Causes of Narcolepsy
Updated: 4/29/2020
Causes of Narcolepsy
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Storyboard Text

  • Although the cause of Narcolepsy is not fully known, research shows that there are factors that cause a lack of hypocretin.
  • Cases are sporadic meaning that the disorder happens in people with unknown family history. On the other hand, 10% of people that have narcolepsy with cataplexy say they have a close relative with alike symptoms.
  • Family History is one of the causes of Narcolepsy.
  • Brain Injuries is another cause of Narcolepsy.
  • Narcolepsy could appear after a traumatic injury, but it is very rare. It affects the sections of the brain including regulating wakefulness, and REM sleep.
  • Autoimmune disorders also could cause of Narcolepsy.
  • The cause of cataplexy is the loss of brain cells that make hypocretin. The reason for cell loss is unclear, but it is appeared to be related to abnormalities in the immune system. It appears when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissue.
  • Lastly, infection and environmental toxins can be the cause of Narcolepsy
  • Infections such as swine flu or streptococcal infection could increase a person's risk of narcolepsy. Environmental toxins such as pesticides, heavy metals and secondhand smoke can also cause narcolepsy due to the loss of hypocretin.
  • Narcolepsy is caused by several factors, but with the right treatment there is a way to improve the symptoms.
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