Narcolepsy is a nervous system disorder and it attacks sleep-wake center in the brain. It is believed that this is a hereditary condition, and as for the frequency of this condition occurring, it is 1 in 2000 people. Narcolepsy usually affects teenagers and young adults and it is a chronic disorder. However, it can be treated with medications and some changes in the way of living can must be done. Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder which includes sudden urges to sleep during the day, and some other signs of narcolepsy include hallucinations, cataplexy and sleep paralysis. Cataplexy results in a muscle weakness when a person is overflowed with strong feelings like anger, euphoria or fear. Person experiencing cataplexy attack is aware of what is going on. Sleep paralysis indicates that a person is incapable to move or talk while trying to fall asleep or while waking up. There are some cases of narcolepsy where a person is complaining that he or she is tired during the whole day, and this kind of cases is difficult to diagnose sometimes. One more symptom that may occur is microsleep, meaning that a person falls asleep shortly and while in that short sleep continues to do what he or she was doing before, but when weaken up, he or she can’t remember what he or she was doing. It is characteristic that narcoleptics when falling asleep go in the REM phase or a phase responsible for dreams. Normally people enter this phase after the 90 minutes of sleep.
Although there are some assumptions on the causes of this condition, the actual facts still remain unrevealed. There are researches regarding this condition which discover that those who suffer from narcolepsy have less hypocretin in the brain and also have less Hcrt cells. That affects center in the brain responsible for awakening. Narcolepsy is pretty difficult to diagnose because sleepiness can be the result of many other conditions. If you experience sleepiness during the day, contact your medical advisor, because nowadays, there are different tests which can detect this condition. Narcolepsy can seriously affect person's quality of life. It can prevent sufferer from doing some activities because it could become dangerous if he or she falls asleep during doing activities like driving. Sufferers sometimes can become depressed and anxious because of the condition they have, especially since many aspects of life are affected by the condition. The best way to treat narcolepsy is to use a combination of three methods: counseling, medicines, and behavioral changes. Counseling will help a person to fight the depression and anxiety. Medicines that are used are antidepressants, stimulants and sodium oxybate.