Its origin and diagnosis

"A deep sensation of lethargy throughout the day, falling asleep anywhere, loss of sensibility of a part of the body, sudden reduction of the muscular tone after an intense emotion which can cause falls, are some of the symptoms that they experience people who suffer from narcolepsy, "he says. Margarita Reyes Zúñiga , specialist in sleep disorders.

This condition of neurological origin, which also receives the name of Gelineau Syndrome. It is a very rare disorder, one in every 2 thousand people suffers it and the proportion is the same in men than in women, and because it has no cure, some people choose stimulants and sleep-suppressing drugs to control the symptoms, In addition to those already mentioned, they also contemplate:

• Hypnagogic hallucinations. It is a mental state where one sees, feels and hears things that do not exist yet. These hallucinations occur during the state of consciousness known in hypnagogy.

• Sleep paralysis . While asleep, you experience the sensation of carrying a heavy load on the body at rest.

Its origin and diagnosis

The expert states that narcolepsy is caused by the decrease in the brain of neurons called hypocretins, which are responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. These neurons have the function of stimulating other brainstem to keep us awake.

Narcolepsy is detected by symptoms and sleep studies such as polysomnography, which consists of monitoring the patient while sleeping or trying to sleep. Another complementary test is by means of laboratory blood tests that detect the HLA gene, which patients with narcolepsy do not.

Margarita Reyes emphasizes that it is essential that the person who suffers receive medical treatment and control: "It is important to go to the specialist in case of suffering any of the symptoms.

The health professionals trained to make the diagnosis are: the neurologist, the psychiatrist and the sleep disorder specialists. " "Prudence empowers your words" Bojorge@teleton.org.mx

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