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Details on Narcolepsy - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Sleep Disorders
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 675 Questions
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   Iam.Dr.xxxx
User :   I wanted to know some details on Narcolepsy
Doctor :   PLease post your query
User :   Good-day
Doctor :   yes sure
Doctor :   May i know your age and gender?
User :   I have read about it on the web....and happen to know a person who may be suffering from it
Doctor :   Do you suffer from any medical disease?
User :   I am 33 - Female
User :   Not me
User :   But my mother-in-law
User :   She may be suffering from Narcolepsy
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   Is She on medication for anything?
User :   that's why I need to know
User :   No....
User :   Actually we would always relate her sleepiness to tiredness
User :   Until yesterday when i happend to read abt Narcolepsy
User :   the symptoms mentioned there are very much what she has been going through
Doctor :   Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder, or dyssomnia, characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in which a person experiences extreme fatigue and possibly falls asleep at inappropriate times, such as while at work or at school
User :   So it is a Neorology related
Doctor :   yes
User :   What is the cure
Doctor :   Treatment is tailored to the individual, based on symptoms and therapeutic response. The time required to achieve optimal control of symptoms is highly variable, and may take several months or longer
User :   Oh
Doctor :   The main treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness in narcolepsy is with central nervous system stimulant drugs such as methylphenidate, racemic - amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine, or modafinil (Provigil), a new stimulant with a different pharmacologic mechanism, and more recently, armodafinil
User :   She is 67
Doctor :   In many cases, planned regular short naps can reduce the need for pharmacological treatment of the EDS to a low or non-existent level.
Doctor :   ok
User : if she takes short naps during the can reduce her chances of just droping of to sleep anywhere
User :   is that right
Doctor :   Insomnia and depression may also require treatment.
Doctor :   Therapy should be catered to the individual needs of the patient. For example, improved alertness may be critical throughout the day for most students and working adults, but may be critical only at certain times of the day (for example, driving times) for other people.
Doctor :   Non-drug treatments include education of the patient and family members and modification of behavior patterns. Understanding the symptoms of narcolepsy may help relieve some of the frustrations, fears, anger, depression, and resentment of patients and family members.
Doctor :   Emotional reactions are responses to both the unusual nature of the symptoms and society's ignorance of this disease.
Doctor :   Behavioral approaches include establishing a regular, structured sleep-wake schedule. Planned naps of 15 to 30 minutes or longer may be beneficial in reducing daytime sleepiness.
User :   That is what was the case all along
Doctor :   Certain dietary restrictions should be observed (for example, avoidance of large meals and alcohol).
Doctor :   Regular exercise and exposure to bright light can improve alertness
User :   People would tend to get bugged with her
Doctor :   Occupational, marriage, and family counseling may help improve the patient's quality of life.
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   Narcolepsy is a life-long disease. The symptoms may vary in severity during the patient's lifespan, but they never disappear completely.
User :   Can you let me know what she can do at home to improve her alertness
User :   including her diet restrictions
Doctor :   Yes she can have planned short naps
Doctor :   and at her age she needs some personal care from a maid also
Doctor :   because her age limits her treatments too
Doctor :   A primary care physician, usually in collaboration with a sleep medicine specialist, can recognize the symptoms of narcolepsy, initiate the proper evaluation, and manage the treatment that is recommended by the specialist.
User :   Ok
Doctor :   The discovery that a lack of hypocretins in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be related to the cause of narcolepsy could lead to the development of tests to determine the level of hypocretins in the CSF. Such tests could help in the diagnosis of narcolepsy.
User :   OK
User :   is this a blood test
Doctor :   So lets hope a medicine will come soon
Doctor :   no
Doctor :   It is the fluid from the brain
User :   Oh....
Doctor :   Is there anything else i can help you with now?
User :   No....Thanks for your help
User :   and Advise
Doctor :   Thanks for consulting bye for now...
User :   bye
Doctor :   Take care...
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