Narcolepsy Definition, Causes and Symptoms

Narcolepsy definition includes a sleep disorder that is associated with indocile sleepiness and frequent sleepiness during the day time in spite of having slept in the night without any disturbance.

After having looked at narcolepsy definition as a chronic neurological disorder that influences particular portion of the human brain governing the wishes and requirements of falling asleep and when to be awake, it is now important to know causes and symptoms…

Causes of Narcolepsy

After knowing the narcolepsy definition another important thing you must know is the causes of narcolepsy. Health experts continue struggling learning the root causes of narcolepsy. The general unanimity is that a genetic factor, accompanied by certain environmental triggers like viruses, for example can influence the brain chemicals responsible to develop narcolepsy. Scientists also revealed that the person who lacks in hypocretin (also known as orexin), a brain chemical responsible for activating arousal and regulating the urge of sleep.

People suffering from narcolepsy usually do not have adequate Hcrt cells (the neurons responsible for secreting a brain chemical hypocretin) that inhibits their capability for fully controlling their wakefulness and tendency for falling asleep.

Symptoms of Narcolepsy include…

  • Cataplexy (loss of control over the muscles) is quite common. A person suffering from narcolepsy often faces a sudden loss of control over muscles while awake. This is generally triggered by powerful emotion like laughing too loud.
  • Nighttime wakefulness is another problem seen in patients with narcolepsy. People with narcolepsy might suffer from periods of wakefulness during nights, with hot flashes, increased heart beats, and in some cases, even intense alertness.
  • Hallucinations can be seen in these patients. Some patients labeled with narcolepsy face vivid, unusual fear, visual or auditory sensation when they are sleeping or just after waking.
  • Microsleep is a unique feature that we find in patients with narcolepsy. Microsleep is a very small sleep episode lasting for several minutes. During microsleep, the victims amazingly continue functioning (talking, keeping things away, etc.), and then when we awake them, they have no memory of those involuntary activities.
  • The victims of narcolepsy may also face rapid entry into REM sleep. Narcoleptics got unusual sleep cycle. The sufferers get into the state of the REM, start dreaming, or enter phase of sleepiness soon after falling asleep where most of patients require one and a half hour for entering the REM phase. In some cases of narcolepsy, the patient experiences the characteristics of bright dreams and weakness of the muscles in the beginning of falling asleep, even though that is during the day
  • Sleep paralysis: Sleep paralysis is incapability for moving or talking in the beginning or end of the sleep.

Since now you have learned about narcolepsy definition, causes, signs and symptoms, you are in a better position to understand the ailment and taking the narcolepsy medication earliest possible.

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