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Causes of Narcolepsy


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Narcolepsy is a very serious sleeping disorder that affects an estimated 1 in every 3000 people in the U.S alone. Surely with a disorder so prevalent in our society, we know the causes of narcolepsy? The answer to that may be a bit disturbing.

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Causes of Narcolepsy

  1. 1. Causes of Narcolepsy Finding Out Why This Sleeping Disorder HappensNarcolepsy Causes - The Short Answer No one knows with any certainty what the causes of narcolepsy are.Narcolepsy Causes - The Longer AnswerStarting in the 1970s at the Stanford Medical Center, a doctor EmmanuelMignot, began research that involved the breeding of narcoleptic dogs in aneffort to pinpoint narcolepsy causes in humans. In 1999, a mutation of aspecific gene, hypocretin, was pinpointed as the cause of the dogsnarcolepsy.Around the same time in Texas, a medical researcher named MasashiYanagisawa along with a group of scientists, was working on an unrelatedresearch project involving mice. Quite accidentally, they determined thatthe same gene, but one which Yanagisawa had named orexin, was linked tothe sleep-wake cycles in the mice which, when "knocked out" or removedfrom the mice, produced a condition very similar to human narcolepsy.
  2. 2. These two findings - that a lack of the gene hypocretin / orexin isresponsible for narcolepsy in animals, triggered a frenzy of further researchand study on the subject.From that point to today, three hypotheses have been put forth about thepossible causes of narcolepsy in humans. 1. Lack of hypocretin / orexin in the brain Autopsies of narcoleptic patients with cataplexy have shown a substantially lower amount of hypocretin. 2. Genetic factors Narcolepsy tends to run in the family - around 8-10% of people suffering from narcolepsy have a close relative with the disorder. However, most scientists agree that this is not the only factor and that some other environmental trigger such as:  stress  hormonal changes  immune system difficulties  infection  trauma may also play a contributing role. Not being able to get to sleep at night can be a horrible experience - at night as well as throughout the following day. But it doesnt have to be that way - sometimes all it takes is a few lifestyle adjustments. Learn what you need to know to instantly fall asleep each night in the sleep ebook, Get to Sleep Now! 39 Ways to Guarantee Your ZZZs.
  3. 3. Autoimmunity Dr. Jerome Siegel, Professorof Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences,University of California published data thatsupports the theory that one of the causes ofnarcolepsy could be an autoimmunedisorder. Dr. Siegal, through autopsies ofnarcoleptic patients, found scar tissue in theplace of what should have been healthyhypocretin cells in the brain. He has thuslypostulated that the bodys own defences maybe attacking hypocretin cells, thereby contributing to one of the causes ofnarcolepsy.That however, brings us back to the short answer about the causes ofnarcolepsy: no one knows for sure. Research is still ongoing and, althoughthere may be treatments for narcolepsy, there is no cure for narcolepsy andto date, no solid evidence as to what causes narcolepsy. An autoimmune disorder is a condition where an individuals own immune system, thinking that its attacking a foreign virus, starts attacking healthy cells.If you suspect that you, or someone youknow, may be suffering from the sleep Related Articlesdisorder narcolepsy, explaining yoursymptoms will help your doctor diagnose What is Snoring?your condition. While there is no cure, Snoring Home Remediesthere are definitely treatments that will Snore Curesalleviate many of the symptoms of Snoring Mouthpiecesnarcolepsy.