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Call Now for Immediate Confidential Help and Advice 02038 115 619 

24 hours rehab
Immediate Access for help and advice
02038 115 619

Narcolepsy Explained

Withdrawal symptoms are a common experience during substance detoxification, a process used to slowly wean substance-dependent individuals off drugs or alcohol. These withdrawal symptoms are the body’s reaction to no longer receiving a substance it has become dependent on.
There are numerous symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal and in some cases, withdrawal can cause narcolepsy, a rare brain condition, although in many circumstances, amphetamine drugs are actually used to treat narcolepsy as they stimulate brain activity.
However, narcolepsy is not caused only by drug or alcohol withdrawal, and individuals with no history of substance abuse may also experience narcolepsy.

What Is Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is considered to be a rare condition that impacts the part of the brain that regulates sleep and wakefulness.

Patients who experience narcolepsy have damage to the neurons within the brain that produce hypocretins. In individuals without narcolepsy, hypocretins are released from these neurons during wakefulness and bind to hypocretin receptors to increase their activity, which allows the brain to remain awake and alert. When these neurons are damaged, there is a decrease in the release of hypocretins, resulting in an inability to regulate sleep, and narcolepsy occurs.

Types of Narcolepsy

There are two distinguishable types of narcolepsy: type one narcolepsy, which includes cataplexy or low hypocretin narcolepsy, and type two narcolepsy, which is known as non-cataplexy narcolepsy.

Cataplexy narcolepsy involves excessive daytime sleepiness as a result of sudden muscle weakness or loss of muscle tone during wakefulness. Episodes of narcolepsy in patients with cataplexy narcolepsy usually occur during moments when the individual feels strong emotions such as joy, laughter or anger.

Patients are also considered to have type one narcolepsy if they experience low or absent hypocretins, even if they display no signs of cataplexy.
Narcolepsy type two is characterised by continuous excessive sleepiness, which dissipates following a nap or sleep but returns after a short time; however, there are no signs of hypocretin deficiency or cataplexy.

Types of Narcolepsy

There are two distinguishable types of narcolepsy: type one narcolepsy, which includes cataplexy or low hypocretin narcolepsy, and type two narcolepsy, which is known as non-cataplexy narcolepsy.

Cataplexy narcolepsy involves excessive daytime sleepiness as a result of sudden muscle weakness or loss of muscle tone during wakefulness. Episodes of narcolepsy in patients with cataplexy narcolepsy usually occur during moments when the individual feels strong emotions such as joy, laughter or anger.

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Patients are also considered to have type one narcolepsy if they experience low or absent hypocretins, even if they display no signs of cataplexy. Narcolepsy type two is characterised by continuous excessive sleepiness, which dissipates following a nap or sleep but returns after a short time; however, there are no signs of hypocretin deficiency or cataplexy.

Symptoms of Narcolepsy

Not every patient with narcolepsy will experience the same symptoms to the same degree. However, the vast majority of individuals with narcolepsy report excessive daytime sleepiness that can make staying awake and concentrating extremely difficult.

Sleep attacks are another very common symptom of narcolepsy. These cause people to fall asleep suddenly and can happen at any time during the day. Sleep attacks can last from only a few seconds to minutes, depending on the severity of the condition.

People suffering from type one narcolepsy will experience cataplexy, which is the sudden loss of muscle control or muscle weakness. This can involve jaw dropping, legs collapsing and double vision. Cataplexy is often triggered by emotions such as joy or anger.
Some people may also experience sleep paralysis, headaches and memory problems.

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