Narcolepsy: Definition, Forms, Causes
Narcolepsy is a very rare, but at the same times a very dangerous disease. This article gives information about the types of narcolepsy and how this disease can be diagnosed. Also, you can learn about whether is narcolepsy the inherited disease and what are the most effective drugs used for its treatment.
It manifests itself in the violation of sleep and wakefulness, uncontrolled and sudden onset of sleep. This is a very dangerous disease, because a person can fall asleep at any time, whatever he does.
What Is Narcolepsy?
So, what is Narcolepsy? It is a very rare disease – for 100,000 people there are no more than 40 narcolepsy patients. Mainly, it affects the young men aged from 15 to 25 years. The attack of the disease begins with a sudden falling asleep. Such a dream is accompanied by an instant decrease of muscle tone. The rest of the time, the person remains drowsy and feels tired. And, it doesn’t matter how many hours he sleeps. The psychology condition is a very important factor, since the strong emotions (no matter good or bad) can cause a disease attack, even with cataplexy condition.
Narcolepsy is accompanied by the manifestation of narcoleptic syndrome, which includes the following:
- attacks of sleepiness;
- constant drowsiness during the day;
- insomnia at night;
- catalepsy during the awakening;
- hypnagogic hallucinations;
- attacks of catalepsy.
Diagnosis of the patient can be made even without the presence of all listed signs of the syndrome. It is enough to have a constant daytime sleepiness with only one sign of narcoleptic syndrome. At the moment there are no medications that help to cure narcolepsy, but there is a therapy aimed on controlling and correcting this disease.
Knowing what it’s like, and what the distinctive characteristics of Narcolepsy, a patient can assess his condition and call a doctor in time.
Is Narcolepsy Inherited?
Narcolepsy can be inherited, but these are very rare cases of this. The disease is transmitted by an autosomal recessive type. This means that both parents must be sick in order that the transmission of disease happened. If only one parent is sick by narcolepsy, the likelihood of children disease will be about 1-2%.
Depending on the severity, there are two types of narcolepsy forms. The most common is type 1 to it belong more than 75% of all disease cases.
The type 1 narcolepsy is characterized by the appearance of drowsiness and attacks of catalepsy (even with sleep apnea). The diagnosis is made after the regular appearance of signs of the disease during 3 months.
Catalepsy is often happens after strong emotional outbursts. In this case, the patient has temporal (symmetrical or asymmetrical) loss of body/face muscle tone, and during this patient remains in full consciousness. Attacks of sleepiness and uncontrolled falling asleep are very often observed during the day, especially with monotonous work. Often drowsiness is accompanied by a complete loss of attention, a person acts automatically, but his brain is in a state of sleep. Often, for treatment of distracted attention and hyperactivity, which leads to catalepsy, such drug as Adderall is used.
For successful treatment of the disease is needed to know what is prescribed for narcolepsy drugs for narcolepsy.
For catalepsy type 1, the hallucinations upon awakening/falling asleep are often can be observed, as well as problems with sleep are rising too. The patient can wake up many times at the night and he is often haunted by nightmarish dreams. Due to lack of good rest, the disease can progress.
The first signs of narcolepsy type 1 of early stages are daytime drowsiness and uncontrolled bouts of sleep. Catalepsy progression takes about a year.
To treat this type of narcolepsy, Modafinil and Provigil are prescribed for eliminating of drowsiness. Also, one of the effective mean is Nuvigil. This is a mild stimulant that relieves a person from drowsiness, but does not excite the CNS excessively. In addition to medication, the patient should adhere to day schedule, sleep in the well ventilated room and in the comfortable bed. Also, such people need to create a motivation for the CNS to be active all day in order to not allow themselves falling asleep.
But remember that all these drugs can only be used only by adults.
The type 2 of narcolepsy is more rare (25% of cases) and often a “neighbor” of other diseases:
- brain tumor;
- craniocerebral trauma;
- acute form of Parkinson’s disease;
- autoimmune syndrome;
- paraneoplastic syndromes associated with anti-Ma-2 or anti-aquaporin-4 antibodies.
Narcolepsy of type 2 stages is different by the absence of catalepsy attacks and by less pronounced deficiency of hypocretin in cerebrospinal fluid. Often type 2 has identical symptoms with type 1 in the first year of the disease. Identification of difference can be made only by estimating of the concentration of hypocreatine in human cerebrospinal fluid. This makes clear how and when occurs this disease. The type 2 also includes stress induced narcolepsy.
Treatment of this type of disease is identical to the previous one, but there is no need to take medicines for attacks of catalepsy treatment. Very often, after the elimination of the associated disease (as example, the removal of the tumor), signs of type 2 are disappeared.
