Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Another Step Towards Understanding The Causes Of Narcolepsy

Date:
December 22, 2004
Source:
Lancet
Summary:
Results of a preliminary study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest a step forward in our understanding of the processes behind narcolepsy; there appears to be an underlying autoimmune process for people with a certain genetic profile. Future diagnostic testing of people with this profile should lead to substantial improvements in disease treatment.

Results of a preliminary study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest a step forward in our understanding of the processes behind narcolepsy; there appears to be an underlying autoimmune process for people with a certain genetic profile. Future diagnostic testing of people with this profile should lead to substantial improvements in disease treatment.

Narcolepsy is a chronic disabling sleep-wake disorder characterised by excessive daytime sleepiness, which is caused by changes in hormone concentrations and nervous system activity. Tom Gordon (Flinders University, South Australia) and colleagues induced narcolepsy-like symptoms in smooth muscles of mice by injecting antibodies from blood samples of 9 people with confirmed narcolepsy. Mice injected with antibodies from 9 people who did not have narcolepsy (the control group) did not develop such symptoms.

Professor Gordon comments: "Our findings suggest that the functional autoantibody is a sensitive and specific marker for human narcolepsy and might lead to a clinically useful assay for diagnosing narcolepsy… Identification of the target of the autoantibody and a better understanding of its long-term effects could open up new possibilities for diagnosis and management of this disabling disease."

In an accompanying commentary (p 2076), Merrill S Wise (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA, concludes: "If these preliminary findings are replicated with larger numbers of narcolepsy patients and appropriately selected healthy and diseased controls…[this study] will have opened an exciting new chapter in the narcolepsy story. The investigators might have identified the missing link that connects an autoimmune process to selective loss of hypocretin neurons and the development of narcolepsy. A clinically useful assay could lead to earlier diagnosis and improve the likelihood for effective use of immunomodulators, hypocretin agonists, or perhaps a preventive strategy before loss of hypocretin neurons below a critical threshold.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lancet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Lancet. "Another Step Towards Understanding The Causes Of Narcolepsy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220032713.htm>.
Lancet. (2004, December 22). Another Step Towards Understanding The Causes Of Narcolepsy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220032713.htm
Lancet. "Another Step Towards Understanding The Causes Of Narcolepsy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220032713.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins