Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Knowing the Symptoms of Narcolepsy and Your Options for Treatment

Narcolepsy is no joke. Excessive sleepiness during the day is often shunned and left undiagnosed for years, often resulting in more grave problems like depression and death. Physicians don't always pinpoint narcolepsy as there are many factors that might be triggering the sleepiness. Sufferers often feel a lack of energy and extremely tired.

There are times when the severe sleepiness is suddenly felt that it is usually called an “attack.” These attacks commonly run for no more than thirty minutes, but in severe cases the sufferer can be knocked out for hours. If you have watched the mocie Deuce Bigalow and watched that girl who always falls asleep in the middle of an activity for no apparent reason, that’s an example of severe narcolepsy. Narcoleptics even have really weak memory and incorrect vision.

Most situations of narcolepsy are genetic. The hypothalamus is attacked by bad genes, stopping it from sending appropriate signals to the rest of the body. The hereditary nature of narcolepsy is compared to heart ailments only that the former happens even when not triggered.

Another potential reason for narcolepsy is a drop in cerebral proteins in the amygdala, which are accountable for keeping the hypothalamus active. The lack of the protein called hypocretin has been discovered to be very palpable in narcoleptics.

There is no identified cure for narcolepsy, but there are medications and methods that may be applied to treat some of its symptoms. The kind of treatments a narcoleptic is given depends on the severity of his or her problem; and because it is a disorder that is a challenge to address, it could take some time before the most appropriate regimen is determined.

Some of the most popular narcolepsy drugs are dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), Modafinil, and methylphenidate (Ritalin). But the medical community still recommend that they be taken along with better lifestyle habits. Caffeine is not suggested as it has not really manifested any remedying potential in the previous studies.

You will definitely need your doctor's advice if you want to use drugs. Narcolepsy is something that we must take seriously because, if left as it is, it could be morbid. Some patients have even died due to narcolepsy as they had attacks while in an activity.