Narcolepsy: a dream that you can’t wake up from

By Yraa #ability, #acceptable, #activities, #activity, #actually, #adapt, #affect, #alert, #allow, #allows, #almost, #already, #although, #any, #area, #arms, #asleep, #attack, #attacks, #awake, #begin, #begins, #between, #blue, #Body, #books, #bottom, #breathing, #called, #can’t, #cannot, #car, #carefully, #carried, #caused, #cells, #center, #certain, #characterized, #circumstances, #closed, #comes, #completely, #condition, #conduct, #continue, #continues, #correct, #daily, #daytime, #deep, #definitely, #desire, #determine, #diagnosis, #different, #disease, #diseases, #disorders, #distribute, #divided, #doctors, #down, #dream, #dreams, #drowsiness, #Easy, #eating, #emotions, #enough, #established, #even, #everything, #example, #exclude, #Eyes, #fall, #falling, #falls, #fast, #feel, #find, #five, #focus, #forced, #forces, #found, #frequency, #full, #function, #functioning, #functions, #girl, #go, #great, #group, #groups, #hand, #harm, #he, #help, #here, #highly, #himself, #his, #Home, #house, #however, #impulse, #include, #included, #indicate, #influence, #intensity, #interesting, #involved, #just, #keep, #known, #lack, #later, #least, #legs, #let, #lie, #literally, #live, #lives, #located, #look, #looks, #love, #machines, #maintaining, #makes, #making, #man, #may, #maybe, #Medical, #medications, #mental, #minutes, #moment, #moments, #mouth, #move, #much, #muscle, #muscles, #must, #narcolepsy, #needed, #needs, #negative, #night, #normally, #nothing, #occurs, #onset, #others, #our, #painful, #partially, #parts, #pathological, #patients, #people, #period, #phase, #phases, #phenomenon, #place, #prescribed, #presence, #preventing, #processes, #Professional, #quite, #reach, #reason, #reflex, #regardless, #regulated, #relaxation, #rem, #responsible, #rest, #result, #secondly, #seconds, #serious, #sets, #several, #sharp, #short, #signs, #similar, #sit, #sleep, #sleepy, #slow, #some, #someone, #sometimes, #special, #spread, #still, #stimulate, #strict, #strong, #study, #substances, #suddenly, #supervision, #symptom, #t, #takes, #taking, #theory, #third, #those, #thus, #times, #tone, #too, #treat, #treatment, #two, #uncontrolled, #under, #understand, #us, #variant, #very, #wake, #wakefulness, #waking, #walk, #wants, #was, #weaken, #weakness, #were, #whether, #while, #who, #will, #zone

What makes us sleepy? Maybe the rea­son is a banal lack of sleep? Or is every­thing much more seri­ous, and yawn­ing in the mouth and drowsi­ness speak of a seri­ous ill­ness? Drowsi­ness can be caused by cer­tain med­ica­tions and even too much sleep. How­ev­er, there is an inter­est­ing and incom­pre­hen­si­ble dis­ease in which a per­son not only wants to sleep, but lit­er­al­ly falls asleep out of the blue. This con­di­tion is called nar­colep­sy.

Signs of narcolepsy: weakness after sleep

Signs of narcolepsy: weakness after sleep

Some­one may have already encoun­tered the phe­nom­e­non of nar­colep­sy in films and books. In this regard, the hero­ine of the nov­el by Jonathan Coe “House of Sleep” is a vivid exam­ple. A girl named Sarah has all five of the fol­low­ing signs of nar­colep­sy. What are these signs?

    Irresistible desire during the day to suddenly fall asleep;
    Vivid dreams when falling asleep or waking up;
    After sleep, already awake, a person cannot move his arms and legs;
    With laughter, sharp negative emotions, at the moment of making love, muscle relaxation suddenly occurs, such that a person can fall or is forced to sit down to keep from falling;
    The need to sleep several times (1–3 times) during the day in order to feel alert, while the sleep time is 3–5‑15 minutes.

The pres­ence of at least two of the list­ed signs can indi­cate nar­colep­sy. But its two most strik­ing signs are the abil­i­ty to fall asleep in any cir­cum­stances, for exam­ple, when talk­ing, and a sharp relax­ation of the mus­cles dur­ing strong laugh­ter — such that a per­son falls.

Sleep and its phases: rest and brain activity

Sleep is still a mys­te­ri­ous phe­nom­e­non in our lives. All sleep time is divid­ed into phas­es. One phase is non-REM sleep. Dur­ing this peri­od, a per­son is in a state of deep sleep, his brain is unloaded. The oth­er phase is REM sleep. In the phase of REM sleep, the eyes of a per­son under closed eye­lids move, the fre­quen­cy of breath­ing and heart­beat increase, the per­son moves, changes his pos­ture. The brain is high­ly active. It func­tions with the same inten­si­ty as dur­ing the day, but the sleep­er does not wake up. It is dur­ing the fast phase that we dream. For the dis­crep­an­cy between the vivac­i­ty of the brain and the sleepy body, the slow phase of sleep is also called para­dox­i­cal.

