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Narcolepsy Notes

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Incidence and symptoms:

Affects 1 in 2000 people - difficult to get accurate measure of incidence as some people only have mild symptoms or don't go to doctors Sudden and uncontrollable attacks of sleep, often triggered by emotional arousal Symptoms of feeling sleepy and loss of muscular control, hallucinations and waking up during the night - side effect or symptom?
Could be biological or have psychological aspect


1960s - occurred as a result of malfunction in systems which maintain REM sleep o Vogel 1960 found REM sleep occurred at onset of sleep in narcoleptics - not normal sleep pattern o Explained symptoms such as loss of muscle tone found in REM sleep and hallucinations seen as REM type sleep intruding into the day 1980s - linked to a mutation of immune system o Honda et al 1983 found increased frequency of one type of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) in patients o HLA molecules coordinate immune response and are found on surface of white blood cells o Not able to say whether increased HLA causes narcolepsy but there is a link/ relationship 1990s - link between low levels of hypocretin and narcolepsy o Hypocretin is thought to play a role in maintaining wakefulness o Lin et al 1999 found narcoleptic dogs had a mutation in chromosome 12 which disrupted the way hypocretin was processed o Shows clearer relationship o Could this be generalised to humans - IDA - extrapolation


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