It is mainly a neurological condition which causes patients excessive sleepiness, which involves chronic occurrence of sleepiness during the day time. In such a disease patients tend to have a nap at inappropriate times. It is an uncommon sleep disorder and patients suffering from narcolepsy recur episodes of naps which due to take place at different time intervals. This is majorly due to abnormal occurrence of sleep or can tend to happen due to abnormal specific sleep organisms. The patients suffering from narcolepsy experience disorders during sleep, but the symptoms can be manifested in the daytime.
The only diagnosis of such disease is a sleep test which is also known as polysomnogram. The patients suffering from such disease complain that they feel sleepy or tired most of the time. This mostly happens at that time when the others usually don’t sleep, for example when one is watching a movie or driving a car. Patients suffering may end up sleeping in the middle of an exciting movie or while driving. This disease is quite dangerous as the patients suffering might sleep at inappropriate times without knowing the importance of staying awake.
There are four symptoms which can be seen in a narcoleptic patient such as; sleeping during the daytimes, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations. These symptoms can occur at once or might take some time over some years. The symptom patient’s of narcolepsy face, such as cataplexy can have a negative effect on their body which may result in a decrease or a complete loss of muscle power, triggering emotions such as laughing, anger, or surprise. This will have an effect on patient’s muscular organisms or might even a total failure to withstand ground.
Such disease varies from patients to patients and last only for a few minutes. The percentage of patients of narcolepsy which experience sleep paralysis is quite high which ranges from 40 to 65 percent, in which a patient might not move or even speak. Another type which patients of narcolepsy undergo is hypnagogic, in such a disorder patients experience images while sleeping which may be quite vivid. Other than these symptoms patients may also suffer from double vision or complete memory loss. (Introduction to narcolepsy, 1) Causes of Narcolepsy
The main causes of narcolepsy are being under study for the last few years. There have been some a new finding due to which narcolepsy is caused, which involves abnormalities in a particular group of nerve cells which are known as the hypocretin neurons. So the main cause of which narcolepsy is caused is brain, as these nerves are found in brains which are called, hypothalamus. Brain when lacking hypocretin chemical causes the stimulation process of the brain to stop working properly, which causes people with narcolepsy. The causes for this lack of hypocretin chemical are still unrevealed.
But, some of the causes are being stated as stress and injury to brain. This injury to brain can cause some brain cells to stop working properly. Some of the other factors which combine to cause this chemical to decrease are infections or change in hormones. More research has found out that some patients suffering from narcolepsy, and their related also suffered from this disease. This means that some patients have a tendency to inherit this disease from their ancestors or relatives, as they also suffered from this disorder.
After this cause for narcolepsy was found out, research was made and was identified that gene also causes narcolepsy. But, most of the people don’t relate narcolepsy to any other relative, which also means that if a person doesn’t have his relatives suffering from narcolepsy, they can still, be affected by this disease. (Causes of Narcolepsy, 1) Symptoms of Narcolepsy Many people are unaware of this disease and don’t realize that this is a chronic disease which is affected from the central nervous systems. The most major symptom of narcolepsy is extreme sleepiness at the daytime.
This symptom took many years until it was finally diagnosed, which was due to the people suffering from such disease would only consult their doctors after few years unaware of the fact that they were suffering from such major disease. Narcolepsy being a very uncontrollable disease and undiagnostic disease affects the victims and frustrates them. It is such kind of a disease which when cured still has effects on the suffering person, which leads to accidents. There are still many people’s who were suffering from narcolepsy, and are still undiagnosed.
There is cure to narcolepsy, which is from using special medical procedures and is a simple process. If the person is suffering from narcolepsy and the disease is found it can be cured by following simple steps. To find out the symptoms of this disease normally the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) are mild, so test are conducted for sleep latency and nocturnal polysomnogram. There are many symptoms of narcolepsy, but one of the main symptoms is extreme sleepiness during the daytime and abnormality in the rapid eye movement sleep.
This disease is not known by the people but is a very dangerous and a very serious disease. Researchers can grab this opportunity and research about central mechanism which relates to alertness and rapid eye movement sleep. Rapid eye movement is a major symptom of narcolepsy as it can cause more symptoms such as cataplexy, sleep paralysis and hallucinations. Other symptoms of narcolepsy include automatic behavior, in which the patients suffering tend to do things without any consciousness in nocturnal sleep. These symptoms vary from patient to patient.
Narcolepsy can occur in young teenagers, adults with no regards to gender or race. Mainly the first symptom which is found in a person suffering from narcolepsy is excessive sleepiness in the daytime. People don’t tend to notice this disease until and unless the disease gets worst over some time period. Patients suffering from this disease can live a normal life by following some simple formula’s by changing their living style, and timely medication. (Narcolepsy and Symptoms, 1) Narcolepsy Tests and Diagnosis
For declaring that a person is suffering from the narcolepsy it is necessary to check properly that whether the symptoms of narcolepsy are occurring in a person or not. If the symptoms are there then the treatment should get started. The confirmation should be done that whether the disorder is existing or not and this can be done by tracking the sleeping routine of a person and observing its time period and timings and along with tracking the sleeping routine few tests should also be conducted so that it can get confirmed that the person is suffering with this disorder.
To determine the disease in a patient different tests are being held such as below: 1. Actigraphy: This is a test which is held at homes in which sleep-wake cycles are being tracked by the help of small devices such as a wristwatch. 2. Polysomnogram: In such type of a test different sensors are being applied to the patient’s skin surface to record brain wave activity, movements of eyes, level of oxygen, heart rate and activity of muscle. All this is recorded at the time of sleeping.
