- Narcolepsy symptoms
- Narcolepsy reasons
- Treatment of the Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy (from other - Greek — catalepsy, a dream and — an attack; synonyms: the narcoleptic disease, Zhelino's disease, an essential narcolepsy) — the disease of a nervous system relating to hypersomnias is characterized by day attacks of insuperable drowsiness and attacks of sudden backfilling, cataplexy attacks, that is sudden loss of a muscle tone at clear consciousness, disturbances of a night dream, emergence gipnagogichesky (when backfilling) and gipnapompichesky (when awakening) hallucinations. The short-term paralysis of a body (impossibility to move hands and legs) right after awakening is sometimes noted.
4 main manifestations:
1. Sharp day drowsiness and attacks of sudden backfilling
2. Cataplexy (attacks of sudden weakness)
3. Decubitus paralitis
4. Gipnagogicheskiye (when backfilling) and gipnapompichesky (when awakening) hallucinations
Prevalence of a narcolepsy makes 5-7 on 10000 people. Usually the narcolepsy develops at the age of 20-50 years, is more often at men. The hereditary nature of a disease is supposed.
The narcolepsy can be shown (especially at the beginning of a disease) only by one of above-mentioned symptoms. Eventually the picture of a disease can change in connection with accession of other symptoms of a narcolepsy.
Below we will in detail stop on characteristic manifestations of a narcolepsy:
1. Sharp day drowsiness and attacks of sudden backfilling, as a rule, are in the afternoon the first symptoms of a narcolepsy. Drowsiness is so heavy that patients fall asleep despite extreme unwillingness of it or absolutely improper situation. It is especially dangerous if the person is connected with the professions requiring special attention. Day backfillings can repeat several times a day and last from several seconds to several minutes. At episodes of a day dream there is a gradual hypophrasia, then "falling" of the head and full switching off of consciousness in the beginning. At the same time patients, as a rule, nevertheless manage to accept the pose convenient for a dream. After awakening patients feel cheerfulness and inflow of forces. However in several hours the expressed drowsiness develops again.
2. The cataplexy is an attack of sudden weakness against the background of strong positive or negative emotions (laughter, surprise, sexual intercourse, crying, anger). Weakness is caused by an atonia. The attack can develop so quickly that the patient can fall and be traumatized. Duration of an attack fluctuates from several seconds to several minutes. Backfilling can follow it.
3. Gipnagogicheskiye (during backfilling) and gipnapompichesky (during awakening) hallucinations — the bright acoustic or visual visions similar to a dream arising during backfilling or awakening. They are called still by "waking dreams" as the person realizes that he does not sleep yet, but already begins to have a dream. At the same time visions are implemented into a surrounding situation: on a bedroom people or fantastic creations can go. The person can hear voices, music or to see light flashes. Usually these visions are followed by fear and alarm.
4. A decubitus paralitis — the state which is characterized by a full immovability after awakening. The person is in full consciousness and adequately estimates a situation, but cannot move. Only an opportunity to blink and move eyes is kept. The decubitus paralitis is more often noted in the morning, but can arise in evening and night time. This situation happens very frightening, especially in case of frightening hallucinations against the background of an immovability. The attack can last from several seconds to several minutes and comes to an end with gradual recovery of control of the movements.
So far the reasons of development of a narcolepsy are insufficiently studied. According to a number of specialists, the lack of orexin (hypocretin), biologically active agent of the brain regulating processes of backfilling and awakening is their cornerstone. The therapy offered today is capable to soften disease symptoms, but does not help to get rid of it.
Treatment of the Narcolepsy:
Unfortunately, the narcolepsy is not curable. However the supporting treatment can improve quality of life of the patient considerably. Medicamentous therapy consists in purpose of the excitants reducing day drowsiness, and also purposes of drugs weakening symptoms of a cataplexy or a decubitus paralitis. Use of these means has to be carried out under strict medical control.
It is necessary to pay special attention to hygiene of a dream. It is required to provide a sufficient night dream, and also a dream in the afternoon 1-2-3 times 30-60 minutes. It is necessary to resolve an issue of choice of profession which allows not to adhere to the tough schedule of a dream and wakefulness, and also it is not interfaced using the means or mechanisms requiring special attention.