Immunology

New proof that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disease

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered autoreactive cells in persons suffering from narcolepsy. This is a new, important proof that the sleep disorder is an autoimmune disease. This knowledge may lead ...

Neuroscience

Change in brain cells linked to opiate addiction, narcolepsy

Two discoveries—one in the brains of people with heroin addiction and the other in the brains of sleepy mice—shed light on chemical messengers in the brain that regulate sleep and addiction, UCLA researchers say.

Attention deficit disorders

Study points to potential misuse/abuse of ADHD drugs

A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study indicates that methylphenidate, a central nervous system stimulant approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, may be subject to misuse ...

Neuroscience

Why we still don't understand sleep, and why it matters

One of my first jobs was to keep a lookout for lions. There are some occupations that are not suitable for someone with untreated narcolepsy and this is probably one of them. I was 22, a recent zoology graduate studying meerkats ...

Immunology

A real eye-opener: Narcolepsy bears classic autoimmune hallmarks

Narcoleptics suffer from bouts of sleepiness and sleep attacks, which impair their ability to function in daily life. But the precise cause of narcolepsy has long eluded scientists, and the cure for the devastating neurological ...

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Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder, or dyssomnia, characterized by an excessive urge to sleep at inappropriate times, such as while at work. People with narcolepsy often experience disturbed nocturnal sleep and an abnormal daytime sleep pattern, which often is confused with insomnia. Narcoleptics, when falling asleep, generally experience the REM stage of sleep within 10 minutes; whereas most people do not experience REM sleep until an hour or so later.

Another one of the many problems that some narcoleptics experience is cataplexy, a sudden muscular weakness brought on by strong emotions (though many people experience cataplexy without having an emotional trigger). It often manifests as muscular weaknesses ranging from a barely perceptible slackening of the facial muscles to the dropping of the jaw or head, weakness at the knees, or a total collapse. Usually speech is slurred and vision is impaired (double vision, inability to focus), but hearing and awareness remain normal. In some rare cases, an individual's body becomes paralyzed and muscles become stiff.

Narcolepsy is a neurological sleep disorder. It is not caused by mental illness or psychological problems. It is most likely affected by a number of genetic abnormalities that affect specific biologic factors in the brain, combined with an environmental trigger during the brain's development, such as a virus.

The term narcolepsy derives from the French word narcolepsie created by the French physician Jean-Baptiste-Édouard Gélineau by combining the Greek νάρκη (narkē, "numbness" or "stupor"), and λῆψις (lepsis), "attack" or "seizure".

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA