This paper discusses narcolepsy basing on four categories. What is narcolepsy? An introduction to narcolepsy. Two causes of narcolepsy, and brief discussion defining basing on Manley et al. Diagnosis and methods of treatment as stated by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Narcolepsy is associated with sleep disorder. Manley defines narcolepsy as a neurological disorder of sleep regulation with a strong genetic component. It is different from insomnia though both carry similar characteristics. Both are characterized by what we can identify as excessive daytime sleepiness. Contrary, narcolepsy differs from insomnia in a manner that the person suffering from it experience sudden short refreshing naps.


Though discovered earlier, its causes were not clearly defined. Recently, researchers can link the condition to either three of the following as causes. Hereditary from a family member, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, find that some people may inherit a gene that affects hypocretin. Up to 10 percent of people who have narcolepsy report having a relative who has the same symptoms. Its relation to other family members can be associated through genes. Another cause can be associated with brain injuries states NHLBI. This can vary from brain tumors, stroke, or trauma as stated in the article. Others probable cause are autoimmune disorders, where the body’s immune system attacks the body cells and tissues, and lower levels of histamine.


Manley et al. identifies two approaches that can be used to diagnose patients with narcolepsy. One makes the diagnosis only on the basis of clinical symptoms and cures. Similar to the approach used in DSM-IV-TR in which the sleep must be accompanied by cataplexy or REM intrusion phenomena states Manley, et al. The second method is by observing a patient in a sleep laboratory and using diagnostic markers. The study is done onset of REM. Narcolepsy is confirmed if the time taken to fall asleep for each nap and the presence of REM sleep in two or more naps.


According to Plante, trials to treat narcolepsy have extensively characterized the dose response impact to sodium axybate on the enhancement of nocturnal sleep, improvement of cataplexy and the improvement of EDS. These finding support the view that sodium oxybate may be the optimal first-line agent for the treatment of narcolepsy with cataplexy. Other methods involve changes in lifestyle that may reduce narcolepsy symptoms. Use of medicines, such as stimulants to raise and ease daytime sleepiness states the article at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.