Such types of tests are being under held to rectify other disorders in sleep which can cause excessive sleepiness such as; obstructive or central sleep apnea. 3. Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT): Tests are conducted at different time periods and patients are asked to fall asleep at the time interval of two hours for a series of four to five naps. Patients suffering from disease fall asleep quickly and enter rapid eye movement sleep, stage of dream sleep, without taking much time. Another key characteristic of narcolepsy is SOREMPS (sleep onset rapid eye movement periods).
This test is conducted the next day, after polysomnogram. (Narcolepsy Diagnosis, 1) Generally the time period to confirm the disease in a patient takes a year or more than that. This takes systematic process, which undergoes clinical evaluating the patient, specific questionnaires to help determine the symptoms, recording of sleep logs are conducted. Also laboratory tests are conducted to test positive that the patient is suffering from narcolepsy. Doctors also take medical tests, check on family histories and ask the patient as to what medication he/she has been in taking.
Sometimes the patients are supposed to visit sleep center to undergo tests and in depth analysis to fully examine if the patient is suffering from narcolepsy. (Narcolepsy Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment, 1) Narcolepsy Medication and Treatment If a person is suffering with a problem or disease then for sure he should go and look for the medication of that disease. Same is the case of narcolepsy; if a person is suffering with narcolepsy then he should not ignore this problem and immediately should contact his doctor. This is a sleeping disorder and it should be treated.
Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder that can even makes your doctor to take weeks or even months for understanding and then recommending the proper treatment to you. It is a fact that no proper medication has been discovered for the narcolepsy but still some medication is being used for the treatment to some extent. With the passage of time if the treatment is kept continues then it can gradually improve or in other words the sleeping can get managed. A combination of different medication and behavioral therapies can be used to treat the rising symptoms of the narcolepsy.
The medication of the narcolepsy begins from reducing the duration of sleep during the day time or in other words it can be said as eliminating the EDS (Excessive Daytime Sleep). It is also tried to reduce the cataplexy. Both of the problems of cataplexy and EDS are treated individually. It is not necessary that the result of the treatment is same for all the people who are treated. For some the treatment can bring more improvements and for some people it can do not much. When it comes to use drugs for the medication then the use of antidepressants and stimulants are common.
Stimulants are basically used for reducing the duration of sleep in day time. The antidepressants are used for dealing with the impacts of cataplexy and also the antidepressants work for minimizing the symptoms of hypnagogic hallucinations and it also eliminates the danger of sleep paralysis. Ritalin (Methylphenidate) and Provigil (Modafinil, dextroamphetamine) and Pemoline (Cylert) are the medicines that are mostly prescribed and these are the stimulants. Few categories of anticataplectic medicines are mostly used for the treatment of narcolepsy.
There are the medicines that are mainly used for affecting those chemicals that are residing in the human brain and are causing the narcolepsy. The names of these three medicines are Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MOIs), Tricyclic antidepressants and Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB). These formulas come in different medicines and are used for bringing the routine of the brain to the normal. These kinds of medicines that are mostly used in the treatment of narcolepsy should not be used for long time periods as if they are being taken for long then they can also loose their effectiveness.
Doctors and physicians also use the behavioral therapies for the treatment of this disorder. By using the behavioral therapy doctors make some changes in the routine and life style of the people which affect the sleeping time and routine to the large extent and it is improved in most of the cases. The behavioral therapy tries to make the duration of sleeping time of eight hours at night. The therapy forces to eliminate the use of any kind of drug that affects the sleeping habit. Following are some of the changes that are tried to bring in a person facing the disorder of narcolepsy so that this problem can be treated.
• Developing the habit of taking short naps during the time can also helps time can also helps in maintaining the sleeping disorder. • Developing the habit of taking a proper and balanced diet. • Developing the habit of doing exercise. • The place where the sleep is being taken should be clean, quiet, calm, peaceful and free of distractions. • The habit of taking meals just before sleeping is not a good habit as it creates dizziness so it should be ended up. • The food that makes it hard for you to sleep should be avoided. This food includes all the foods that contain caffeine.
• Alcohol and tobacco should not be taken much I taken much in the diet. • Chromatherapy and aromatherapy are the two ways that can also bring the natural sleep back to the routine. These are the few most common medications that are taken for the treatment of this sleeping disorder. (Narcolepsy treatment, 1) Conclusion We can conclude that narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder that affects the central nervous system. This disease like all other diseases should be treated but for treatment first this problem should be diagnosed.
For diagnoses there are many different ways like checking for the symptoms and then performing different tests for making sure that the problem persists. The most common symptom of narcolepsy is the excessive daytime sleep and this occurs in all the patients of narcolepsy. People generally do not take this disorder seriously and just ignore it but this is not the right practice and like all other diseases this should also be treated on time. This disorder if not taken seriously and is not treated over time then it may also lead to many severe problems like sleep paralysis, distortion of perceptions and also loss in muscle tones.
The degree of severity continue increasing and it gradually becomes a chronic disorder therefore it is advised that it should be treated on time. Medications and behavioral therapies are the most common treatments for this disorder. The medicines are given so that the day time sleeping time duration can be reduced and anti depressants are also given. In behavioral therapies it is trued to bring the changes in the life style so that the sleeping habits can come to a fixed routine and normal sleep is being taken.
With the advancements in the field of medicine many medications, drugs and other treatments have been introduced which must be taken so that this problem can be treated. Works Cited An Introduction to Narcolepsy and Daytime Sleepiness http://www. talkaboutsleep. com/sleep-disorders/archives/Narcolepsy_intro. htm Accessed March 8, 2009 Narcolepsy Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment http://www. narcolepsysymptoms. com/causes-of-narcolepsy. html Accessed March 8, 2009 Causes of Narcolepsy http://www. narcolepsysymptoms. com/causes-of-narcolepsy. html Accessed March 8, 2009
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