narcolepsy

narcoleptic, adj., n.
/nahr"keuh lep'see/, n. Pathol.
a condition characterized by frequent and uncontrollable periods of deep sleep.
[1875-80; NARCO- + (EPI)LEPSY]

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Sleep disorder with sudden, uncontrollable spells of daytime sleep and disturbances of nighttime sleep.

It usually begins in youth or early adulthood and is presumably due to dysfunction of certain brain structures. Narcoleptics can fall asleep anywhere and anytime
for instance, while talking, eating, or driving. Sleep usually lasts a moment, rarely over an hour, and the narcoleptic is easily awakened. Sleep paralysis, normal when falling asleep or waking, occurs during full consciousness in narcolepsy, with brief but complete inability to move.

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▪ sleep disturbance
      a sleep disturbance that is characterized by sudden, uncontrollable spells of sleep during the day, with disturbances of sleep at night.

      The syndrome usually occurs in youth or early adult life and is presumably due to dysfunction of the diencephalic reticular system. The narcoleptic can fall asleep anywhere, anytime—while in conversation, at work, while eating, and even when standing or walking. Sleep may last a few seconds or several minutes, rarely for more than an hour, and the narcoleptic is easily awakened to an alert state. Narcoleptics may also experience sleep paralysis, which normally occurs as one is either falling asleep or awakening. Although mentally alert, the narcoleptic experiencing sleep paralysis is totally unable to move for a very brief period. Most narcoleptics reveal rapid eye movement (REM) at the onset of sleep, in contrast to normal sleep, in which REM occurs about 90 minutes after the onset of sleep. Associated with narcolepsy is cataplexy, a brief impairment of muscle tone such as a limpness of the arms or legs.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Narcolepsy —    Narcolepsy means sudden, irresistible sleep attacks, often accompanied by cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle tone), hypnagogic hallucinations ( just before falling asleep), and sleep paralysis (sensation of being figuratively nailed to the bed) …   Historical dictionary of Psychiatry

  • narcolepsy — (n.) 1880, from Fr. narcolepsie, coined 1880 by French physician Jean Baptiste Édouard Gélineau (1859 1928) from comb. form of Gk. narke numbness, stupor (see NARCOTIC (Cf. narcotic)) + lepsis an attack, seizure, from leps , future stem of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • narcolepsy — [när′kə lep΄sē] n. [ NARCO + LEPSY] a condition of frequent and uncontrollable desire for sleep; paroxysmal sleep narcoleptic adj., n …   English World dictionary

  • Narcolepsy — For other uses, see Narcolepsy (disambiguation). Narcolepsy Classification and external resources ICD 10 G47.4 ICD 9 …   Wikipedia

  • Narcolepsy — A neurological disorder marked by a sudden recurrent uncontrollable compulsion to sleep. Narcolepsy is often associated with cataplexy (a sudden loss of muscle tone and paralysis of voluntary muscles associated with a strong emotion), sleep… …   Medical dictionary

  • Narcolepsy — Klassifikation nach ICD 10 G47.4 Narkolepsie und Kataplexie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • narcolepsy — [[t]nɑ͟ː(r)kəlepsi[/t]] N UNCOUNT Narcolepsy is a rare medical condition. It causes people who suffer from it to fall into a deep sleep at any time without any warning. ...an attack of narcolepsy …   English dictionary

  • narcolepsy — noun A disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep, often brief, sometimes accompanied by paralysis and hallucinations Excitement induced narcolepsy caused him to sleep through the most important events of his life …   Wiktionary

  • narcolepsy — n. an extreme tendency to fall asleep in quiet surroundings or when engaged in monotonous activities. The patient can be woken easily and is immediately alert. It is often associated with cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • narcolepsy — noun (plural sies) Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: 1880 a condition characterized by brief attacks of deep sleep often occurring with cataplexy and hypnagogic hallucinations • narcoleptic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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