In people with narcolepsy, this leads to both excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep problems at night. None of the medications currently available allow people with narcolepsy to consistently maintain a completely normal state of alertness. But excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy, the most disabling symptoms of the condition, can be controlled in most patients with drug treatment. There are currently no medications available that allow people diagnosed with narcolepsy to maintain a constant level of alertness. The main symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy can be controlled with medication.
The symptoms of narcolepsy can have significant consequences for a patient’s health and well-being. Accidents are an urgent concern, as sleep attacks, drowsiness and cataplexy can be life-threatening while driving or in other environments where safety is critical. It is estimated that people with narcolepsy are three to four times more likely to be involved in a car accident.
They often experience vivid hallucinations while falling asleep or waking up. Affected individuals often have realistic and disturbing dreams and can display their dreams by moving excessively or talking while sleeping. Many people with narcolepsy also experience sleep paralysis, which is an inability to move or speak for a short period of time while falling asleep or waking up. The combination of hallucinations, vivid dreams and sleep paralysis is often frightening and unpleasant for affected individuals. Many people with narcolepsy experience weakness and sudden loss of voluntary muscle tone. This often happens during moments of intense emotions such as laughter, anger, euphoria, and/or surprise.
Less often, there may be vivid hallucinations or inability to move while sleeping or waking up. People with narcolepsy tend to sleep about the same number of hours a day as people without narcolepsy, but sleep quality tends to decrease. The MSLT assesses daytime sleepiness by measuring how quickly a person falls asleep and whether they Cheap modafinil enter REM sleep. The day after PSG, a person is asked to take five short naps, separated by two hours over the course of a day. If a person falls asleep in less than 8 minutes on average during the five naps, this indicates excessive daytime sleepiness. However, people with narcolepsy also have REM sleep that starts abnormally quickly.
Narcolepsy is believed to be the result of genetic predisposition, abnormal neurotransmitter function and sensitivity, and abnormal immune modulation. The PSG is a nightly test that takes multiple continuous measurements, including heart rate, oxygen level, respiratory rate, eye and leg movements, and brain waves while you sleep. A PSG shows how quickly you fall asleep, how often you wake up at night and how often REM sleep is disturbed. This test also helps to determine if your symptoms are caused by another condition, such as obstructive sleep apnea. Most people with narcolepsy show disturbances in normal sleep patterns, with frequent awakening.
During a severe catapplectic attack, speech and movement can become difficult or impossible, although there is no loss of consciousness. Random fall asleep and other forms of excessive daytime sleepiness occur in the form of sudden, irresistible sleep attacks, continuous disabling drowsiness, and microsleeps. Microsleeps are short intrusions of sleep into wakefulness that can make driving dangerous. Uncontrollable sleep can be seen as laziness and negatively affects work performance and personal relationships. Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally.
They will look for a history of excessive daytime sleepiness and episodes of sudden loss of muscle tone. Up to 10% of people who have narcolepsy have a family member who also has the condition. Narcolepsy occurs in people of all ages, but the first sign of daytime sleepiness usually appears in the teens or twenties. Because the symptoms of narcolepsy mimic depression, other sleep disorders, or other diseases, it can go undiagnosed and left untreated for years. Although each case is different, excessive daytime sleepiness is usually the first symptom that appears. Symptoms such as hallucinations, sleep paralysis and cataplexy may follow, says Manjamalai Sivaraman, MD, FAASM, a specialist in sleep medicine and neurologist at the University of Missouri.
Children with narcolepsy can fall asleep at any time during a 24-hour day. Although children are very sleepy, they may not sleep well at night. Children with narcolepsy may also have difficulty “seeing their dreams while awake” or hallucinating, or feel like they can’t move at night when they want to.
It is often caused by sudden, strong emotions such as laughter, fear, anger, stress or excitement. Symptoms of cataplexy may appear weeks or even years after the onset of EDS. Some people have only one or two seizures in life, while others may experience many seizures per day. In about 10 percent of narcolepsy cases, cataplexy is the first symptom that appears and can be misdiagnosed as an epileptic condition. Seizures can be mild and involve only a brief feeling of minor weakness in a limited number of muscles, such as a slight drooping eyelids. More severe attacks result in a total collapse of the body in which people are unable to move, speak or keep their eyes open.