greatbig47

Catapelxy

43 posts in this topic

As long as my feet have met the ground, I've never known exactly what cataplexy is.

Now wait, I know...It's a symptom of narcolepsy..blah, blah, blah...

But what IS it?

What is my body doing during a seizure?

What exactly is my brain doing when I'm

laughing and about to fall?

Anyone?

Thanks!

-Stu

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Got this off of Wikipedia. :P

Cataplexy is a strange neurologic situation, which is sometimes confused with epilepsy.

Cataplexy often affects people who have narcolepsy, a disorder in which there is great difficulty remaining awake during the daytime.

The word cataplexy means, "to strike down." It happens in narcolepsy patients who describe it as sudden attacks of muscle weakness. It usually affects both sides of the body. It often happens because of strong emotions.

These patients experience sudden loss of muscle tone and falls down at moments of strong emotion such as stress, laughter, anger or frightening experiences. Sending electric signals through the muscles and gauging their response can measure the phenomenon. People with cataplexy may injure themselves.

Cataplexy requires separate treatment from narcolepsy. Often, Imipramine or Desipramine can completely control this situation, when given in gradually increasing doses.

Cataplexy Causes

Depending on the severity of the attack, the episodes of muscular weakness show up as anything from a hardly noticeable slackening of the facial muscles to the dropping of the jaw or head, weakness at the knees, or total collapse on the floor.

Speech is slurred; eyesight weakened, but hearing and awareness remain undisturbed. These attacks are triggered by strong emotions such as excitement and laughter, anger and surprise.

Cataplexy may be most severe when the subject is tired rather than completely alert and can lead to considerable anxiety although anxiety itself is not a trigger. The attacks last some minutes and may end in continuation of normal behavior or the sufferer may slip into sleep sometimes of extended duration.

Cataplexy Symptoms:

With the help of unexpected and sudden loss of skeletal muscle tone (weakness or paralysis), cataplexy can be categorized. It is extremely unpredictable both in severity and frequency. Cataplexy may occur occasionally but may occur many times a day.

Muscle tone loss varies from mild to severe. The usual duration is from a few seconds to several minutes. Cataplexy may be partial or complete, affecting a range of muscle groups, from those controlling facial features to (less commonly) those controlling the entire body.

Arm weakness

Sagging jaw

Drooping head

Slumping of the shoulders

Slurred speech

Generalized weakness

Knee buckling

Essentially, cataplexy is a symptom only found in narcolepsy and therefore, the presence of cataplexy makes narcolepsy diagnosis much more certain. Easily overlooked and frequently undiagnosed, cataplexy may affect the most basic activities of daily living.

By impairing primary functions like talking, eating, standing, walking, or driving, it can prevent patients from experiencing important activities such as holding a child, going to a movie, interviewing for a job, attending a party, participating in a meeting, or working out at the gym.

Even mild to moderate cataplexy symptoms or the fear of those symptoms can bound activities.

Symptoms cause humiliation and loss of self-esteem, leading to less social interaction, difficulty with interpersonal relationships, and depression. Symptoms of narcolepsy, including cataplexy, have been shown to have a severe impact on quality of life.

Cataplexy Treatment:

There is no cure for narcolepsy, but treatment focuses on controlling its symptoms. Excessive daytime sleepiness is treated with central nervous system (CNS) stimulants and wake-promoting agents.

The symptoms of cataplexy have been often suppressed with the help of Tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, although they are not approved for this indication. Xyrem is the first and only FDA-approved product for the cataplexy treatment related with narcolepsy.

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Oh, and by the way Stu, you've spelt "Cataplexy" wrong in the title. Just saying. :)

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Oh, and by the way Stu, you've spelt "Cataplexy" wrong in the title. Just saying. :)

Listen here, you little punk :P...

Why I outta.... :lol:

(Nice catch

Good post, Man.

The Wikipedia copy was good...I've seen that before.

Sometime when I have a week, I want to create an animation that explains what happens exactly.

From the moment something funny is said to the moment when the narcoleptic is able to crawl off the floor.

I bet a lot goes on in those split seconds that we don't know about.

think?

Stu

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Hey Stu Im good at making animations I'll make one and put it up ok?

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There we go...lol

post-4321-1208278038_thumb.png

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I made it in Pivot Stickfigure Animator.

