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★★★ Narcolepsia ★★★

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Uploaded on May 15, 2009

-Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder (a dyssomnia) characterized by overwhelming drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. The condition is most characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), in which a person experiences extreme tiredness and possibly falls asleep during inappropriate times, such as at work or school. A narcoleptic will most probably experience disturbed nocturnal sleep, which is often confused with insomnia, and disorder of REM or rapid eye movement sleep.
Cataplexy, a sudden muscular weakness brought on by strong emotions, is a medical condition which may also affect narcoleptics. Often manifesting as muscular weaknesses ranging from a barely perceptible slackening of the facial muscles to the dropping of the jaw or head, weakness at the knees, or a total collapse. Usually only speech is slurred, vision is impaired (double vision, inability to focus), but hearing and awareness remain normal. In some rare cases, an individual's body becomes paralyzed and muscles will become stiff.
The term narcolepsy derives from the French word narcolepsie created by the French physician Jean-Baptiste-Édouard Gélineau by combining the Greek narke numbness, stupor and lepsis attack, seizure.

-Edson Zerati, MD
http://br.geocities.com/ezerati2005

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