two tests are no other than the polysomnogram and the multiple sleep latency test.
How is narcolepsy treated?
There is no known cure for narcolepsy as of yet. However, there are valid forms of treatment, which do prove to be very successful in their own ways. These treatments do include drug treatment. Drug treatment involves the prescribing of amphetamine-like stimulants for sleepiness and anti-depressant drugs are given to control the symptoms of abnormal REM sleep. Lifestyle adjustments are something that are also strongly encouraged to reduce the control and effect of symptoms. Some of the lifestyle changes required have to do with avoiding heavy meals, alcohol, nicotine, regulating sleep schedules, and scheduling daytime naps properly for about ten to fifteen minutes in length each. Also, establishing a meal schedule is highly advised, as well as, some form of regular exercise regimen.
What is the outlook for narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy doesn't have a cure at present. Nonetheless, if a person does incorporate the right kind of treatment plan, and follows the rules. He or she should be able to live their lives with improved symptoms on the average. They do need to take their meds properly and do the lifestyle changes to make this happen though. Research is continually ongoing where this neurological disorder is concerned. This means that there is hope and it will only get better in time. Outlooks for lots of diseases do improve more and more with the advancement of medical science and research.
Narcolepsy usually affects people between the ages of 15 and 25 years of age. However, it can literally come on anyone, at any given age. In a number of cases, narcolepsy is a disorder related to sleep and that does manage to remain undiagnosed, and cannot be treated if it hasn't been discovered through its most common of symptoms that it does create on the average for those who suffer with this malady.
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