Psych M.D. - Narcolepsy


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Term: Narcolepsy
Definition (Myers): A sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep, often at inopportune times.
Definition (alternative):Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the brain's inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. *
Contextual explanation: It has been discovered that if a neural center in the hypothalamus (a part of our brain that controls hormones) that produces hypocretin (a type of protein; a neurotransmitter) is missing, it leads to Narcolepsy. This brain disease causes the patient to fall into uncontrollable and unwarned sleep, thus hindering them from performing some daily activities, such as driving, properly. An intense Narcolepsy may cause this sleep to last even an hour (the normal Narcolepsy sleep period is 5 minutes) and lead the patient straight to REM stage of sleep.
Related terms and concepts: sleep apnea, night terrors, insomnia
Causes of Narcolepsy
Related websites: Stanford Center for Narcolepsy:find out the current researches being done about the disease, as well as general facts.
Edited by: Soo



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