the scit is bananas

i had a dream about delaware last night<3

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

my topic is too broad

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

this is a goode writing prompt (200 wrds)

Narcolepsy is not the most interesting topic but it is holding up pretty well. My first question on the topic was, "Should Narcolepsy victims be allowed to drive?" That really didn't blow over too well because it was so specific and there really wasn't much to say about it because there is a simple solution to it so it is obvious what the answer should be. Now my question is "Should narcolepsy victims be allowed to lead similar lives as the ones that normal people lead?" Of course, the answer is yes just because everyone deserves a good life. But there are things that could keep them from leading normal lives. an example of one of these setbacks is that the have random muscle spasms that cannot be anticipated. This would not be convenient in a car or on a public bus. it could harm other people and frighten them on the bus.

I have learned a lot about what narcolepsy really is. I am still researching, but i think that it is safe to start writing a rough-draft... or nott.. because i think i may need more information on how people react to narcolepsy.

i don't really like the process of research. I am one of those people who really likes math and straight forward facts. when i have to look for them i get disoriented and confused.

Ihave learned that in research, you really need to be specific with hat you want. That is the thing that throws me off. I can do anything when you tell me exactly what you want but i cannot tell when i want something or what it is that i want.


i need to broaden my topic a little bit so that there is more info to search on. my million dollar question: Should victims of the genetic disease, narcolepsy, be allowed to live among the same standards and with the same priveledges as normal people? you know that you like it

but i really think that they should be able to and that is because they can take medicine to keep their condition under control! why restrain them of normal lives if they are just as capable of doing normal things as we are? the only difference is that they need medications.

i can also see why people would NOT want narcoleptic people doing "normal" things as well. what if one was takng a road trip and forgot to take thier meds? i know that you don't want to be driving on the road with DUI's but at least they are AWAKE. and in school, the medication could have some negative effects on the person taking them. would you want your children in class with someone who can't learn in the same level? no, but suppose your child was narcoleptic. you would have some sympathy for them.

i need some more reseearch!

more notes about narcolepsy and the symptoms

Carlson-DeWitt, Rosalyn. "Narolepsy Symptoms." Symptoms of narcolepsy. 1999. Health Library. 02 Nov. 2005

Symptoms of narcolepsy usually start during the teen or young-adult years. Very few patients are younger than age 5 or older than age 50 when symptoms first occur. If you have narcolepsy, symptoms occur even if you have gotten an appropriate amount of sleep. Some people notice that their symptoms grow worse as they age. Some women notice improvement of their symptoms after menopause.
If you have narcolepsy you may notice any or all of the following symptoms:
Overwhelming daytime sleepiness
Uncontrollable “sleep attacks” – These involuntary episodes tend to last between 3 and 30 minutes. They may occur periodically throughout every day, but may also be brought on by certain triggers, such as:
Warm environment
Heavy meals
Boring and/or sedentary occupations
Cataplexy – A sudden and complete loss of muscle tone and strength. Cataplexy is often precipitated by:
Intense emotion, such as anger or laughter
Eating a heavy meal
Sleep paralysis – A complete or partial inability to move or speak just as a sleep attack is beginning or ending
Hallucinations – Visual images that you see vividly, though they don’t really exist. They can be very disturbing. These hallucinations may occur as sleep begins or as it ends and you are waking.
Memory problems
Blurry vision
Frequent nighttime awakening

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

i dont THINK SO!

Hazards Of Narcolepsy

People who have narcolepsy but don't know it represent a serious safety hazard to themselves and others when they drive. They may doze off while waiting for a traffic signal to change, or they may drive to destination and be completely unable to recall how they got there. At least one in every 500 drivers is estimated to be suffering from narcolepsy. Many of them get involved in fatal traffic accidents.

Individuals with excessive daytime sleepiness are at a much greater risk than normal for motor vehicle accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel. If you have narcolepsy, refrain from driving long distances. Stop driving immediately when sleepy.

Yet, narcolepsy is a major traffic safety problem with a low-cost and easy solution: proper diagnosis and medical care. Diagnosed patients who understand their symptoms appear to be very safe drivers, and their driving can be coordinated with the use of medication. Some people can sense the imminent sleepiness. Others don't. If you are able to adequately sense sleepiness, you can drive safely provided you immediately pull over and take a nap when sleepy or turn over the wheel to someone else. Those who cannot predict or sense sleepiness or who are unwilling to avoid driving when sleepy should not drive. Persons with cataplexy can potentially experience cataplectic episodes while driving. They must refrain from driving until the cataplexy has been adequately medically treated.


"Hazards of Narcolepsy." Narcolepsy. 1998. 01 Nov. 2005 .

