Most Common Narcolepsy Causes

By on June 21, 2013

Narcolepsy CausesThe exact narcolepsy causes are still unknown. The causes are generally linked to genetic abnormalities, which affect certain biological factors in your brain and coupled with some environmental trigger like virus, etc.

Some researchers have come up with narcolepsy causes as genetics, autoimmunity, and hypocertin deficiency in brain. Actually, narcolepsy is one type of neurological sleep disorder.

Thus, psychological problems or other mental illness does not result into narcolepsy. Narcolepsy usually starts at the age of 15 and 25, but it can also appear at any age. In so many cases, this is undiagnosed so it is untreated.

Narcolepsy Causes – Genetics

Genetics play a significant role in developing narcolepsy symptoms. There is an increased risk of developing narcolepsy with narcolepsy history running in the family.

But, we cannot completely blame genetics for developing narcolepsy, they show such symptoms, when in combination of trauma, viral infection, changes in hormones, stress and autoimmune disorders.

Researchers have found out that there is relation between narcoleptic people and HLA-DR15, HLA-DQ6 gene, and particularly HLA-DQB1*0602 gene.

Lack of Hypocretin

Researchers think that lack of hypocretin another possible cause of narcolepsy. Some of the narcoleptic people have shown lack of hypocretin. Hypocertin is a peptide in brain, which is responsible for the sleep wake regulation, particularly the REM sleep.

Researchers thought that some factors could work together, which can cause the lack of hypocretin. Here are the narcolepsy causes or factors that trigger lack of hypocretin:

  • Adrenaline: lack of hypocretin can be triggered by lower levels of adrenaline, which is the hormone that is responsible for arousal, and alertness in our body.
  • Monoamine oxidase: This is the enzyme that is believed to present arousal in our body. Changes in this enzyme can also trigger to lack of hypocretin.
  • Histamine: Low histamine levels, which is a substance in the blood that can promote wakefulness.
  • Acetylcholine: Another trigger is Acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that shows effects the REM Sleep.
  • Dopamine: This is an neurotransmitter, which helps us in sleep regulation. Changes in this neurotransmitter can also be a trigger.
  • Leptin: This is the hormone, which is linked to the obesity of our body. Reduced levels of leptin can also one of the narcolepsy causes.
  • Growth Hormone: If the secretion of this hormone during daytime is higher, then it result in sudden daytime sleep.

Autoimmune Diseases

It is believed to be one of the narcolepsy causes. The research conducted in Australia during 2004 said that the autoimmune diseases are also one of the triggers for developing narcolepsy symptoms.

Still there is much to learn about narcolepsy causes, but it is strongly believe that genes plays a major role and after that low amount of hypocretin, and autoimmune diseases are also a reason behind narcolepsy.

It runs in the family for some people, but most of them with narcolepsy, they don’t relate to any of their relatives that suffer from the same disorder.

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