Sleeping disease

A neurological disorder marked by a sudden recurrent uncontrollable compulsion to sleep. Also known as narcolepsy. The disorder is often associated with cataplexy (a sudden loss of muscle tone and paralysis of voluntary muscles associated with a strong emotion), sleep paralysis (immobility of the body that occurs in the transition from sleep to wakefulness), what are called hypnagogic hallucinations (pre-sleep dreams) and automatic behaviors (such as doing something "automatically" and not remembering afterwards how one did it). 125,000 Americans are estimated to have narcolepsy. It strikes males and females and all races. Symptoms most commonly appear in a person’s teens and early twenties. The disease can vary in severity. Some persons with it have mild sleepiness or rare cataplexy (less than one episode per week). Other persons may have moderate sleepiness or infrequent cataplexy (less than one episode a day). Still other persons with narcolepsy may experience severe sleepiness or have severe cataplexy (with one or more episodes of cataplexy per day). The cause(s) of narcolepsy are unknown. It is not a fatal disorder in itself but it can lead to fatalities. For example, a narcoleptic may fall asleep while driving. Narcolepsy is usually treated with a medication to improve alertness and an anti-depressant that helps control cataplexy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998 approved Provigil (modafinil), a non-amphetamine drug for treating the excessive sleepiness of narcolepsy. Other names for this disorder include excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), hypnolepsy, paroxysmal sleep, and Gelineau syndrome.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sleeping disease — noun see sleeping sickness 3 …   Useful english dictionary

  • sleeping sickness — n 1) a serious disease that is prevalent in much of tropical Africa, is marked by fever, headache, protracted lethargy, confusion, sleep disturbances, tremors, and loss of weight, is caused by either of two trypanosomes (Trypanosoma brucei… …   Medical dictionary

  • sleeping sickness — sleeping .sickness n [U] a serious ↑tropical disease that is carried by the ↑tsetse fly (=a type of insect) . It causes extreme tiredness and fever, and makes you lose weight …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sleeping sickness — sleeping ,sickness noun uncount a serious tropical disease in which you have a fever, lose weight, and are extremely tired …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sleeping sickness — ► NOUN ▪ a tropical disease transmitted by the bite of the tsetse fly, marked by extreme lethargy …   English terms dictionary

  • sleeping sickness — n. 1. an infectious disease, esp. common in tropical Africa, caused by either of two trypanosomes (Trypanosoma gambiense or T. rhodesiense) that are transmitted by the bite of a tsetse fly: it is characterized by fever, drowsiness, and coma,… …   English World dictionary

  • Sleeping sickness — MedlinePlus = 001362 eMedicineSubj = med eMedicineTopic = 2140 MeshID = D014353 Sleeping sickness or human African trypanosomiasis is a parasitic disease of people and animals, caused by protozoa of species Trypanosoma brucei and transmitted by… …   Wikipedia

  • sleeping sickness — Pathol. 1. Also called African sleeping sickness, African trypanosomiasis. a generally fatal disease, common in parts of Africa, characterized by fever, wasting, and progressive lethargy: caused by a parasitic protozoan, Trypanosoma gambiense or… …   Universalium

  • disease — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Condition of ill health Nouns 1. disease, illness, sickness, ailment, ailing; morbidity, infirmity, ailment, indisposition; complaint, disorder, malady; functional disorder. 2. condition, affliction,… …   English dictionary for students

  • sleeping sickness — African trypanosomiasis a disease of tropical Africa caused by the presence in the blood of the parasitic protozoans Trypanosoma gambiense or T. rhodesiense. The parasites are transmitted through the bite of tsetse flies. Initial symptoms include …   The new mediacal dictionary

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