Thursday, October 27, 2005

this is one of my citations i think

here i go as an attempt to finish something for school correctly!!

The main characteristic of narcolepsy is overwhelming excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), even after adequate nighttime sleep. A person with narcolepsy is likely to become drowsy or to fall asleep, often at inappropriate times and places. Daytime sleep attacks may occur with or without warning and may be irresistible. These attacks can occur repeatedly in a single day. Drowsiness may persist for prolonged periods of time. In addition, nighttime sleep may be fragmented with frequent wakenings.

Three other classic symptoms of narcolepsy, which may not occur in all patients, are:

Cataplexy: sudden episodes of loss of muscle function, ranging from slight weakness (such as limpness at the neck or knees, sagging facial muscles, or inability to speak clearly) to complete body collapse. Attacks may be triggered by sudden emotional reactions such as laughter, anger, surprise, or fear, and may last from a few seconds to several minutes. The person remains conscious throughout the episode.
A narcoleptic teenager after an attack of CataplexySleep paralysis: temporary inability to talk or move when falling asleep or waking up. It may last a few seconds to minutes.
Hypnagogic hallucinations: vivid, often frightening, dream-like experiences that occur while dozing, falling asleep and/or while awakening.
Daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations also occur in people who do not have narcolepsy, more frequently in people who are suffering from extreme lack of sleep.

In most cases, the first symptom of narcolepsy to appear is excessive and overwhelming daytime sleepiness. The other symptoms may begin alone or in combination months or years after the onset of the daytime sleep attacks. There are wide variations in the development, severity, and order of appearance of cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations in individuals. Only about 20 to 25 percent of people with narcolepsy experience all four symptoms. The excessive daytime sleepiness generally persists throughout life, but sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations may not.

The symptoms of narcolepsy, especially the excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy, often become severe enough to cause serious disruptions in a person's social, personal, and professional lives and severely limit activities.

What happens in narcolepsy
Normally, when an individual is awake, brain waves show a regular rhythm. When a person first falls asleep, the brain waves become slower and less regular. This sleep state is called non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. After about an hour and a half of NREM sleep, the brain waves begin to show a more active pattern again, even though the person is in deep sleep. This sleep state, called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, is when dreaming occurs.

In narcolepsy, the order and length of NREM and REM sleep periods are disturbed, with REM sleep occurring at sleep onset instead of after a period of NREM sleep. Thus, narcolepsy is a disorder in which REM sleep appears at an abnormal time. Also, some of the aspects of REM sleep that normally occur only during sleep--lack of muscular control, sleep paralysis, and vivid dreams--occur at other times in people with narcolepsy. For example, the lack of muscular control can occur during wakefulness in a cataplexy episode. Sleep paralysis and vivid dreams can occur while falling asleep or waking up.

In narcolepsy, the brain does not pass through the normal stages of dozing and deep sleep but goes directly into (and out of) rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This has several consequences:

Nighttime sleep does not include much deep sleep, so the brain tries to "catch up" during the day, hence EDS
Narcoleptics fall quickly into what appears to be very deep sleep
They wake up suddenly and can be disoriented when they do
They have very vivid dreams, which they often remember
Narcoleptics may dream even when they fall asleep for only a few seconds.

Causes of narcolepsy
Narcolepsy may be associated with damage to the amygdala. A cerebral protein has recently been discovered that is decreased in a large number or all narcolepsy patients. The protein involved is called hypocretin or orexin. This might explain why narcolepsy runs in families.

The neural control of normal sleep states and the relationship to narcolepsy are only partially understood. In humans, narcoleptic sleep is characterized by a tendency to go abruptly from a waking state to REM sleep with little or no intervening non-REM sleep. The changes in the motor and proprioceptive systems during REM sleep have been studied in both human and animal models. During normal REM sleep, spinal and brainstem alpha motor neuron hypopolarization produces almost complete atonia of skeletal muscles via an inhibitory descending reticulospinal pathway. Acetylcholine may be one of the neurotransmitters involved in this pathway. In narcolepsy, the reflex inhibition of the motor system seen in cataplexy is believed identical to that seen in normal REM sleep.

Despite the experimental evidence in human narcolepsy that there may be an inherited basis for at least some forms of narcolepsy, the mode of inheritance remains unknown.

Prevalence of narcolepsy
It is estimated that there are as many as 3 million people worldwide are affected by narcolepsy. In the United States it is estimated that narcolepsy afflicts as many as 200,000 Americans, but fewer than 50,000 are diagnosed. It is as widespread as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis and more prevalent than cystic fibrosis, but it is less well known. Narcolepsy is often mistaken for depression, epilepsy, or the side effects of medications.

