Is Narcolepsy A Progressive Disease?

Does narcolepsy worsen with age?

Narcolepsy is a lifelong problem, but it does not usually worsen as the person ages.

Symptoms can partially improve over time, but they will never disappear completely.

The most typical symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations..

What is the life expectancy of someone with narcolepsy?

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 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.

How serious is narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. People with narcolepsy often find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time, regardless of the circumstances. Narcolepsy can cause serious disruptions in your daily routine.

What happens if narcolepsy goes untreated?

When left untreated, narcolepsy can be socially disabling and isolating. It often leads to the onset of depression. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may occur more often in people with narcolepsy.

Does narcolepsy cause memory loss?

Narcolepsy can present challenges to daily living: in addition to sleepiness, people with narcolepsy may experience mental fogginess, poor memory, and hallucinations. Social life can be impacted when sleepiness and other symptoms disrupt conversations, social events, and plans for activities.

Does narcolepsy cause weight gain?

People with narcolepsy are not only excessively sleepy, but they are also prone to gaining weight. In fact, narcoleptic patients will often pack on pounds even as they eat considerably less than your average person.

What is the best medication for narcolepsy?

Doctors often try modafinil (Provigil) or armodafinil (Nuvigil) first for narcolepsy. Modafinil and armodafinil aren’t as addictive as older stimulants and don’t produce the highs and lows often associated with older stimulants. Side effects are uncommon, but may include headache, nausea or anxiety.

Are narcoleptics always tired?

Narcolepsy is more than just feeling ultra tired. It’s actually a chronic brain disorder. People with narcolepsy have poorly regulated sleep-wake cycles, so they experience sudden and involuntary attacks of daytime sleepiness—whether for a few seconds or minutes—and often aren’t able to resist the urge to sleep.

What does a narcoleptic attack feel like?

Other symptoms of a narcoleptic attack include the following: Cataplexy: Sudden loss of muscle tone that makes you unable to move. Hallucinations: Unreal sensations that are perceived as real. Sleep paralysis: Total paralysis just before falling asleep or just after waking up.

Can you wait too long to treat narcolepsy?

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Feelings of drowsiness or not getting enough sleep, or falling asleep spontaneously, are not a laughing matter. These symptoms could be a warning sign of narcolepsy.

Is narcolepsy a mental illness?

However, narcolepsy is frequently misdiagnosed initially as a psychiatric condition, contributing to the protracted time to accurate diagnosis and treatment. Narcolepsy is a disabling neurodegenerative condition that carries a high risk for development of social and occupational dysfunction.

What are the 5 signs of narcolepsy?

There are 5 main symptoms of narcolepsy, referred to by the acronym CHESS (Cataplexy, Hallucinations, Excessive daytime sleepiness, Sleep paralysis, Sleep disruption). While all patients with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness, they may not experience all 5 symptoms.

What triggers narcolepsy?

Many cases of narcolepsy are thought to be caused by a lack of a brain chemical called hypocretin (also known as orexin), which regulates sleep. The deficiency is thought to be the result of the immune system mistakenly attacking parts of the brain that produce hypocretin.

Does narcolepsy weaken your 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.

Is Narcolepsy considered 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 stress cause narcolepsy?

It’s believed that this hereditary deficiency, along with an immune system that attacks healthy cells, contributes to narcolepsy. Other factors, such as stress, exposure to toxins, and infection, also may play a role.

Can I drive if I have narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy and driving If you’re diagnosed with narcolepsy, it may affect your ability to drive. Stop driving immediately and inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You’ll need to complete a medical questionnaire so your individual circumstances can be assessed.