Narcolepsy Causes

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Fri, 06/25/2010

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder, affecting the area of the brain that regulates the asleep and awake cycle. Narcoleptics can fall asleep while working, talking, or driving.

What causes Narcolepsy?

Most people with narcolepsy have low levels of hypocretin, a chemical in the brain that controls wakefulness. A cause of insufficient hypocretin level is still not clearly understandable.

Research suggests that certain factors may contribute to the cause of low level of hypocretin. These factors may include:

  • Heredity (Genetics) - Up to 10 % of people with narcolepsy has a relative with this condition.
  • Infections
  • Brain’s injuries are due to certain conditions, such as brain tumors or strokes.
  • Expose to toxins, such as pesticides.
  • Autoimmune disorder is the body's immune system attacks the own healthy cells, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Heredity alone does not cause narcolepsy, also must have at least one more triggering factor listed above, to develop narcolepsy.