Quick Answer: How Narcolepsy Messes With Your Brain?

How does narcolepsy affect the brain?

Narcolepsy and the Brain Narcolepsy affects the systems in the brain that help us stay awake.

Normally, alerting signals come from the brain stem, a region deep in the brain responsible for many basic functions.

These signals spread out and “wake up” the rest of the brain..

Is narcolepsy a disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not recognize narcolepsy as a medical condition that automatically qualifies you for disability benefits. Therefore, you must provide a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment that provides evidence of your disorder and how it affects your ability to work.

Does narcolepsy weaken the immune system?

Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue or cells. In narcolepsy, the immune system destroys certain brain cells that produce a peptide called hypocretin.

Can you legally drive if you have narcolepsy?

When sleepiness is under good control, many people with narcolepsy are safe to drive. However, they must know their limits. Some individuals may be safe driving around town for 30 minutes but not on a four-hour, boring highway drive.

What is the number one food that fights dementia?

Nuts and berries are ideal snacks — both have been linked to better brain health. Blueberries and strawberries, in particular, help keep your brain working at its best and may slow symptoms linked to Alzheimer’s.

How do you sleep with narcolepsy?

Exercising for at least 20 minutes per day at least 4 or 5 hours before bedtime also improves sleep quality and can help people with narcolepsy avoid gaining excess weight. Avoid large, heavy meals right before bedtime. Eating very close to bedtime can make it harder to sleep. Relax before bed.

What is the best treatment for narcolepsy?

TreatmentStimulants. Drugs that stimulate the central nervous system are the primary treatment to help people with narcolepsy stay awake during the day. … Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). … Tricyclic antidepressants. … Sodium oxybate (Xyrem).

Does narcolepsy shorten lifespan?

Narcolepsy is not a degenerative disease, however, and patients do not develop other neurologic symptoms. In fact, older patients often report that their symptoms decrease in severity after age 60. Apart from falls or other accidents, narcolepsy does not affect a person’s life expectancy.

Does narcolepsy cause depression?

Many symptoms of narcolepsy—particularly sleep attacks and cataplexy—can cause great embarrassment and wreak havoc on your ability to live a normal life. These episodes can be frightening, and you may become depressed because of the sudden lack of control.

How many hours of sleep do narcolepsy need?

In addition to any of the typical narcolepsy symptoms, people with secondary narcolepsy also have severe neurological problems and require large amounts (>10 hours) of sleep. To understand the symptoms of narcolepsy, it helps to first understand how sleep happens normally.

Does narcolepsy cause memory problems?

Narcolepsy can present challenges to daily living: in addition to sleepiness, people with narcolepsy may experience mental fogginess, poor memory, and hallucinations.

Is narcolepsy a neurological condition?

Narcolepsy is a chronic, neurological sleep disorder with no known cause. It involves the body’s central nervous system. Narcolepsy is a genetic disorder, and is caused by a deficiency in the production of a neuropeptide (known as hypocretin or orexin) by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus.

What can trigger narcolepsy?

It is often triggered by sudden, strong emotions such as laughter, fear, anger, stress, or excitement. The symptoms of cataplexy may appear weeks or even years after the onset of EDS. Some people may only have one or two attacks in a lifetime, while others may experience many attacks a day.

Does narcolepsy lead to dementia?

It is not known how many people who experience REM disorder may develop diseases such as Parkinson’s or dementia. A corresponding editorial noted there is no evidence that narcolepsy, with or without REM disorder, will later lead to neurodegenerative disorders.

Is Narcolepsy considered a rare disease?

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the natural cycles of sleeping and waking. It is characterized by excessive sleepiness during the day. This rare disease affects 2–5 out of every 10,000 people (1).