The mild form of narcolepsy is called monosymptomatic. It is characterized only by daytime drowsiness and sudden falling asleep. With age, symptoms may become less noticeable.
Severe form of narcolepsy is polysymptomatic. This means that a person has almost all signs of narcoleptic syndrome: day and night catalepsy, sleep disturbances, drowsiness attacks and hypnagogic hallucinations. Requires a constant intake of special drugs, otherwise sudden catalepsy or falling asleep can be dangerous for person’s health and life.
The atypical form of narcolepsy it is an intermediate phase of the disease progress, when there are no regularly signs of it. Often with atypical form of narcolepsy, depression and hypersomnia are confused. Also, its symptoms are similar to the symptoms of bipolar disorder. However, with a detailed examination, the disease can be founded and making of diagnosis becomes possible.
What Causes Narcolepsy?
At the moment, doctors are not agreed what causes narcolepsy. The study showed that the most likely reasons are:
- the genes responsible for sleep managing. Under the action of these genes in the brain are formed signals, which informing the body about the need for rest. Violation in these genes can cause narcolepsy. At the same time narcolepsy often manifests itself only in one of the identical twins, so not only heredity and genes playing role in the development of this disease;
- lack of the hypocreatine in the brain;
- anomalies in those areas of brain what are responsible for regulation of sleep and wakefulness periods.
In addition to these factors, there was also established connection between the development of disease and certain disorders of the immune system. In favor of this version also says the connection between occurrence of narcolepsy and some viral diseases.
There is no clear opinion that is narcolepsy caused by severe nervous shock, prolonged stress, atypical depression, trauma, etc. But they can also become its causes too.
How Does Narcolepsy Occur?
Narcolepsy is a chronic disease which remains with a person for all life. Medication help to alleviate the condition of health, but the disease proceeds without remissions. At the same time, the frequency of catalepsy and sudden sleep attacks still persists.
When Does Narcolepsy Start?
So, let’s find the answer on the question – when does narcolepsy start? The first symptoms of narcolepsy begin to appear at a young age, but there are cases when the disease developed in 50-year-old people. First, there are problems with sleep, for a person is difficult to get enough sleep due to the time that is familiar to him. The consultation of a doctor is needed when a person cannot get enough sleep for 10 or more hours. Together with this during day there are can be the uncontrollable bouts of sleepiness. The occurrence of narcolepsy can be the result of psychological disorder, caused by sleep disturbance and strong emotional arousal.
Coffee, cigarettes, physical exercises give a short-term and very weak effect. Over time, sleep can overtake the patient even during activities. The patient with narcolepsy during drowsiness attacks feel like a person who has not slept for several days. If something like this occurs, you should immediately contact a specialist.
How Is Narcolepsy Diagnosed?
At the beginning of the medical diagnosis, the doctor evaluates the overall health state of the patient. This makes possible to exclude other diseases that cause symptoms of narcolepsy. To do this, a large-scale physical examination and a general history of the disease are made.
To make the diagnosis, polysomnography and the MSLT test are used. Polysomnography is the recording of brain currents, pulse, eye movement, etc. To The skin with sensors are attached patient and he left alone in the room in a calm state. This allows us to evaluate the processes occurring in his nervous system. With the established diagnosis, polysomnography results allow to track the levels and course of the disease.
The MSLT test is performed shortly after polysomnography. The patient under supervision needs to fall asleep for 20 minutes and during a dream the currents of his brain will be recorded. Such “falling asleep” is carried out several times with intervals in several hours. It lets to know, what stage of sleep occurs unhealthy.
Can Smart Pills for Narcolepsy Be Prescribed?
Smart pills are the drugs created to struggle the sleepiness. They cause the improvement of mental abilities and increase concentration. They were created with taking into account all information about how does narcolepsy occur. Patients with narcolepsy using such drugs can avoid sudden drowsiness and stop the attacks of sleep.
Also, pills help such people to do their work, don’t give up from hobbies and to live a normal life. The “smart pills” are mostly based on Modafinil – an analeptic, struggling with drowsiness. Since this substance in some countries is considered a prohibited neuroleptic, there are “smart pills” which were created with other active component. As example – Nuvigil.
In the ModafinilXL online pharmacy you can buy drugs for treatment of narcolepsy by cheap prices. All our medicines are high quality, original, tested and medically approved. After making order the buyer will receive them within a week, in any city of USA. When ordering drugs on sum more than $150, the delivery becomes free. The buyer can spare money by paying for the purchase in Bitcoins. In this case, he will get a 25% discount.