Narcolepsy is a permanent, neurological disorder that strikes the patient’s control of insomnia and sleep. Your patients may feel extreme daytime sleepiness (EDS) and obstinate, intermittent sleep attacks.
These sudden sleep events can occur at any time throughout the day and any sort of activity. If we analyze a normal sleep cycle, people first enter into the initial sleep stages followed by deeper staging’s of sleep. Later about 90 minutes what starts is the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
When the subjects suffer from narcolepsy, however, they fall instantly into REM sleep, sometimes nearly immediately, during their waking hours. Normally, narcolepsy strikes people who are in between 15 to 25 years old, still, it can happen at any age. On many occasions, narcolepsy goes undiagnosed and untreated.
What Causes Narcolepsy?
There is no recognized cause of narcolepsy, but specialists have been building progress in identifying genes that are considerably connected with this illness. It’s these genes that control chemical structure in the patient’s brain that signal awake and sleep cycles. Exceptional experts experience a lack of brain’s production of the specific chemical hypocretin is what prompts narcolepsy.
Additionally, researchers have found anomalies in different regions of the brain that help coordinate REM sleep. These anomalies add to the development of symptoms. And, authorities estimate that there’s a probability that narcolepsy hits numerous factors that combine to cause REM sleep disturbances and neurological dysfunction.
What Are The Symptoms Of Narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy symptoms involve excessive daytime sleepiness which leads to an overwhelming sense of exhaustion and tiredness during the day.
Generally, EDS hinders the patients’ everyday movements notwithstanding whether they had enough sleep the night before or not. If the patient has EDS, they’ll hopefully report a lack of concentration or energy, mental cloudiness, a depressed mood, mindfulness lapses and/or extreme fatigue.
One can observe sleep attacks happening in the and the patient having an overwhelming urge to relax or take micro-naps, which lets the patient fall unconscious for several moments. The sufferer also might get a poor sleep state due to confused sleep-wake patterns.
Other symptoms include cataplexy or episodes of no voluntary muscle restriction or reflex. The patient experiences broken speech, slack jaw, total weakness in their arms, legs, face, and trunk or buckled knees without much warning during strong emotions like surprise, joy, or anger.
Hallucinations or visual displays patient experiences when they’re awakening or dropping asleep. These hallucinations are typically terrifying and expressive. They’re normally visible. Still, any of their senses may be affected. During arousal, these are called hypnopompic hallucinations, while throughout sleep onset, they are called hypnagogic illusions.
How Is Narcolepsy Diagnosed?
A doctor takes the exhaustive medical history of the patient and conducts a physical exam. These are the primary first steps in gaining an accurate diagnosis. From here, the doctor will likely refer the patient to the sleep technologist who can perform specialized tests in the sleep lab or clinic to authenticate the diagnosis. Two basic tests one needs to complete to confirm a narcolepsy diagnosis are the multiple sleep latency test and polysomnogram test.
Polysomnogram (PSG) Test
Polysomnogram testing can help to recognize if the patient encounters episodes of REM sleep during his sleep cycle at abnormal times, thereby excluding the likelihood that the symptoms they’re encountering are due to different conditions. When the patient shows clear-cut cataplexy with their narcolepsy, you still require to conduct a sleep study to rule out other possible sleep disorders like sleep apnea that contribute to EDS.
Take Away About The Disorder
Narcolepsy is a lifetime sleep disorder that can strike anyone. The characteristics of narcolepsy are extreme daytime sleepiness and sleep interventions. The sufferer might not understand they have narcolepsy.
Sleep disorders are common because of our stressed life style and needs to be checked when needed. But when the same sleep takes a dreadful form you need to get it checked by the best psychiatrist in Delhi, Dr Vimal Kumar.