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Narcolepsy

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Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder when sleep just suddenly hits people. People with narcolepsy find that they fall asleep at random times of the day, lasting anywhere from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes, and in a few rare cases it can last for an hour or so. This triggers the person to fall directly into the REM sleep cycle, and if they experience surprise, elation or other strong emotions they can have cataplexy happen to them. Cataplexy is when the person has a complete loss of muscle tone, so they cannot move. I think this is important because it cannot be easy to suffer from narcolepsy. What happens when you are taking an important exam, or performing your job and you just fall asleep? It can't be easy to deal with. The cartoon below is supposed to be funny, but it is a serious issue. The man fell asleep at a job interview in the cartoon. It can't be easy to get a job, because I would imagine that not many people want to hire someone that could fall asleep with no control over it.

href="http://s1137.photobucket.com/albums/n512/joh2011/?action=view&current=bab0076l.jpg"target="_blank">Photobucket

Another issue that relates to all of us with Narcolepsy is that it is dangerous when not taken into account. The news article linked below is about a man who suffers from Narcolepsy. His doctor told him he was not allowed to drive, but he did it anyways. He fell asleep at the wheel, and his car ran into a tree. His fiance was with him, and she was killed in the accident. I think it's important for scientists to find a cure to Narcolepsy, because he could have killed more than just his fiance in that accident. It says in the article that he was prescribed the drug dexamphetamine, and our Lilienfeld text says that scientists are still looking for a cure, and that the best option now is Modafinil, which "promotes wakefulness and is quite effective in treating narcolepsy." So I was curious about treatment and what really helps.

Narcolepsy Sufferer Crashes into Tree

The video below is about a man who suffers from Narcolepsy. He tells you about narcolepsy and his life with it. The section from 1:50 to 2:30 was interesting to me.

Sources:
Lilienfeld Textbook
http://couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/narcolepsy-sufferer-crashed-car-into-tree-killing-his-fiancee-after-nodding-off-at-wheel/story-e6freoof-1226135653100

Katie Johnson

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