Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder affecting more than 1 in 2,000 Americans. The disease is principally characterized by a permanent and overwhelming feeling of sleepiness and fatigue. Other symptoms involve abnormalities of dreaming sleep, such as dream-like hallucinations and finding oneself physically weak or paralyzed for a few seconds. In addition, narcoleptics usually experience disturbed night-time sleep. Tragically, most individuals with the disorder are not diagnosed and thus are not treated.
The Stanford Center for Narcolepsy Research (SCNR) is currently conducting a study to identify the genes that cause narcolepsy and related sleep disorders such as idiopathic hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness). By collecting and analyzing blood samples, throat swabs and spinal fluid we hope to reveal the responsible genes or proteins . If we can identify one or more unique gene or protein, physicians would have a simple, minimally invasive test for diagnosing narcolepsy and related sleep disorders.
We are actively recruiting subjects and controls. To learn more about becoming a research participant in a narcolepsy study, contact Mali Einen.