Narcolepsy Brain vs Normal Brain: Difference and Comparison

An incapacitating sleep disease called narcolepsy is characterized by extreme daytime drowsiness and unusual signs of rapid eye movement sleep. Research shows that narcolepsy affects around one in 2,000 people in the United States. The neurological condition narcolepsy, commonly known as “sleep attacks,” affects how the brain regulates a person’s sleep and awake cycles.

Key Takeaways

  1. Narcolepsy brains have reduced hypocretin levels, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating wakefulness, compared to normal brains.
  2. Narcolepsy brains experience sudden REM sleep transitions, whereas normal brains transition gradually through sleep stages.
  3. Narcolepsy brains are more prone to sleep attacks, excessive daytime sleepiness, and cataplexy, while normal brains do not exhibit these symptoms.
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Narcolepsy Brain vs Normal Brain

Narcolepsy is a brain activity that can affect the routine work of people. Its symptoms include blurry recognition and hallucinations. Narcolepsy is also called sleep disorder. People suffering from Narcolepsy feel sleepy throughout the day. A normal brain controls every function of the body efficiently. Normal people do not find it difficult to stay awake the whole day.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonNarcolepsyNormal brain
ThinkingUnstable thinkingStable thinking
RecognitionBlurryClear
Rapid eye movement15 minutes60-85minutes
HallucinationsHappenDoesn’t happen
Oversleeping during the dayHappenNever happen

What is Narcolepsy Brain?

Both neurological conditions and sleep disorders are called narcolepsy. Your sleep-wake cycles are impacted by changes in your brain, which are the cause of the illness. Narcolepsy initially frequently results in difficulties falling asleep at night as well as difficulties remaining awake throughout the day. You could also have additional symptoms, such as sudden paralysis of the muscles. Such symptoms might make it challenging to carry out regular responsibilities.

Narcolepsy comes in two different forms:

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The first is Cataplexy, low levels of the brain chemical hypocretin, and excessive daytime drowsiness are all symptoms of type 1 narcolepsy in sufferers. The second form of narcolepsy patients have severe daytime drowsiness but do not experience cataplexy and have normal hypocretin levels.

Changes in the hypothalamus area of your brain lead to the development of narcolepsy. Your brain stem is above this little gland. The release of hormones that have an impact on various bodily organs is regulated in part by the hypothalamus. For instance, it’s in charge of releasing hypocretins, which aid in controlling sleep. The cause of the death of hypocretin neurons is unknown to science.

Some hypothesize that narcolepsy is caused by an autoimmune illness that targets the brain cells that make hypocretin because individuals with narcolepsy have higher-than-average levels of anti-streptolysin O antibodies. The autoimmune system theory is supported by the seasonal start of narcolepsy, which occurs more frequently during the winter season.

What is Normal Brain?

The brain is a complex organ that controls every body function, including intellect, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, and hunger. Regardless of the presence or absence of illnesses, brain health is the condition of brain functioning throughout the cognitive, sensory, social-emotional, behavioural, and motor domains that enables a person to reach their full potential during the course of their life.

Addressing these variables may enhance not just one’s mental and physical health but also one’s social and economic situation, all of which promote well-being and progress in society.

Numerous studies have shown that people who are physically active have a decreased chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease and are less likely to have a loss in their mental function. Many individuals believe that these benefits are due to increased blood flow to the brain during exercise. How well you sleep affects your capacity to think effectively.

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It’s crucial to make an effort to obtain seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, as opposed to sleeping in two- or three-hour bursts. The brain requires time to organize and maintain memories, which undisturbed sleep supplies adequately.

brain

Main Differences Between Narcolepsy Brain and Normal Brain

  1. An autoimmune condition. An individual’s immune system destroys the brain cells that make hypocretin, which causes a deficiency of this substance, which doesn’t happen to a normal brain.
  2. Despite normal brain, people with narcolepsy can suffer from memory problems up to completely forgetting a certain thing.
  3. Another narcolepsy symptom is insomnia, when a person cannot sleep for up to several days, which doesn’t appear in the normal brain.
  4. Persons with narcolepsy fall asleep for several seconds but continue to do some tasks which the normal brain doesn’t.
  5. Unlike normal brains, people with narcolepsy brain are having difficulties with concentration.
References
  1. https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article-abstract/32/8/993/2679679
  2. https://n.neurology.org/content/65/8/1184.short

Last Updated : 27 July, 2023

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