Sleep paralysis : This symptom involves the temporary inability to move or speak while falling asleep or waking up. These episodes are generally brief, lasting a few seconds to several minutes. After episodes end, people rapidly recover their full capacity to move and speak.
Hallucinations : Usually, these delusional experiences are vivid and frequently frightening. The content is primarily visual, but any of the other senses can be involved. These are called hypnagogic hallucinations when accompanying sleep onset and hypnopompic hallucinations when they occur during awakening.
Cataplexy: This symptom consists of a sudden loss of muscle tone that leads to feelings of weakness and a loss of voluntary muscle control. It can cause symptoms ranging from slurred speech to total body collapse, depending on the muscles involved, and is often triggered by intense emotions such as surprise, laughter, or anger.
Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS): In general, EDS interferes with normal activities on a daily basis, whether or not a person with narcolepsy has sufficient sleep at night. People with EDS report mental cloudiness, a lack of energy and concentration, memory lapses, a depressed mood, and/or extreme exhaustion.
The cause of narcolepsy is not known; however, scientists have made progress toward identifying genes strongly associated with the disorder. These genes control the production of chemicals in the brain that may signal sleep and awake cycles. Some experts think narcolepsy may be due to a deficiency in the production of a chemical called hypocretin by the brain. In addition, researchers have discovered abnormalities in various parts of the brain involved in regulating REM sleep. These abnormalities apparently contribute to symptom development. According to experts, it is likely narcolepsy involves multiple factors that interact to cause neurological dysfunction and REM sleep disturbances.
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness. People with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness and intermittent, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime. These sudden sleep attacks may occur during any type of activity at any time of the day.
In a typical sleep cycle, we initially enter the early stages of sleep followed by deeper sleep stages and ultimately (after about 90 minutes) rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. For people suffering from narcolepsy, REM sleep occurs almost immediately in the sleep cycle, as well as periodically during the waking hours. It is in REM sleep that we can experience dreams and muscle paralysis — which explains some of the symptoms of narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy usually begins between the ages of 15 and 25, but it can become apparent at any age. In many cases, narcolepsy is undiagnosed and, therefore, untreated.
Sometimes, a cut, scratch, or abrasion starts out as no big deal, but then gets infected. An infection (say: in-FEK-shun) happens when there are too many germs for your body’s white blood cells and immune system to handle.
Infected wounds may hurt, look red and swollen, feel warm to touch, or contain pus, which is a yellowish or greenish thick liquid. Infected wounds also can cause a fever. If your cut, scratch, or abrasion looks infected, tell your parent. You may need to see a doctor for antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
Luckily, most cuts, scratches, and abrasions will go away on their own, thanks to your body’s amazing ability to heal itself.
If a wound is very long or deep or if its edges are far apart, then you may need stitches. The doctor will use some type of anesthetic (say: an-iss-THET-ik) on your skin to numb it (numb means you won’t be able to feel anything there for a while). This numbing medicine might be applied directly or through a shot.
Then the doctor will suture (say: SOO-chur), or sew, the edges of the cut together with a small needle and special thread.
For more minor cuts, the doctor might use a special kind of glue to close your cut instead of stitches. This glue holds the sides of the cut together so the skin can begin to heal. The glue will dissolve over time.
If you do get stitches, after the wound heals (in about a week) you will need to go back to the doctor to get those stitches taken out. The doctor will just snip the thread with scissors and gently pull out the threads. It feels funny but usually doesn’t hurt. Sometimes the doctor may use stitches that dissolve on their own over time and don’t need to be removed.
Sometimes, a small scar forms after stitches are removed. If you don’t get the proper care for a serious cut, a more noticeable scar may form.
Stop any bleeding by pressing a clean, soft cloth against the wound. If the wound isn’t very bad, the bleeding should stop in a few minutes. Then you’ll want to clean the wound, using warm water and a gentle soap.
You might want to get your mom, dad, or another adult to help you get cleaned up, especially if the water doesn’t get all the dirt or gravel out of the wound. A soft, damp cloth can help remove these bits.
Most small cuts, scrapes, or abrasions will heal well without any special care. For extra protection, your parent might use an antibacterial (say: an-tye-bak-TEER-ee-ul) ointment or a bandage. The ointment will kill germs and a bandage will keep your wound from getting irritated and prevent germs from getting inside. If you use a bandage, it should be changed daily and when it gets wet or dirty.
After getting a cut, scratch, or abrasion, your skin may start bleeding. This happens because the injury breaks or tears the tiny blood vessels, which are right under the skin’s surface. Your body wants to stop the bleeding so the platelets (say: PLAYT-litz) in your blood come to the rescue.
At the site of a wound (say: WOOND), which is another word for injury, platelets stick together, like glue. This is called clotting, which works like a plug to keep blood and other fluids from leaking out. A scab, a hardened and dried clot, forms a crust over the wound. This protects the area so the skin cells underneath can have time to heal.
Underneath the scab, new skin cells multiply to repair the wound. Damaged blood vessels are repaired, and infection-fighting white blood cells attack any germs that may have gotten into the wound. You can’t see it under the scab, but a new layer of skin is forming. And when the new skin is ready, the scab falls off.
A scab usually falls off within a week or two. If you pick at a scab, the new skin underneath can be ripped and the wound will take longer to heal and may leave a scar. So try not to pick at scabs