There are two types of narcolepsy. Type 1 is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and the presence of cataplexy or deficiency of a protein known as hypocretin, which helps the brain regulate sleep cycles. Type 2 is characterized by EDS without experiencing cataplexy. Both types of narcolepsy cause the sufferer to endure extreme fatigue during their daily routine.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder often characterized by extreme drowsiness due to your brain's inability to regulate your sleep cycles. Though it's a chronic disorder, it's manageable through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Narcolepsy is typically identified through a variety of symptoms.
The first type of narcolepsy is easily identified through the presence of cataplexy, or extreme muscle weakness during wakefulness. This type is also identified through a blood test to determine the absence of hypocretin. A low hypocretin level determines the presence of narcolepsy even the patient isn't experiencing cataplexy.
This type of narcolepsy occurs without cataplexy or a low hypocretin level. It's typically harder to diagnose, as its symptoms can be mistaken for other illnesses, but follows the same pattern of symptoms experienced by those who suffer from narcolepsy type 1.
There are several signs of narcolepsy, and sufferers of both type 1 and type 2 experience similar symptoms.
Though it's a chronic illness, narcolepsy can be managed through a combination of medications and lifestyle changes.
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