Narcolepsy can occur in both men and women at any age, although its symptoms are usually first noticed in teenagers or young adults. There is strong evidence that narcolepsy may run in families; 8 to 12 percent of people with narcolepsy have a close relative with the disease.

Narcolepsy has its typical onset in adolescence and young adulthood. There is an average 15-year delay between onset and correct diagnosis, that may contribute substantially to the disabling features of the disorder. Cognitive, educational, occupational, and psychosocial problems associated with the excessive daytime sleepiness of narcolepsy have been documented. For these to occur in the crucial teen years when education, development of self-image, and development of occupational choice are taking place is especially damaging. While cognitive impairment does occur; it may only be a reflection of the excessive daytime somnolence.

The prevalence of narcolepsy in the United States has been estimated to be as high as one per 1,000. It is a major reason for patient visits to sleep disorder centers, and with its onset in adolescence, it is also a major cause of learning difficulty and absenteeism from school. Normal teenagers often already experience excessive daytime sleepiness because of a maturational increase in physiological sleep tendency accentuated by multiple educational and social pressures; this may be disabling with the addition of narcolepsy symptoms in susceptible teenagers. In clinical practice, the differentiation between narcolepsy and other conditions characterized by excessive somnolence may be difficult. Treatment options are currently limited. There is a paucity in the literature of controlled double-blind studies of possible effective drugs or other forms of therapy. Mechanisms of action of some of the few available therapeutic agents have been explored but detailed studies of mechanisms of action are needed before new classes of therapeutic agents can be developed.

Narcolepsy is much more common among men than among women. It is an underdiagnosed condition in the general population. This is partly because its severity varies from obvious down to barely noticeable. Some narcoleptics do not suffer from loss of muscle control. Others may only feel sleepy in the evenings.

Diagnosis is relatively easy when all the symptoms of narcolepsy are present. But if the sleep attacks are isolated and cataplexy is mild or absent, diagnosis is more difficult.

Two tests that are commonly used in diagnosing narcolepsy are the polysomnogram and the multiple sleep latency test. These tests are usually performed by a sleep specialist. The polysomnogram involves continuous recording of sleep brain waves and a number of nerve and muscle functions during nighttime sleep. When tested, people with narcolepsy fall asleep rapidly, enter REM sleep early, and may awaken often during the night. The polysomnogram also helps to detect other possible sleep disorders that could cause daytime sleepiness.

For the multiple sleep latency test, a person is given a chance to sleep every 2 hours during normal wake times. Observations are made of the time taken to reach various stages of sleep. This test measures the degree of daytime sleepiness and also detects how soon REM sleep begins. Again, people with narcolepsy fall asleep rapidly and enter REM sleep early.

Narcolepsy can also be verified by doing a lumbar puncture and finding lack of Hypocretin in the cerebrospinal fluid.

Several treatments are available for narcolepsy. These treat the symptoms, not the underlying cause. The drowsiness is normally treated using stimulants such as methylphenidate (Ritalin®), amphetamines (Adderall®), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®), methamphetamine (Desoxyn®), modafinil (Provigil®), etc. Other medications used are codeine and selegiline. In many cases, planned regular short naps can reduce the need for pharmacological treatment of the EDS to a low or non-existent level. The cataplexy is treated using clomipramine, impramine, or protryptiline but this need only be done in severe cases. A new medication is gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) (Xyrem®), recently approved in the USA by the Food and Drug Administration. It is thought to be effective because it increases the quality of nocturnal sleep

Narcolepsy is tied to the hypothalamus' failure to produce the orexin hormone pair sufficiently for normal human life and may have a genetic basis. Subjects not only fall asleep several times during the day, they also experience abnormal sleep patterns at night. Although there is no cure for narcolepsy, treatment options are available to help reduce the various symptoms. Treatment is individualized depending on the severity of the symptoms, and it may take weeks or months for an optimal regimen to be worked out. Complete control of sleepiness and cataplexy is rarely possible. Treatment is primarily by medications, but lifestyle changes are also important. The main treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness in narcolepsy is with a group of drugs called central nervous system stimulants. For cataplexy and other REM-sleep symptoms, antidepressant medications and other drugs that suppress REM sleep are prescribed. Caffeine and over-the-counter drugs have not been shown to be effective and are not recommended.

In addition to drug therapy, an important part of treatment is scheduling short naps (10 to 15 minutes) two to three times per day to help control excessive daytime sleepiness and help the person stay as alert as possible. Daytime naps are not a replacement for nighttime sleep.

Ongoing communication among the physician, the person with narcolepsy, and family members about the response to treatment is necessary to achieve and maintain the best control.

