What does a cataplexy attack feel like?

What does a cataplexy attack feel like?

Cataplexy is sudden muscle weakness triggered by strong emotions like embarrassment, laughter, surprise, or anger. Cataplexy can cause your head to drop, your face to droop, your jaw to weaken, or your knees to give way. Attacks can also affect your whole body and cause you to fall down.

What does narcolepsy with cataplexy look like?

Other symptoms may include sudden muscle weakness while awake that makes a person go limp or unable to move (cataplexy), vivid dream-like images or hallucinations, and total paralysis just before falling asleep or just after waking up (sleep paralysis).

Does cataplexy confirm narcolepsy?

Understanding test results In people with narcolepsy, the overnight polysomnogram is often normal. However, about one-third of patients with narcolepsy with cataplexy will enter REM sleep within 15 minutes after falling asleep, and this is considered very supportive of a diagnosis of narcolepsy.

Can you feel cataplexy coming on?

Cataplexy happens when your muscles suddenly go limp or significantly weaken without warning. You may experience cataplexy when you feel a strong emotion or emotional sensation. This can include crying, laughing, or feeling angry. You may find yourself falling over or losing control over your facial expressions.

How do you test for cataplexy?

There isn’t a specific test to detect cataplexy, although it has been suggested that video recordings of episodes may be a helpful tool9. Cataplexy is usually diagnosed based on an interview with patients and their families10.

Can you have cataplexy but not narcolepsy?

In addition, cataplexy can be a side effect of several drugs (eg, lamotrigine, clozapine, and gamma-hydroxybutyrate). Yet, the most prevalent causes of cataplexy without narcolepsy are rare genetic diseases; which explains why cataplexy is classically linked to narcolepsy.

What percentage of narcoleptics have cataplexy?

About 60 percent of people with narcolepsy have a symptom called cataplexy — a sudden episode of muscle weakness while awake.

Is there a cure for cataplexy?

There is no cure for cataplexy or narcolepsy. Symptoms of narcolepsy (including cataplexy) typically develop over several months and last a lifetime. Depending on the severity, some people with cataplexy may only have one or two attacks in a lifetime, whereas others may experience multiple attacks a day.

Are there different types of narcolepsy?

There are two types of narcolepsy —type 1 and type 2. Type 1 may include the presence of the symptom of cataplexy. Cataplexy is defined as more than one episode of brief, usually symmetrical sudden loss of muscle tone with retained consciousness.

What is type 2 narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy 2: Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder where characterized by the classic tetrad of excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis. Some cases are linked to a genetic anomaly – Type 2 is linked to an anomaly on chromosome 4q13-q21.

How is cataplexy diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Cataplexy. Diagnosis is often done by a neurologist or a sleep expert. Diagnosis involves obtaining a detailed case history followed by a full physical examination to assess the general health condition of the patient.


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