Navigation Links
Researcher IDs Narcolepsy as Autoimmune Disease
Date:5/4/2009

Discovery of 2 gene variants that kill off protective hormone could lead to new treatments

MONDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Stanford University researchers say they have determined that the sleep disorder narcolepsy is actually an autoimmune disease.

The finding, published in the May 3 online issue of Nature Genetics, links narcolepsy to mutations of two genes involved in critical roles in protecting the body from disease. These two variations, they say, are likely conspirators against hypocretin, a hormone that promotes wakefulness, and that narcoleptics have been found to lack.

Narcolepsy causes excessive drowsiness, to the point of the person having brief but sudden bursts of sleep during the day. The condition, which affects about one in 2,000 people, also causes poor nighttime sleep patterns and even cataplexy -- a sudden loss of muscle tone and strength.

"This is a very important finding," sleep disorder expert Merrill Mitler, program director at the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, said in a Stanford news release. "It puts in place another piece of the puzzle and shows a way to link [this gene variant] to hypocretin-containing neurons via an autoimmune attack."

The researchers conducted genetic studies on 1,800 people with a variant for the human leukocyte antigen, or HLA, gene, which helps the immune system identify foreign bodies it needs to eliminate to protect the body. Previous studies had linked the HLA variant to narcolepsy, a condition nearly half the study subjects had.

The Stanford team found that all the study participants with narcolepsy also had a mutated gene link to T-cells, which are vital cogs in all the body's immune responses.

Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, director of Stanford's Center for Narcolepsy, said it's likely that HLA and the T-cell variant interact in a way that kills hypocretin cells, although his team's findings did not determine that direct relationship.

"For a long time, people have suspected narcolepsy had something to do with the immune system -- that it was killing cells that produce hypocretin," Mignot, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, said in the news release. "But there hasn't been direct proof. Our discovery clearly shows narcolepsy is an autoimmune disease."

If further study can reveal the two mutations work together, scientists may be able to later identify people predisposed to narcolepsy and find ways to prevent its development, he said. It may also lead to discoveries concerning other more common autoimmune afflictions such as multiple sclerosis and juvenile diabetes.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about narcolepsy.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: Stanford University School of Medicine, news release, May 3, 2009


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
2. Children of depressed moms do better when dad is involved, SLU researcher finds
3. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
4. Mayo Clinic researchers discover new diagnostic test for detecting infection in prosthetic joints
5. Bipolar disorder relapses halved by Melbourne researchers
6. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
7. High and mighty: first common height gene identified by researchers behind obesity gene finding
8. Researchers estimate about 9 percent of US children age 8 to 15 meet criteria for having ADHD
9. Majority of 2.4 Million U.S. Children With ADHD Not Diagnosed or Consistently Treated, According to New Gold Standard Study by Cincinnati Childrens Researchers
10. Researchers develop long-lasting growth hormone
11. UVa researcher awarded $3.6 million grant to fight drug-resistant bacteria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researcher IDs Narcolepsy as Autoimmune Disease
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX ... CBD Oil utilizing Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will ... and providing a CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the ... national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps ... provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... OBISPO, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... or dementia. However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if ... the 90-day elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, ... towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The ... social audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer ... one of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. ... descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017  As the latest ... Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey ... notes that the medical device industry is in an ... device tax, the 2.3% excise tax on medical device ... they also want covered patients, increased visits and hospital ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... Pa. and KALAMAZOO, Mich. , Sept. 18, ... , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of ... to offer a strategic hub service that expedites and ... sought-after personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and wellness management ... spirometer is a medical device used to measure lung ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... N.J. , Sept. 12, 2017  Consumer reviews on the ... Hearing as the number one company for hearing aids, ranking ... and fifteen other brands. ... Embrace Hearing Named #1 by Consumers For Hearing Aids ... Embrace Hearing is an online store that provides high ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: