Narcolepsy, the alarm bells to recognize it

Narcolepsy, the alarm bells to recognize it

Scholars have identified the alarm bells that can help us recognize narcolepsy, an increasingly common disorder

The main sleep disorders

Narcolepsy is a disease still little known and above all very difficult to diagnose.

The symptoms of the pathology are in fact very similar to those of depression and epilepsy. This often leads doctors to the wrong path, causing a delay in diagnosis that can lead to serious problems and problems for patients who suffer from it. Narcolepsy is a rather rare neurological disease whose causes have not yet been identified.

Even today there is no effective therapy to eliminate the problem, but only drugs that can limit the symptoms of the disorder. Also called sleep sickness, it is characterized by hypersomnia. It occurs particularly when the immune system produces excess cells that destroy the neurons that are indispensable for maintaining active wakefulness.

The symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness (every two hours the person suffering from narcolepsy experiences an irresistible desire to sleep), cataplexy (loss of strength when strong emotions are felt) and hypnagogic hallucinations (of "overdreaming dreams" that overlap) to reality).

If it is not detected in time narcolepsy can have very serious consequences, leading to a difficulty in learning, the possibility of serious errors and accidents, with loss of work and social relations.

What are the alarm bells of the disease? Help comes from the "red flags", ie the indicators identified by the experts to arrive at a quick and timely diagnosis. Today there are about 20,000 patients suffering from narcolepsy, but only a few know it. In the future, help will come from the national register of illness created by the Higher Institute of Health and a new project commissioned by the Ministry of Health.

Scientists have in fact identified common disorders that anticipate narcolepsy and can become spies to run for cover and carry out further checks. Those who suffer from this pathology, especially at the beginning, suffer from a strong daytime sleepiness, accompanied by sudden muscle failure, which occurs even when one is conscious. Paralysis during sleep is also often experienced, accompanied by an increase in weight that progresses over time until reaching obesity.

Category: Health
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