Facts about Narcolepsy

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• Narcolepsy is a neurological sleep disorder where a person experiences overwhelming sleepiness often accompanied by sudden sleep attacks.
• Symptoms of narcolepsy may include: chronic daytime sleepiness, sleep attacks, with or without cataplexy (loss of muscle control) triggered by strong emotions, sleep paralysis (temporary loss of ability to move or speak when woken up), vivid dreams, and fragmented sleep patterns.
• Onset is most often in childhood, adolescent year, or young adulthood ages 7 – 25. Narcolepsy can occur at any time of life. It is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as an emotional problem initially such as attention deficit disorder or sleep apnea before being correctly diagnosed as narcolepsy. Approximately 1 in 2,000 people have narcolepsy.
• The cause of narcolepsy is unknown, but researchers have discovered a link between a decreased brain hormone, hypocretin, and narcolepsy with cataplexy. Hypocretin is responsible for promoting alertness in the brain.
• Diagnosis is done through consultation with a sleep physician and various sleep tests.
• There is no cure for narcolepsy, but treatment of symptoms is available and successful with medications and lifestyle changes.
• Thomas Sleep Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
• Thomas Narcolepsy Center is associated with the Narcolepsy Network.