Mon - Fri: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Monday – Friday8:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday Open for MRI
Sunday Closed
Migraine treatment same day as your first appointment.
or
Visit our Healow Portal
Visit our Healow Portal Call 214-619-1910
CALL 214-619-1910

What is Narcolepsy?

What is Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a nervous system disease related to hypersomnia as one of the types of sleep disorders.

It is one of the sleep disorders which is characterized by excessive and sudden falling asleep. The most common symptom is the suddenness of your urge to sleep and the inability to control it, even if it’s daytime. Unfortunately, it is a lifetime problem, as there’s no cure for it. But physicians found a special treatment that might help to ease your state. 

 

Who is at risk? It is a rare illness but it is still useful to know what people can be in more danger of. 

  • Those who have family members with sleep disorders.
  • Reduced orexin content in cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Young people (especially males) from the age of 10 to 25.

 

This illness can be rightfully regarded as a rare one. Only 3M people are struggling with it worldwide and 200,000 of these cases are in the USA. The trick with this disorder is that only 25% of all people struggling with it, received some kind of medical treatment. And because only a quarter received some kind of treatment, there must be a lot more people who didn’t even get their diagnosis. Probably that is the explanation for why the statistics are so low. Most people are simply unaware of their condition. But why is it so hard to diagnose narcolepsy? The group of various sleep disorders is probably one of the hardest groups of illnesses to diagnose and treat. 

 

We are all familiar with general notions and symptoms of sleep disorders, i.e. if it’s insomnia — difficulties falling asleep, etc. But when we face these symptoms ourselves we tend to overlook them. To know how to deal with any disease it is important to understand the causes of its occurrence. That will improve the further results of diagnostic tests and treatment. 

 

Narcolepsy Types

Narcolepsy Types and Their Stages  

 

There are 2 types of narcolepsy, which are divided due to one significant symptom — cataplexy or loss of muscle function. 

  • Type 1 is narcolepsy that is accompanied by cataplexy.
  • Type 2 is narcolepsy which is not accompanied by cataplexy.

 

Now let’s try to understand how narcolepsy affects you and what are its specifics. Understanding the mechanisms of its occurrence and progress might facilitate its diagnosis. Moreover, it will make it easier for you to define that your troubles with sleep are not so ordinary.

 

How does it affect sleep?

Generally, people without any sleep disorders experience 4 stages of sleep. Three of them belong to the NREM stage and only the last one is REM. NREM stages or stages of non-rapid eye movement are generally the transitional stages of your sleep when you are still conscious. REM is deep sleep. Here we are to explain more about stages:

 

  • Progressing into NREM sleep. The first stage is when you have only got into the bed.  It is a period of wakefulness and sleep. Usually, it takes from 10-15 minutes to fall asleep.

 

  • NREM sleep stage 2. The next stage involves your body preparing itself for sleep. That’s when your temperature drops, and your heartbeat slows down. Lasts about 20 minutes.

 

  • NREM stage 3. The final stage of preparing your body for deep sleep. That’s when the muscles relax, blood pressure and breathing rate drops down. 

 

  • REM sleep. Is the deepest stage of sleep. In this stage you see dreams and your eyes move rapidly. 

 

A person with narcolepsy doesn’t go through all the stages but immediately transits to the final stage. The main sign of it is falling into REM sleep immediately and suddenly, even while doing something. 

 

Symptoms of Narcolepsy

Symptoms of Narcolepsy

  • EDS or excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Cataplexy or loss of muscle function.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Paralysis during sleep.
  • Disrupted sleep.

 

Several basic symptoms are regarded as the ‘red’ signs of having narcolepsy:

 

EDS or excessive daytime sleepiness. When you suddenly fall asleep at any time but especially during the day, it is the most obvious sign of narcolepsy. Generally, having EDS complicates your life, as it directly disturbs you during your daytime activities. Unfortunately, it happens regardless of whether you sleeping at night.

 

Cataplexy or loss of muscle function. Common symptoms, especially for narcolepsy of the 1st type. Sometimes people with narcolepsy admit that for a long period they experienced sudden muscle weakness, before falling asleep. That’s one of the reasons why narcolepsy is so rare to be diagnosed at the beginning. Most people regard their sudden weakness and urge to sleep, as simple fatigue

 

Hallucinations. Hallucinations may occur at any time a day to you. They are usually very vivid and bright. These visions also can happen to you before falling asleep. Visions of this kind are called hypnagogic. And visions that appear straight after your awakening are called hypnopompic.

 

Paralysis during sleep. Also, one of the most common symptoms of narcolepsy. It usually occurs when you fall asleep or during sleep, and results in the full inability to move or speak. Commonly lasts a few minutes.

 

Disrupted sleep. Unfortunately, also quite a common signal of narcolepsy is caused by unstable breathing rate, disrupted REM sleep or uncontrollable body movements. 

 

Causes of Narcolepsy

Causes of Narcolepsy

  • Loss of neurons;
  • genetics;
  • heredity;
  • traumatic brain injury;
  • infections;
  • hormonal changes;
  • stress, strong emotions.

 

Physicians haven’t yet defined the exact reasons for its happening. It is known that this pathology occurs due to the occurrence of orexin (a brain neurotransmitter) that is responsible for wakefulness. But they have determined 2 possible causes:

 

Loss of neurons. The most common reason for this disorder is the loss of orexin-releasing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus. Orexin is a neuropeptide that is responsible for the processes of arousal, wakefulness, and appetite. This is not only a common cause but also a mechanism that accompanies this illness.

 

Genetics. The most obvious reason for sleep disorders’ occurrence is heritage. Researches show that if one of your family members struggled with this disease, the chances of you getting it are 20 to 40 times higher. It is strongly related to certain variations of chromosome 6 area or human leukocyte antigen. Though the mutations of HLA are not a mandatory cause for narcolepsy happening, sometimes they are found in people without narcolepsy

 

There are also a number of factors contributing to the development of narcolepsy:

  • heredity;
  • traumatic brain injury;
  • infections;
  • hormonal changes;
  • stress, strong emotions.

 

 If you suspect the symptoms of this disease, you should see a doctor. Contact us to avoid complications.

 

FAQs

  • Can I get rid of narcolepsy naturally?

No, unfortunately, no. There are plenty of different recommendations but we would advise you to ask for professional help.

  • Does caffeine help narcolepsy?

Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are usually fully excluded if you have narcolepsy. But in small doses caffeine can help.

  • How does a person get narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy usually occurs as a genetic disease or as the result of orexin deficiency. Usually, the lack of orexin is also the genetic outcome.

  • Can narcolepsy go away?

No, unfortunately, it is a lifetime problem, as there’s no cure for it. But physicians found a special treatment that might help to ease your state. 

  • Who is at risk of Narcolepsy? 
  1. Those who have family members with sleep disorders. 
  2. Reduced orexin content in cerebrospinal fluid.
  3. Young people (especially males) from the age of 10 to 25.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
Lone Star Neurology
4.4
Based on 617 reviews
powered by Google
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
Next Reviews

Please, leave your review

Write a comment: