How Do They Test For Narcolepsy?

What is the main cause of narcolepsy?

Many cases of narcolepsy are thought to be caused by a lack of a brain chemical called hypocretin (also known as orexin), which regulates sleep.

The deficiency is thought to be the result of the immune system mistakenly attacking parts of the brain that produce hypocretin..

What kind of doctor can diagnose narcolepsy?

Clinical care by a sleep specialist is generally recommended for diagnosing and treating narcolepsy. The general public and most doctors have a limited understanding of narcolepsy, so it can be difficult to get a prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Is narcolepsy a disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not recognize narcolepsy as a medical condition that automatically qualifies you for disability benefits. Therefore, you must provide a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment that provides evidence of your disorder and how it affects your ability to work.

What is Type 2 narcolepsy?

Type 2 narcolepsy (previously termed narcolepsy without cataplexy). People with this condition experience excessive daytime sleepiness but usually do not have muscle weakness triggered by emotions. They usually also have less severe symptoms and have normal levels of the brain hormone hypocretin.

Does caffeine help narcolepsy?

Consider your caffeine use. Some people with narcolepsy find coffee or other caffeinated beverages helpful to staying awake. For others, coffee is ineffective, or, in combination with stimulant medications, it can cause jitteriness, diarrhea, anxiety, or a racing heart.

Does narcolepsy make it hard to wake up?

The disorder also may cause muscle weakness. Most people who have narcolepsy have trouble sleeping at night. Some people who have the disorder fall asleep suddenly, even if they’re in the middle of talking, eating, or another activity.

Is there a blood test for narcolepsy?

The MSLT is the most widely accepted diagnostic test for narcolepsy. In addition, a genetic blood test has been developed which measures certain antigens often found in people who have a predisposition to narcolepsy. Positive results suggest a predisposition, but do not prove the presence of narcolepsy.

Can you self diagnose narcolepsy?

One helpful self-assessment tool for recognizing sleepiness is the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). You can measure your daytime sleepiness using a printed version of the ESS (PDF) or the online version of this screening tool.

What does a narcoleptic attack feel like?

Other symptoms of a narcoleptic attack include the following: Cataplexy: Sudden loss of muscle tone that makes you unable to move. Hallucinations: Unreal sensations that are perceived as real. Sleep paralysis: Total paralysis just before falling asleep or just after waking up.

What are the five signs of narcolepsy?

There are 5 main symptoms of narcolepsy, referred to by the acronym CHESS (Cataplexy, Hallucinations, Excessive daytime sleepiness, Sleep paralysis, Sleep disruption). While all patients with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness, they may not experience all 5 symptoms.

What happens when Narcolepsy is untreated?

When left untreated, narcolepsy can be socially disabling and isolating. It often leads to the onset of depression. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may occur more often in people with narcolepsy.

Is narcolepsy a mental illness?

However, narcolepsy is frequently misdiagnosed initially as a psychiatric condition, contributing to the protracted time to accurate diagnosis and treatment. Narcolepsy is a disabling neurodegenerative condition that carries a high risk for development of social and occupational dysfunction.