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Cataplexy During Status Cataplecticus Resembles REM Sleep

amen, which are all activated during normal REM sleep. There was, however, no hyperactivation of the pons, amygdale or occipital cortex, other imaging characteristics of normal REM sleep.

"To my knowledge, this report is the first of imaging analysis comparing brain activation during a cataplectic episode with a nonsymptomatic state in the same subject," said Chabas. "Previous imaging studies have failed to show structural changes in the brain of narcoleptic patients, but functional changes could be demonstrated. The method used in this particular study analyzed functional features specifically related to the mechanisms of cataplexy. Picturing brain activity during cataplexy, a transient and unpredictable neurologic state, is challenging. It is, however, easier to study cataplexy during status cataplecticus."

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute estimated that nearly three out of four people with narcolepsy also have cataplexy, a major symptom of narcolepsy, which is characterized by a sudden, bilateral loss of muscle tone (and possible fall) with preserved consciousness. It is usually triggered by emotions. Mild attacks of muscle weakness can cause: Head nodding Drooping eyelids Difficulty speaking Difficulty moving arms or hands or a weakened grip Buckling of the knees

Persons who think they might have a sleep disorder are advised to discuss the problem with their primary care physician, who will refer them to a sleep specialist.

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