by: Amber and Jessica
Narcolepsy is an disorder marked by excessive daytime sleepiness , uncontrollable sleep attacks , and cataplexy .Narcolepsy is the second-leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness. Persistant sleepiness and sleep attacks are the hallmark of this condition. The sleepiness has been compared to the feeling of trying to stay awake after not sleeping for two or three days. People with narcolepsy fall asleep suddenly anywhere at any time. Maybe even in the middle of a conversation.These sleep attacks can last from a few seconds to more than a hour. Depending on where they occur . They may be mildly inconveint or even dangerous to the individual. Some people continue to function outwardly during sleep episodes , such as talking or putting things away but when they wake up they have no memory of the event.
The narcolepsy attacks can occur at anytime but are often triggered by strong emotions,such as anger, joy or surprise. Other symptoms of Narcolepsy include: Sleep attacks - short , uncontrollable sleep episodes throughout the day.
- Sleep paralysis- a frightening inability to move shortly after awaking or dozing off.
-Auditory or visual hallucination intense sometimes terrifying experiences at the beginning or end of a sleep period.
-Disturbed nighttime sleep tossing and turninig , nightmares and frequent awakinings during the night.
-There is no cure for Narcolepsy. It is not progressive , and it is not fatal but it is chronic. The symptoms can be managed with medication or lifestyle adjustment. Amphetamine - like stimulant drugs are often prescribed to control drowsiness and sleep attacks. Patients who do not like taking high doses of stimulants may choose to take similar, smaller doses and "manage" their lifestyles , such as napping every few hours to relieve daytime sleepiness.
-The disorder sometimes runs in families, but most people with Narcolepsy have no relitives with the disorder. In 1999 researchers identified the gene that causes Narcolepsy. The gene allows cells in the hypothalamus to recieve messages from other cells. When this gene is abnormal , cells cannot communicate properly , and abnormal sleeping petterns develop.
There is no known way to prevent narcolepsy. Treatment may reduce the number of attacks that you have , You should try to avoid situations that aggravate the condition if you are prone to attacks of narcolepsy.
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