What is it, what are its symptoms and its treatment

The cataplexy or cataplexy, a disease suffered by journalist Jordi Évole, is a neurological disorder associated with narcolepsy characterized by sudden loss of muscle tone in the face of strong emotions such as an attack of laughter, panic, anger or stress. In addition, when the attacks are severe, the affected person may even faint or remain paralyzed for several minutes.

Typically a cataplexy attack it is usually brief, its duration is normally less than two minutes and does not leave any sequel. On average, those who suffer from this disorder experience several episodes a week, although for some it happens several times a day.

One of the main problems derived from this disease are the domestic and work accidents, and the risk to their personal safety increases if they drive vehicles or operate machinery. Also, the social activity it can also be seen diminished.

Causes of cataplexy

This disorder is associated with a deficiency of the hormone orexin, or hypocretin, one of the main ones involved in the regulation of sleep. Its levels are characteristically high during motor activity, while levels decrease as the depth of sleep increases. Thus, the lack of this hormone can cause a sleep dissociation in waking hours.

Main symptoms of cataplexy

-Facial spasms, blinking, or expressions that cannot be controlled

-Jaw tremor

-Head can tilt forward

-Fallen eyelid

-Relaxation of the knees

-Difficulty speaking

-Visual hallucinations when falling asleep or waking up

Treatment of cataplexy

Cataplexy it has no cure, it can only be treated. Sodium oxybate is the first product authorized by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) with proven efficacy in the treatment of cataplexy related to narcolepsy. It is taken to improve nighttime sleep and its form of administration is in the form of two doses: one before going to sleep and another four hours later.

In addition, it is necessary to carry out a good sleep practice . Being a pathology directly related to it, it is advisable to have regular rest hours and sleep between 7 and 8 hours a day, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The realization of physical exercise, a healthy diet and avoid the consumption of alcohol and tobacco they are also effective in preventing these attacks.

This information does not replace in any case the diagnosis or prescription by a doctor. It is important to go to a specialist when symptoms occur in case of illness and never self-medicate.

It may interest you