Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). Unfortunately, however, diagnosing it may be challenging and therefore remain undetected for years – therefore it’s essential that anyone suspecting they have this condition consult their physician promptly if they believe this could be their condition.
Take this quiz to determine whether or not you have do i have narcolepsy quiz. It will ask questions such as how quickly and easily you fall asleep, whether or not you have experienced cataplexy/sleep paralysis/cataplexy, and the frequency and nature of any slurred speech episodes. Answer each question as honestly as possible while including any pertinent details that will help your physician better understand what’s going on.
Physical exams, reviews of your symptoms and medical history as well as keeping a sleep diary may provide insight to what may be going on; however, to diagnose narcolepsy accurately requires consulting a specialist, who may conduct several tests in a sleep lab environment to make a definitive diagnosis.
Your sleep specialist may start by conducting a polysomnogram, which records brain activity, breathing patterns, muscle activity and eye movements while you sleep. Additionally, this test measures how quickly you enter and exit REM sleep. Another essential test is multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT). Your specialist will conduct multiple naps throughout the day in which they look for how long it takes you to fall asleep and enter REM sleep; in addition to looking out for signs of narcolepsy like fragmentation of sleep cycles, sleep apnea or hallucinations surrounding sleep-wake transitions.
An HLA DQB * 0602 gene blood test can be used to confirm a diagnosis, though it’s not essential. Furthermore, many people with narcolepsy tend to have low levels of the sleep-regulating neurochemical hypocretin in their cerebrospinal fluid; this can be measured through taking a small sample via lumbar puncture procedure.
Your doctor will use the results of these tests to diagnose you with type 1 or 2 narcolepsy, though type 1 tends to be more prevalent. Both can display similar symptoms and treatments are generally similar for both. Your physician may suggest medications, lifestyle and behavioral modifications or support groups for people living with narcolepsy; it may be worthwhile joining one in order to learn from others and share experiences; your doctor can refer you if necessary to a local support group or counselor in your area.