Unformatted text preview: Narcolepsy Causes and symptoms Causes One of the causes of narcolepsy is a genetic mutation. In 1999 researchers identified the gene that causes the disorder. The narcolepsy gene allows cells in the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that regulates sleep behavior) to receive messages from other cells. As a result of the mutation, the cells cannot communicate properly, and abnormal sleeping patterns develop. Other researchers are also looking into the possibility that narcolepsy may be caused by some kind of autoimmune disorder. This theory suggests that the person's immune system accidentally turns against the specific area of the brain that controls alertness and sleep, injuring or destroying it. The disorder sometimes runs in families, but most people with narcolepsy have no relatives with the disorder. Researchers believe that the inheritance of narcolepsy is similar to that of heart disease. In heart disease, several genes play a role in being susceptible to the disorder, but it does disease....
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This note was uploaded on 02/28/2012 for the course PSY PSY2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.
- Fall '09