Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that causes excessive daytime drowsiness EDS and falling asleep without warning. Cataplexy is also a symptom which causes the loss of muscle tone and possibly brief periods of paralysis. This can be a serious illness if the narcolepsy sufferer falls asleep while driving or other activities that requires full attention. The actual cause of narcolepsy is unknown but it is considered to be a neurological and sleep disorder problem.

Although there is no cure for narcolepsy a drug called modafinil has been approved by the FDA. Antidepressants are also prescribed along with behavioral modifications. Regular sleep habits and scheduled naps are suggested for narcolepsy patients. Medication and behavioral changes help patients with the most severe symptoms such as EDS and cataplexy but they don’t cure the narcolepsy.

Some patients over sixty see a decrease in the narcolepsy as they get older.

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