Studies supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are trying to increase understanding of what causes narcolepsy and improve physicians' ability to detect and treat the disease. Scientists are studying narcolepsy patients and families, looking for clues to the causes, course, and effective treatment of this sleep disorder.

Recent discovery of families of dogs that are naturally afflicted with narcolepsy has been of great help in these studies. Some of the specific questions being addressed in NIH-supported studies are the nature of genetic and environmental factors that might combine to cause narcolepsy and the immunological, biochemical, physiological, and neuromuscular disturbances associated with narcolepsy.

Scientists are also working to better understand sleep mechanisms and the physical and psychological effects of sleep deprivation and to develop better ways of measuring sleepiness and cataplexy.

Examples of areas of potential research include studies on the pathophysiology of narcolepsy; abnormalities of circadian rhythms, particularly anatomical and biochemical substrates; the molecular genetics of narcolepsy; and the development of new therapies. New, more sensitive, and specific objective diagnostic procedures need to be developed and validated.

While studies in the naturally occurring narcoleptic dog model suggest an autosomal recessive mode of transmission in that model, genetic analysis of cohorts of narcoleptic patients and identification of informative families are needed to define the mode of inheritance and to facilitate the search for gene markers.

Coping with narcolepsy
Learning as much about narcolepsy as possible and finding a support system can help patients and families deal with the practical and emotional effects of the disease, possible occupational limitations, and situations that might cause injury. A variety of educational and other materials are available from sleep medicine or narcolepsy organizations.

Support groups exist to help persons with narcolepsy and their families.

Individuals with narcolepsy, their families, friends, and potential employers should know that:

Narcolepsy is a life-long condition that requires continuous medication.
Although there is not a cure for narcolepsy at present, several medications can help reduce its symptoms.
People with narcolepsy can lead productive lives if they are provided with proper medical care.
If possible, individuals with narcolepsy should avoid jobs that require driving long distances or handling hazardous equipment or that require alertness for lengthy periods.
Parents, teachers, spouses, and employers should be aware of the symptoms of narcolepsy. This will help them avoid the mistake of confusing the person's behavior with laziness, hostility, rejection, or lack of interest and motivation. It will also help them provide essential support and cooperation.
Employers can promote better working opportunities for individuals with narcolepsy by permitting special work schedules and nap breaks.

"Narcolepsy." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia . 27 Oct. 2005 .

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

narcolepsy and driving

should people who are narcoleptic drive? if you think about it they really shouldnt because they fall alseep at the most random times! i dont know if anyof you saw rat race but the guy with narcolepsy NEVER drove in the movie! he hitchiked! and he rode the train

im gonna find more on this!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

i have found more about my subject

i have found some things that treat narcolepsy and while finding out what can treat it, i found out some of the reasons that you need to treat it, which is basically the symptoms, right?

antidepressents were used which means that the people who have narcolepsy sometimes feel down. aww. they also get hallucinations and have BADDD sleeping attacks that cause them to have no control over their body and they have to be prepared when they are on OUTNGS to fall asleep at any given time! that sucks!


i have some info that i would like to share about my topic which i decided would be narcolepsy. it answers my question about what is narcolepsy. i am terribly excited<3

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. If the urge becomes overwhelming, individuals will fall asleep for periods lasting from a few seconds to several minutes. In rare cases, some people may remain asleep for an hour or longer. In addition to excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), three other major symptoms frequently characterize narcolepsy: cataplexy, or the sudden loss of voluntary muscle tone; vivid hallucinations during sleep onset or upon awakening; and brief episodes of total paralysis at the beginning or end of sleep. Narcolepsy is not definitively diagnosed in most patients until 10 to 15 years after the first symptoms appear. The cause of narcolepsy remains unknown. It is likely that narcolepsy involves multiple factors interacting to cause neurological dysfunction and sleep disturbances.

Prepared by:
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892

Narcolepsy. (n.d.). Retrieved Nov. 01, 2005, from Narcolepsy Web site:

my research attempt.

so here i go.

i wonder what causes narcolepsy. i wonder if i am supposed to do this supid wondering thingy. ? i wonder how i am going to actually finish this thingy if i have no idea what i am supposed to do on this. someone give me a comment. do you think i should do my research report on the lochness monster or narcolepsy? i am more interested in narcolepsy because i know it is not just a rumor ! i don't know what i am doing

Thursday, October 20, 2005

bana nas p li t xoxo

yesterday was one of those days where you wanna go home and watch old movies and eat scrambled eggs alone nest to the fireplace. seriously... i was talking to my grandpa (like i normally do) and he brought up that his day was unique and he was happy that it was unique because it would never happen again. wise words! take those home, chew them. i think bananas are cuter than cherries. hmmmm....