July 5, 2010
June 24, 2010
While perusing the curehunter.com database, I found a new article to be published this July, written by Stanford's own Christian Guilleminault, Mia Zaharna, and Alex Dimitriu.
The reasons that I find it sooo interesting is that it describes Narcolepsy as a neurodegenerative disorder, instead of the usually described neurological disorder. Also, there are some new treatment options that they mention that I had not heard of yet connected to Narcolepsy. The abstract states:
Have any of you heard of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) therapy?
You can access the abstract by clicking here. Please let me know if you have any insight into this abstract or any comments would be appreciated. It seems to me that it is a pretty important step in introducing some optional treatments for Narcolepsy.
And by the way, it is just me, or is it a new thing to describe Narcolepsy as a "neurodegenerative" disorder?
May 26, 2010
LINDSLEY G, CRAWFORD B Sleep Research 1996; 25: 279. Lesley College and Quintiles/Benefit Research
According to recent studies, the comorbidity rate of narcolepsy and depression is estimated to be between 30-52%, as compared with a depression prevalence rate of 8.1% in the general population. Our current study provides further support of the significantly elevated comorbidity rate of narcolepsy and depression, and extends these findings. Subjects were 22 men and 44 women between the ages of 17 and 76 (mean=49ñ15.24) who completed a survey intended to assess the financial burden of narcolepsy. Estimated age of narcolepsy symptom onset was 20 yoñ10.64. The mean age of diagnosis was 34 yo ñ 11.49 years, with a mean lag of 14ñ11.53 years from estimated year of onset. According to the subjects' retrospective reports, 46% carried an accurate diagnosis of depression prior to their diagnosis of narcolepsy. Strikingly, 56% of the sample continued to carry this diagnosis during this past year. There was also a high comorbidity with diagnoses of anxiety. 32% carried this diagnosis prior to identification of narcolepsy, which increased to a rate of 35% within the past year. Overall rate of moderate to severe mood disturbance was 58% of the sample pre-narcolepsy diagnosis, which stayed essentially the same, 57%, during the past year.
Looked at separately, the five subjects in the sample < 25 yo had a lag of 0-5 years from onset to diagnosis. The data showed essentially the same trends with respect to associated diagnoses of depression and severity of mood disturbance, except that anxiety frequency increased rather then remained the same during the past year.
With respect to co-relationships among potentially relevant variables, severity of depression was independent of reported severity of EDS, cataplexy, disruption of school or work life, and medication. As graphed below for the current year data, however, there was a striking relationship between severity of depressed mood and presence/absence of anxiety diagnoses, with anxiety diagnoses increasing as depressed mood increased. Severity of depression also had a similar relationship with difficulty focusing and concentrating (cognitive disturbance).
In conclusion: (1) The probability of depression in association with narcolepsy is very high; (2) Formal diagnoses of depression are significantly related to diagnoses of anxiety; (3) Severity of depressed mood appears also to be related to degree of cognitive disturbance; (4) Depression increased rather than decreased across the life span in these subjects whereas anxiety increased in our small sample of young people but decreased moderately from prediagnosis to the current year in the total sample; and (5) that there was no obvious relationship between subjectively reported severity of depressed mood and severity of EDS or cataplexy, degree of disruption of school or work life, or type of medication. These data reinforce how critical it is to address affective disturbance as well as the primary symptoms of narcolepsy when treating narcoleptic patients. In addition, the high comorbidity rate of depression with narcolepsy, even when EDS and cataplexy are more or less under control, raise the question of whether depression is actually a constituent rather than merely a concomitant of narcolepsy.
Research supported in part by Cephalon, Inc.
Interesting? When research is supported by drug companies, I usually am a bit skeptical, but this study isn't surprising to me, nor does it seem unlikely. What do you think about it? Leave a comment if you like, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Until next time,
Via Con Dios,
April 10, 2010
I have recently had the opportunity to read some medical journals and reviews about Narcolepsy dating back to the late 1800's. I realize that we know so much more in today's world, but damn!
There is absolutely no doubt that medicine in the 1800's and early 1900's was frequently scary as hell, just take a look here and the so scary, I could pee my pants selections here, at the "Dr. Bonkers Institute", to get the picture.But back to Narcolepsy...
April 7, 2010
Since the discovery that Narcolepsy is most likely an Autoimmune Disease, I know I have been combing the web for information on new developments and articles discussing this topic.
I found a link provided by Medical Planet, that offers a free download book (pdf) called "Narcolepsy and Hypersomnia (Lung Biology in Health and Disease)". One of the editors is Emmanuel Mignot, so I am thinking that it might be a good read. Here is the description of the book from the blog page at Medical Planet,
"This is the first and only guide to discuss narcolepsy as an autoimmune disease. Compiled by an international group of more than 40 authors, this reference book supplies an engaging and comprehensive review of the major topics and key issues associated with narcolepsy and hypersomnia. Spanning the latest advances in the field, this source covers current diagnostic procedures, genetic developments, explorations of animal models, new definitions and criteria, and improved epidemiological surveys to reflect the explosion of research in this evolving science."
The book appears to be published in December of 2006. I have downloaded the book but I have not yet had a chance to read it yet. It has 736 pages!! You can download it HERE.
With the download, there are some other files that come with it that appear to be links to other services and possibly material that the website might be trying to sell, but you don't have to open them unless you want to. My computer did not detect any virus or malware with this file download, but of course, make sure you check it on your computer, just to be safe!
I hope that this will be useful to some of you, and the website the book came from looks pretty interesting too, although this was my first visit.
If you get a chance to check it out, please leave a comment!