narcolepsy
NARCOLEPSY

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurologic sleep disorder wherein the patient have excessive daytime sleepiness and rapid eye movement sleep is dysregulated.

It affects 1 in 1000 individuals, with prevalence of about 0.04% of general population.
The exact cause remains unclear.
Studies suggest a combination of genetic predisposition, abnormal neurotransmitter functioning and abnormal immune modulation.
Symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, sleep-related hallucinations, automatic behavior, fragmented nocturnal sleep and insomnia.

Narcolepsy Management

Prevention

Scheduled Naps

  • Regular scheduled short daytime naps can decrease sleepiness & improve alertness
    • Fifteen- to twenty-minute naps every 4 hours during daytime are recommended
    • Usually combined with other therapies

Other Management Approaches

  • Avoid sleep deprivation
  • Avoid frequent time zone changes
  • Practice good sleep hygiene
  • Regular exercise
    • Increases daytime energy & improves sleeping patterns

Follow Up

  • Regular follow-up every 6 months to 1 year is advised once stabilized on medication
    • Monitor compliance & response to treatment
    • Assess development of side effects (eg sleep disturbances, mood changes, cardiovascular & metabolic problems)
    • Assist patients in adapting to the disorder
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