What Causes Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is perhaps most well known for the way it can affect a person’s ability to remain awake and of making them suddenly fall asleep. It is a rare neurological condition that affects the nervous system and may be related to other sleep disorders. Some of the most common causes of narcolepsy will be discussed below, as well as what can be done to treat it, but if you are looking to learn more you can reach out to your local Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, sleep specialist Dr. Jeremy McConnell.


Narcolepsy itself isn’t inherently dangerous, the way it affects a person’s ability to sleep or even remain awake is what can lead to complications.

During the night they can find it very difficult to fall asleep and during the daytime they may suffer from a condition known as cataplexy.

Cataplexy is the sudden yet temporary loss of muscle control that can lead to an unexpected collapse. Strong emotions can trigger it, such as fear or excitement and even laughter. These episodes can occur many times a day or once a year.

Because of these episodes, those who suffer from narcolepsy can find themselves in very dangerous situations if they are far from help or somewhere hazardous. This along with the inherent problems related to lack of sleep makes the condition a serious problem.

Risk Factors

The exact cause of narcolepsy is not yet known, yet there is a potential link between those who suffer it and a decreased amount of a brain protein called hypocretin.

The condition is believed to be hereditary or in some cases related to an autoimmune problem.

Narcolepsy in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL

There is no cure for the condition but your doctor can prescribe medication and suggest lifestyle changes that can greatly improve your outlook.

If you are looking for help in treating narcolepsy or any other sleep disorder in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. McConnell by dialing (941) 792-8383 for the Bradenton, FL, office and (941) 827-0701 for Sarasota, FL.