How to Diagnose Sleep Disorders : Causes of Narcolepsy


It’s not exactly known to the sleep disorders
community what particularly causes narcolepsy. It’s know that it’s a dysfunction of the hypothalamus
which is a part of the brain that’s thought to regulate sleep and wakefulness. The way
I was taught to see it, in my time working at sleep disorders, is to imagine a series
of light switches and the switches are what in the brain regulates us for sleep and wake
and in people with narcolepsy these switches are set wrong and tend to mis-set themselves
throughout the course of the day and night. It’s also been found in research with animals
that a hormone in the brain called hypocretin is at a deficiency in dogs and cats who experience
narcolepsy, but that study hasn’t been carried over to humans yet and it’s not yet known
the role of hypocretin in human narcolepsy. They have theories that hypocretin is involved,
but there’s no treatments based yet upon this theory. Narcolepsy does have genetic connections
to it, especially narcolepsy with cataplexy. We can use a blood test to look for a genetic
marker which appears in a percentage of the population that has no narcoleptics, no narcoleptic
symptoms, but in narcolepsy with cataplexy we find the genetic marker in sixty percent
of patients.

Comments 9

  • Wooo first to comment! yeah i have bad sleeping orders. I dont know how to stay awake in class. i feel as though i can fall asleep anywhere any time.

  • Is this what you would call sleep paralysis? Either when im falling a sleep, am a sleep, or waking up my eyes shoot open and i can't move but my mind is perfectly awake. I can move my eyes around and it last a little bit before i can move, half the time it happens i hallucinate voices, and ….other creepy stuff i KNOW are not real. Is this that?

  • this is why expert village is NOT the place to go for advice SWITCHES? DUDE ONLY COMPUTERS HAVE SWITCHES 0 represents off and 1 Represents on thats what the blinking light is dude go bak to school humans cannot be compared to computer thoughts

  • @
    Yes what you describe is exactly whats sleep paralysis is.
    And the hearing/seeing things while falling asleep/waking up is hypnagogic hallusionations. You should go see your doctor if you haven't allready. Sleep paralysis and hallucinations can happen with normal people also, but it is far more prevalent with people with narcolepsy

  • @Nat5184 would I see a normal doctor about this?

  • @animegirlkat
    Yes you would and really should! Your GP would then be able to redirect you to an appropriate sleep-specialist / neurologist. Sorry for taking so long time anwering, and please feel free to write me if you need to. I have narcolepsy myself. *Best of luck* /Natasha

  • @Nat5184 What do you do to convince them to do so? Do all doctors usually refuse help like mine? I told them I was probably anaemic, they didn't give me a blood test for over a year, until I was severely anaemic. They won't test me for just allergies, ignored my worsening Tachycardia.
    I've had sleeping issues which they don't think are that bad; they say no one died from lack of sleep. I thought it was insomnia, but even if it's narcolepsy, I just don't think they'll do anything. =[

  • @igirisuXjin
    Hi. I just wrote you a (rather long) message trying to answer your question 🙂
    I hope it helps you in some way 🙂
    I really don't want another person to suffer, the way I have suffered.
    All the best, and go read my message 🙂 !

  • I have narcolepsy & I think its caused by stress,cuz I didn't start falling asleep all the time till I got extremely stressed!

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