Question: What Does Cataplexy Mean?

What does cataplexy look like?

Cataplexy is sudden muscle weakness triggered by strong emotions like embarrassment, laughter, surprise, or anger.

Cataplexy can cause your head to drop, your face to droop, your jaw to weaken, or your knees to give way.

Attacks can also affect your whole body and cause you to fall down..

Is cataplexy a disability?

As you can imagine, suffering from narcolepsy with cataplexy can be quite disabling. Experiencing episodes of random extreme sleepiness or muscle weakness leading to total body collapse can be quite scary, and frankly unsafe. Individuals suffering from this condition certainly should not be driving vehicles.

Can cataplexy go away?

Although it is a different condition, cataplexy is sometimes misdiagnosed as a seizure disorder. There is no cure for cataplexy, but it can be managed with medications and modification of potential triggers.

What happens if narcolepsy goes untreated?

When left untreated, narcolepsy can be socially disabling and isolating. It often leads to the onset of depression. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may occur more often in people with narcolepsy. Making lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms.

What can cause cataplexy?

Cataplexy. This sudden loss of muscle tone while a person is awake leads to weakness and a loss of voluntary muscle control. It is often triggered by sudden, strong emotions such as laughter, fear, anger, stress, or excitement.

Can cataplexy look like a seizure?

Cataplexy is triggered by emotions that many consider “hysteric” and may be interpreted as “fainting” or “seizure” spells.

Can you drive if you have narcolepsy?

If you’re diagnosed with narcolepsy, it may affect your ability to drive. Stop driving immediately and inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You’ll need to complete a medical questionnaire so your individual circumstances can be assessed.

How long can cataplexy last?

Cataplexy attacks generally last less than two minutes, and they may only last a few seconds, though some people have repeated attacks of cataplexy which persist for up to 30 minutes. During both mild and severe attacks, the person stays fully conscious.

Can you drive if you have cataplexy?

Though uncommon, cataplexy while driving can cause a person to lose control of the automobile. Therefore, individuals with narcolepsy must determine when it is safe to drive, if at all. Research on driving with narcolepsy is limited, but what is known highlights the problem.

What are the five signs of narcolepsy?

There are 5 main symptoms of narcolepsy, referred to by the acronym CHESS (Cataplexy, Hallucinations, Excessive daytime sleepiness, Sleep paralysis, Sleep disruption). While all patients with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness, they may not experience all 5 symptoms.

What happens during cataplexy?

Cataplexy happens when your muscles suddenly go limp or significantly weaken without warning. You may experience cataplexy when you feel a strong emotion or emotional sensation. This can include crying, laughing, or feeling angry. You may find yourself falling over or losing control over your facial expressions.

What is the difference between cataplexy and narcolepsy?

Clinicians now recognize two major types of narcolepsy: narcolepsy with cataplexy (muscle weakness triggered by strong emotions) and narcolepsy without cataplexy. People who have narcolepsy without cataplexy have sleepiness but no emotionally triggered muscle weakness, and generally have less severe symptoms.

Is sexsomnia a real condition?

Summary: Sexsomnia is frequently associated with concurrent sleep conditions or drugs initiation. It is a real clinical disorder which should be properly diagnosed and managed.

How do you diagnose cataplexy?

Cataplexy is usually diagnosed based on an interview with patients and their families10. In an interview, doctors are looking for the classic signs of cataplexy. A doctor may ask about how often a person experiences episodes and how long they last, triggering events, and which muscles are affected.

Is caffeine bad for narcolepsy?

Consider your caffeine use. Some people with narcolepsy find coffee or other caffeinated beverages helpful to staying awake. For others, coffee is ineffective, or, in combination with stimulant medications, it can cause jitteriness, diarrhea, anxiety, or a racing heart.

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