Question: Is Narcolepsy Considered A Rare Disease?

What percent of the population has narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy affects an estimated 1 in every 2,000 people in the United States.

That’s 200,000 Americans and approximately 3 million worldwide.

It is estimated that only 25% of people who have narcolepsy have been diagnosed and are receiving treatment..

What is the life expectancy of someone with narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is not a degenerative disease, however, and patients do not develop other neurologic symptoms. In fact, older patients often report that their symptoms decrease in severity after age 60. Apart from falls or other accidents, narcolepsy does not affect a person’s life expectancy.

How many hours of sleep do narcolepsy need?

In addition to any of the typical narcolepsy symptoms, people with secondary narcolepsy also have severe neurological problems and require large amounts (>10 hours) of sleep. To understand the symptoms of narcolepsy, it helps to first understand how sleep happens normally.

Is narcolepsy a disease or disorder?

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. At various times throughout the day, people with narcolepsy experience fleeting urges to sleep.

What can narcolepsy be mistaken for?

Other sleep disorders that cause daytime sleepiness are often mistaken for narcolepsy. These include sleep apnea, circadian rhythm sleep disorders and restless legs syndrome. Medical conditions, mental health disorders and use of certain medications or substances can also cause symptoms similar to narcolepsy.

Does narcolepsy worsen with age?

Narcolepsy is a lifelong problem, but it does not usually worsen as the person ages. Symptoms can partially improve over time, but they will never disappear completely. The most typical symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations.

Does narcolepsy lead to dementia?

Just as REM behavior disorder can precede Parkinson’s disease, narcolepsy presenting in the elderly maybe a precursor to Lewy Body dementia. A larger body of evidence and more investigations are needed to definitively establish this possible relationship.

Can you legally drive if you have narcolepsy?

When sleepiness is under good control, many people with narcolepsy are safe to drive. However, they must know their limits. Some individuals may be safe driving around town for 30 minutes but not on a four-hour, boring highway drive.

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.

Does narcolepsy weaken your immune system?

HLA proteins are found in many tissues, including the brain. Researchers theorized that the variants found in people with narcolepsy-cataplexy predispose them to an autoimmune reaction that destroys their hypocretin-producing cells.

Does narcolepsy affect memory?

Narcolepsy can present challenges to daily living: in addition to sleepiness, people with narcolepsy may experience mental fogginess, poor memory, and hallucinations.

Are there different degrees of narcolepsy?

There are two main types of narcolepsy: narcolepsy with cataplexy (Type 1) and narcolepsy without cataplexy (Type 2). Symptoms vary from individual to individual, with some cases being more severe than others.