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

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


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