By Catharine Paddock PhD Around 3 million people worldwide suffer from narcolepsy or bouts of sleepiness and sleep attacks that can affect their ability to have a normal life.
Scientists have discovered that narcoleptics often are lacking in hypocretin which is a chemical in the brain that control sleep and wakefulness. A lack of this chemical may explain the sudden attacks of sleep.
Sakurai highlighted how there are about 10, hypocretin-producing cells in a normal hypothalamus, but people with narcolepsy have a significantly lower amount, resulting in low levels of the neurotransmitter hypocretin which may cause narcolepsy.
There is much support for this explanation. For example, narcoleptic dogs have been shown to have a Narcolepsy essay mutation which disrupts them processing hypocretin. Therefore, although narcolepsy is genetic in dogs although not in humans the link between a genetic mutation and hypocretin suggests that this chemical might be the key to unlocking the cause of narcolepsy in humans.
Nishino applied the findings from narcoleptic dogs and confirmed them in humans, for instance it was confirmed that human narcoleptics had lowered levels of hypocretin than normal in their celebrospinal fluid. Furthermore, the DSM 5 has stated that narcolepsy is a disorder of hypocretin and that this can be used to diagnose narcolepsy.
Although, this research highlights a correlation between hypocretin and narcolepsy, it does not establish a cause and effect between the two variables, for instance low hypocretin could be a consequence of narcolepsy.
This would suggest that narcolepsy can still be diagnosed using this chemical but not necessarily explained. Furthermore, there are questions surrounding the causes of the low levels of hypocretin.
For example, this is genetic in dogs but the evidence has not supported this in humans. It is more likely that the lower levels of hypocretin could be due to brain injury, diet, stress or the result of autoimmune attacks, thus making research into hypocretin low in internal validity.
On the other hand, researchers have found that narcolepsy might be linked to a malfunction of the neural mechanisms controlling REM sleep; this can thereby explain some of the symptoms of narcolepsy such as cataplexy, which is a loss of muscle tone.
Narcoleptics experience intrusions of REM type sleep as hallucinations when awake, and at night have abnormal REM sleep. Therefore an explanation for narcolepsy is that it is caused by a malfunction in the system that regulates REM.
Vogel supports this theory as he observed REM at the onset of sleep in a narcoleptic patient, whereas REM usually occurs later in the sleep cycle, to suggest faulty REM mechanisms.
However despite this evidence, general research support for this theory is not particularly convincing. Instead, narcolepsy is much more common in later life, not as children, when individuals experience less REM.
Alternatively, insomnia may be explained through being genetically inherited because usually a family history of persistent difficulties with sleep indicates that the disorder may be passed on. The gene may prevent the neural mechanisms that control sleep from operating. Another explanation of restlessness is poor sleep hygiene.Following is a professionally-written essay example on the topic of narcolepsy.
Be sure to read this elaborate paper at your convenience. Apr 28, · Outline for Narcolepsy Discovery • First discovery of Narcoleptic like symptoms was founded by two German doctors in the ’s.
• – by Westphal. Narcolepsy News and Research RSS. Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder, or dyssomnia. The condition is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in .
Narcolepsy Narcolepsy is a chronic neurologic disorder that affects many more Americans than originally thought. The symptoms are often delibating and . NARCOLEPSY Academic Essay. A year-old male is admitted to a hospital following a minor car accident. He was driving home and fell asleep at the wheel.
This is the third accident he has had in the past year. He also falls asleep regularly at work, at the dinner table, at church, and, in fact, anywhere. When he becomes excited or enraged, he. Narcolepsy is a unique model for dysfunction in mechanisms that regulate sleep and wakefulness.
The narcolepsy syndrome is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness with recurrent episodes of irresistible sleep, cataplexy, hypnagogic and/or hypnopompic hallucinations and sleep paralysis. The current hypothesis for the etiology of narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy Essay Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder in which a person in an active waking state shifts abruptly into several minutes of REM sleep, usually with no warning at all. As REM is the sleep stage in which most dreaming occurs, the disorder may be thought of as a sudden intrusion of dreaming sleep into the consciousness of a person who was awake a moment earlier. Physical exercise is always beneficial as well. Narcolepsy. One of the most intriguing sleep disorders is narcolepsy. “Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder caused by the brain's inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally.” (Sleep Foundation) The term narcolepsy is derivative of the Greek term numbness or . Narcolepsy and Sleep Disorders – Essay Sample Disorders associated with sleep have repercussions which are more than mere sleeplessness. They may include: mental and health ability, problematic relationships, accidents and a general feeling of being disconnected from the world.