Outline and Evaluate the Narcolepsy

424 Words2 Pages
Narcolepsy usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood, and continues through the personâs life. It is thought that 1 in 2000 people suffer from narcolepsy but it is difficult to get an accurate measure of incidence as some people only have mild symptoms or just donât go to their doctors. Sufferers experience sudden and uncontrollable attacks of sleep at irregular and unexpected times. The two main symptoms are feeling sleepy a lot of the time, and losses of muscular control, episodes triggered by emotional arousal such as anger, fear, amusement, stress or anxiety. Other symptoms can include hallucinations and sleep paralysis - both experienced either when falling asleep or when waking up, and frequent waking up when asleep at night. There have been three explanations put forward for the explaining narcolepsy, in the 1960s it was considered that it occurred as a result of a malfunction in the systems which maintain REM sleep, Vogel (1960) found that REM sleep occurred at the onset of sleep in narcoleptics. This explained some of the symptoms of the disorder, such as the loss of muscle tone - found in REM sleep and the hallucinations - seen as REM-type sleep and dreams intruding into the day. A second explanation was in the 1980s research suggested that it was linked to a mutation of the immune system. Honda et al (1983) found an increased frequency of one type of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) in patients. HLA molecules coordinate the immune response and are found on the surface of white blood cells. HLA link continues to be researched though the specific HLA variant found most commonly in narcoleptics is not found in all narcoleptics and is also reasonably common in the general population. This means that HLA cannot be the sole explanation Lastly, in the 1990s research has shown a link between low levels of hypocretin -a neurotransmitter and the

More about Outline and Evaluate the Narcolepsy

Open Document