Narcolepsy: The Peripheral Nervous System

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The nervous system is a compound set of specialized cells and nerves that integrate the voluntary and involuntary actions of the body and send signals between different parts of the body.When it comes to structure, the nervous system has two main parts: the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is made up of ganglia and nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. The central nervous system consists of the spinal cord, nerves and brain.

The primary duty of the peripheral nervous system is to link the central nervous system to the organs and limbs. This helps to pass on information back and forth between the body and the brain. The peripheral nervous system, unlike the central nervous system, …show more content…

One disease that affects roughly 200,000 Americans each year is narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is an autoimmune, neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness. The cause of the disorder is unknown, but research shows patterns in a decrease or lack of the chemical hypocretin in the brain or genetics, or exposure to the H1N1 virus.

Because there are so many symptoms that relate to Narcolepsy, the disorder is extremely hard to diagnose. Symptoms range from excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, hypnagogic hallucinations, disturbed nocturnal sleep and obesity. Excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy are among the most common symptoms of a narcoleptic. However, whether or not an individual has cataplexy determines if said individual has Narcolepsy type 1 or type …show more content…

The multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) is a test performed during the day to determine how long it takes a person to fall asleep and how often REM sleep disturbs the natural wake cycle. Over the course of the day, an individual takes four to seven short naps that are scheduled at least two hours apart. If the individual's sleep latency period is eight minutes or less, the person typically has excessive daytime sleepiness. However, having a sleep latency period less than eight minutes does not necessarily mean the individual has narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is extremely difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms of narcolepsy can stand alone as their own disorders. The multiple sleep latency test also measures the respiratory rate, heart rate and determines irregular REM periods in the sleep cycle. Typically a person who enters REM sleep within five minutes of sleep will show signs of

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