University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach
Narcolepsy (hypersomnolence) is a disorder that affects 1 in 2000 individuals in the United States and it is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and catalepsy, which is a sudden loss of muscle tone. As of relatively recent years, there has been a general consensus amongst the scientific community concerning the etiology of narcolepsy as numerous studies suggest that it is caused by the deficiency of neurotransmitters called orexin-A and orexin-B (or hypocretin-1 and hypocretin-2). Research suggests that deficiencies of these proteins are related to a mutation on chromosome 6 in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex which is a locus that houses genes responsible for critical immune-related responses. At this point, an explanation describing the mechanism behind the mutation of the HLA complex and how such a mutation results in a orexin deficiency remains of topic of speculation, although mechanisms regarding the specific pathophysiology have been hypothesized. The primary purpose of this research is to distinctly discuss the hypothesized mechanisms behind the pathophysiology of narcolepsy-cataplexy by presenting a review that seeks to synthesize current literature. Additionally, new technologies responsible for contributing much of the information available on the subject including current and future treatments for narcolepsy will be discussed.
Narcolepsy – Pathophysiology; Neurotransmitters; Orexins; Protein deficiency
Medical Neurobiology | Medical Physiology | Other Medical Sciences | Other Medical Specialties
Toward a mechanistic understanding of narcolepsy with cataplexy.
Available at: http://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/mcnair_posters/12