With nar­colep­sy, sleep phas­es are includ­ed, as it were, par­tial­ly. Inhi­bi­tion, cov­er­ing the cere­bral cor­tex dur­ing sleep, is selec­tive in this dis­ease. In one case, it cap­tures the cere­bral cor­tex, but does not affect the under­ly­ing sec­tions. The per­son falls asleep, but he can con­tin­ue to sit and even walk dur­ing sleep. This state lasts sec­onds or 1–2 min­utes. After sleep, a per­son con­tin­ues to act calm­ly, some­times with­out notic­ing it. Or the oppo­site state: sud­den­ly immo­bil­i­ty sets in, but con­scious­ness is com­plete­ly pre­served. Thus, in nar­colep­sy, inhi­bi­tion takes over dif­fer­ent parts of our brain.

Patients with nar­colep­sy are char­ac­ter­ized by the abil­i­ty to fall with­out bruis­ing. Before the onset of an attack, they may have time to sit down, group up, or even lie down. Attacks of nar­colep­sy are very sim­i­lar to a vari­ant of epilep­sy, so doc­tors must con­duct a dif­fer­en­tial diag­no­sis, that is, they prove that in this case there is pre­cise­ly nar­colep­sy, and not epilep­sy.

Sleep time — any time

Sleep time - any time

What are the mech­a­nisms of nar­colep­sy? Are they known? Even in the lab­o­ra­to­ries of Pavlov, who is best known for the the­o­ry of the con­di­tioned reflex (when exper­i­men­tal dogs sali­vat­ed at the bell), it was proved that there is a spe­cial sleep cen­ter in the brain. It is locat­ed deep in the brain, at the bot­tom of the third ven­tri­cle. Just from there, inhi­bi­tion begins to spread, which then cap­tures the cere­bral cor­tex.

Lat­er it was found that there are spe­cial sub­stances — neu­ro­trans­mit­ters or neu­ro­trans­mit­ters that are involved in the trans­mis­sion of this inhi­bi­tion through nerve cells. And when the body is func­tion­ing nor­mal­ly, these neu­ro­trans­mit­ters allow arousal to keep us awake. When there are not enough neu­ro­trans­mit­ters, the exci­ta­to­ry impulse does not reach the cere­bral cor­tex. And the man falls asleep. He falls asleep at the most inop­por­tune moments, regard­less of his own desire. The patient can fall asleep at work, at home, while eat­ing and just on the go. This is a patho­log­i­cal, uncon­trolled dream.

Treatment: not to be confused with epilepsy

Treatment: not to be confused with epilepsy

In epilep­sy, these elec­troen­cephalo­grams find the focus of exci­ta­tion in the brain. And if we treat epilep­sy with inhibito­ry drugs, then there is noth­ing to slow down here, the treat­ment will be dif­fer­ent. Sleep with nar­colep­sy is short, after sleep a per­son is again includ­ed in life, but such peo­ple, of course, look strange, and not all of them can work. These peo­ple need med­ical help. How to treat this dis­ease? The treat­ment is car­ried out by a neu­ropathol­o­gist, although the dis­ease some­times looks like a men­tal one.

To begin with, as already men­tioned, the doc­tor must deter­mine if the patient has epilep­sy, because the treat­ment of these dis­eases is com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent. Sec­ond­ly, you need to under­stand whether the signs of nar­colep­sy are a symp­tom of some more seri­ous dis­ease, for exam­ple, a tumor in the area of ​​the brain that is respon­si­ble for sleep. Diag­nos­ing nar­colep­sy is not easy. It is nec­es­sary to study sleep and study the brain in a dream with reg­is­tra­tion of the process­es tak­ing place in it.

If the diag­no­sis of nar­colep­sy is estab­lished, it is impor­tant to cor­rect­ly dis­trib­ute your forces dur­ing the day and night. Care­ful­ly reg­u­lat­ed sleep and wake­ful­ness is need­ed. In addi­tion, it is nec­es­sary to exclude those pro­fes­sion­al activ­i­ties in which a per­son, sud­den­ly falling asleep, can harm him­self and oth­ers. Such peo­ple def­i­nite­ly can­not work with machines, dri­ve a car. At the same time, main­tain­ing a dai­ly rou­tine, which can include sev­er­al episodes of day­time sleep, allows them to func­tion quite nor­mal­ly. That is, one can adapt to the dis­ease: if a per­son needs to sleep dur­ing the day, he can find a job in which day­time sleep is accept­able.

Actu­al­ly, the treat­ment of nar­colep­sy is car­ried out under very strict med­ical super­vi­sion. Patients are pre­scribed drugs that, on the one hand, tone, that is, stim­u­late, the brain dur­ing the day. As a result, impuls­es that excite the cere­bral cor­tex, pre­vent­ing it from slow­ing down and falling asleep, will reach it, and the per­son will be awake and feel great. On the oth­er hand, it is nec­es­sary to weak­en the inhibito­ry influ­ence that comes from the sleep zone. There are two groups of drugs that will not let the cere­bral cor­tex sleep at the wrong time. Thus, it is pos­si­ble to cor­rect painful dis­or­ders in the brain, which will allow the patient to live an almost full life.

By Yraa

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