Poor little narcoleptic dog...

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Narcolepsy is "a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep." In this case(video), a dog is suffering from narcolepsy. At first, I found it somewhat funny because, ironically, every time the dog got too excited, it would fall asleep. But by the end of the video and through the textbook reading, I realized that narcolepsy is a serious sleep disorder that dramatically affects people's lives.
Some people with narcolepsy experience cataplexy, which is a complete loss of muscle tone. This can happen from surprise, excitement or any strong emotion. When I imagine my own life being affected by narcolepsy/cataplexy, I realize how problematic this condition would be. You couldn't drive, safely anyways, which for me growing up would have made life difficult. Thinking back on birthdays, Christmas, and just other happy moments in my life, suffering from narcolepsy would completely change all of these memories. I think it's really unfortunate that it seems to affect people during the more exciting or significant moments of their life.
While some people are born with narcolepsy, (some with a genetic abnormality that increases the risk) others develop it after sustaining damage to the brain. So, unfortunately, everyone is susceptible to developing narcolepsy.
Complications that come with narcolepsy include: a misunderstanding of the disorder, an interference with close relationships, and physical harm. People can mistake the side effects of narcolepsy with laziness and apathy. Because extreme emotions can trigger narcolepsy or cataplexy, people sometimes refrain from forming close relationships that would be affected by the disorder. Physical harm may result from many activities that are interrupted by a sleep attack. Clearly, narcolepsy affects people on a personal and everyday basis, changing the way he/she lives. In the case of the dog from the video, narcolepsy has made a normal, happy life impossible.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/narcolepsy/DS00345

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This page contains a single entry by ibach006 published on October 9, 2011 12:41 PM.

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