Narcolepsy type 2 is the type of narcolepsy without cataplexy. Cataplexy refers to the sudden loss of muscle control. The biggest difference between narcolepsy type 1 and 2 is the presence of cataplexy. Narcolepsy is quite rare as it affects only 1 in about 2,000 people. It causes a few symptoms, one of which is excessive sleepiness. Those with this condition often complain about trouble staying awake during the day.
Cataplexy causes someone to lose control over his muscles very suddenly. This is usually triggered by strong emotions which could be happiness or sadness. The patient could go from being fully conscious to feeling sleepy and then falling asleep. All these happen in a relatively short time. The person may also experience a slurred speech during the attack. Narcolepsy type 2 doesn’t have this particular symptom. Meanwhile, other symptoms like daytime sleepiness are present in both conditions.
Apart from cataplexy, the two types of narcolepsy share similar symptoms. Sleepiness is very common among patients. The excessive sleepiness can eventually affect their productivity. Additionally, narcoleptics often report about being lethargic and having a hard time concentrating. Hallucinations are another symptom that many sufferers also have.
Hallucinations refer to thoughts that don’t actually happen in real life. Sufferers often find themselves being trapped in a situation that feels so real, but in reality, it’s just a delusion. Sleep paralysis is another symptom reported in people with narcolepsy. This occurs while one is half asleep. During the onset, the person will feel like he’s awake, but actually still in a sleep state.
What truly happens is his mind is awake, which is why the experience feels so real. He would be able to see things vividly in his mind. However, he wouldn’t be able to talk or make any movement. Once he manages to snap out of the situation, he will regain his ability to speak.
A few treatments may need to be combined to provide the best results. In many cases, this condition results from the lack of hypocretin production. This is because the cells that regulate the production are dead. Knowing its importance in controlling the sleep-wake cycle, not surprising that daytime sleepiness comes as a symptom.
Besides medications, the doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes and complimentary therapies to solve the issue. By combining different treatments, the patient will understand how to react when the symptoms suddenly appear. It’s important to work with a doctor who has had special training in the treatment of neurological disorders.