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Medical Articles  
  Mar / 19 / 2013  

Everything you need to know about narcolepsy and possible treatments


Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder which is caused by the brain being unable to properly and normally regulate sleep-wake cycles.

It is a condition that is not very common as it affects less than 1 person in 2,000, which is enough to regard it as a rare disease. In the US, for instance, it is believed that there are around 200,000 people suffering from narcolepsy and one of the biggest problems is that many people are undiagnosed and that they live with narcolepsy without even knowing it. This happens due to the fact that this condition can be quite mild and that it does not have to be so pronounced. Narcolepsy can also go unnoticed due to the fact that the scientists still do not know too much about sleep and due to the fact that in many cases, people are simply said that they are sleepy because they are lazy or something like that.

It is important to point out that narcolepsy is not caused by any mental illness nor is it a psychological condition of any kind. The exact reasons and causes of narcolepsy are still somewhat eluding the medical public, although there have been some major breakthroughs made over the last few years. For instance, the scientists now know that there are people who are predisposed to the condition genetically and that certain triggers might be involved in the onset of the condition, mostly viral infections.
Narcolepsy is characterized by a number of sleep disturbances and abnormalities. For instance, in narcoleptics the REM phase of sleep occurs immediately after falling asleep, which is something that happens after an extended period of NREM sleep in healthy individuals. It is because of this that most of the symptoms occur, such as hypnagogic hallucinations for instance, hallucinations that occur as the narcoleptic person is just falling asleep. This is also the reason why sleep paralysis can occur, causing the person to not being able to move or talk when falling asleep suddenly.

Another common symptom of narcolepsy is cataplexy which has, unfortunately, been the butt of many jokes in popular culture. Namely, cataplexy is muscle weakness that can occur suddenly and that varies in severity. For instance, some people may experience only some of their muscles getting slightly weaker at times, while others may experience a systematic weakness of the muscles, causing them to lose all control over their muscles, falling down and collapsing completely. It needs to be said that cataplexy can occur in isolation and that it does not have to be cause by narcolepsy.

The most prominent and the most common of the narcolepsy symptoms however, is the excessive daytime sleepiness. Namely, narcoleptics often experience sleepiness that they cannot shake off and that causes them to nap at inappropriate times. This is caused both by narcolepsy itself and also by the fact that narcoleptic people are often also suffering from insomnia as another symptom. This excessive daytime sleepiness is cause of much dismay for the narcoleptics and it is often the most troubling of the symptoms as it can pervade their everyday lives and prevent them from enjoying in everyday activities.

Narcolepsy is currently untreatable, which means that there is no cure for this condition. There are, however, many possible treatments that help people cope with the condition and that enables them to lead healthy lives. For instance, there is the first line of defense which are some lifestyle changes that might help narcoleptics lead more comfortable lives. For example, short naps in the duration of 10 to 15 minutes during the waking hours can be of great help. Also, physical exercise and limitation of intake of stimulants such as caffeine have also been shown to help. Some narcoleptics find it useful to switch their lifestyle to a more nocturnal option, sleeping during the day and being active during the night. It is very important that the person suffering from narcolepsy is in constant communication with the health care provider who can help them cope with the condition.

There are also a number of medications that are used, most of them to help with the excessive daytime sleepiness. These are mainly various stimulants, such as amphetamine, methylphenidate, methamphetamine and most importantly, Modalert, which is a brand of Modafinil, one of the first drugs to be developed for narcolepsy in particular. Some people also use other drugs, such as codeine, atomotexine and selegiline. Cataplexy is usually mitigated with tricyclic antidepressants that have shown benefits in treating this particular symptom.

When we are discussing stimulants that help with EDS, it is important to point out that they are not all equally as effective and especially equally as safe. For instance, the downsides of amphetamines and methamphetamines are very well know. They often produce severe side effects and what is more troubling, they also hold a very high potential for causing dependency. Namely, people who take these psychostimulants for extended periods of time (which is a must in case of narcolepsy) become physically and psychologically dependent to these drugs, which is the first step in addiction.

Luckily, there is a treatment available that is much safer and that does not cause any addiction. This drug is called Modalert. People who buy Modalert have invariable said that this drug has helped them cope with their narcolepsy more than any other drug without causing any side effects or negative effects of any kind. Of course, there is always a possibility of experiencing certain side effects, but the fact is that people who order Modalert are much less likely to report any unwanted or negative effects of the drug.

It is important to remember that Modalert is a prescription drug and that it needs to be taken only if the physician or a sleep expert has prescribed this medication. It is best to order Modalert online as this saves money and time for the patient.

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