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Amazing, so Funny! I have done lots of reading and research over the years, and so far, what I have found is that in Cataplexy, for some reason there is a short in our brain... the Amygdala processes exteme emotions, such as Laughter, etc. In narcoleptics, the Amygdala does not receive the Hypocretin signal from the Hypothalamus, so the Amygdala is like Hey, Uh, Oh, she/he's must be dreaming (REM sleep) and tells the Medulla Oblangota, which brings on the paralysis, the lack of muscle tone which normally only occurs during Rem Sleep.

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Oh, and by the way Stu, you've spelt "Cataplexy" wrong in the title. Just saying. :)

Awesome, I love the cartoon...

Kathie

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Thanks Kathie :)

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Can you put those little vids as avatars? lol, if so I want one :P

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I am confused about Cataplexy also. I am newly diagnosed. When I get suddenly frightened, my body tightens up and will not move for a few seconds, and a terrible "electric" shock runs through my body, it is frightening and very painful. But I have never fallen down. When I unexpectedly ran into my first love (who I'll never get over), My knees went weak, I stopped breathing, and started to loose my balance, but my sweet husband caught me. I also uncontrolably burst into tears. My Doctor says you can have emotional cataplexy, which I have never heard of before. She said an emotional cataplectic (sp?) attack is an uncontrolable outburst of emotions. Anyone else experienced this or heard of it? Do any of my experiences sound like cataplexy?

Thanks for your help!

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Isn't it normal to get weak in the knees with emotions? Were all those women who fainted at seeing Elvis experiencing cataplexy?

I have fainted a lot at the sight of my own blood, but lost consiousness and woke up in pain. Can that just be normal?

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Tony...GREAT animation. It would be awesome as an avitar. We'll have to talk...

She said an emotional cataplectic (sp?) attack is an uncontrolable outburst of emotions. Anyone else experienced this or heard of it? Do any of my experiences sound like cataplexy?

A cataplatic attack is NOT an uncontrollable outburst of emotions. That is completely wrong by all definitions I have heard and experienced. A cataplectic attack is BROUGHT ON by a strong emotional response, like laughter or fright or anger. The strong emotional response triggers a paralyzing of the body (like Tony's Animation).

I have fainted a lot at the sight of my own blood, but lost consiousness and woke up in pain. Can that just be normal?

It's not abnormal. Many people loose conscience at the sight of blood. That is not cataplexy though. With cataplexy, you never lose conscience. You are aware of everything that is going on around you while it happens.

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miss sleepy, I too get those electric shock feelings, but I never think of telling my doc about them. I also get similar shocks sometimes when I am tired and move my eyes left and right rapidly. *Shrug*

Also sleepyAVON, thanks for the description of how C works, I'll have to quiz my sleep doctor with that :P

Chris"Toph4er"

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I also uncontrolably burst into tears.

I do too! Who's to say if it's related or not. I am still unsure if I have cataplexy at all, I get small eye lid droops and knee buckles and leg muscle weakness and micro second arm drops.

If I see or experience any strong emotion, on tv or peoples interaction with me, no matter if its happy or sad or fearful or excited, I can't help but burst into tears. It's really hindered my ability for any type of confrontation. It has made me a huge fan of email. I have never been able to quit a job in person or have an argument with a family member face to face.

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I also experience those electric shock feelings, like a dip in ice cold water (as described on the forum in regards to cataplexy attacks) when I experience fear. I honestly, as Toph4er said, never spoke with my doctor about these. I just assumed they are normal. But now that you bring it up, the feeling is strikingly similar to a cataplexy attack, without the muffled/loud noise and the whole getting paralyzed thing.

Is this because it is a form of cataplexy?

Or maybe a normal feeling of fear, which in some people, triggers the paralysis?

I don't know. But very interesting theory.

As for emotional outbursts;

In my experience, as it relates to narcolepsy, extreme anger when I was younger when people did not understand how I felt. Especially in the morning when my mother woke me up to go to school. We spent many a morning fighting (sometimes I even threw things and a couple of times locked my bedroom door and mom had to break it down) because I just needed to go back to bed. Ahhh. . .(deep breath) childhood memories. At least now my mother and I can laugh.

But I have to say I am a crier. I can barely listen to the radio as most songs make me cry. TV shows like Law and Order, and sitcoms like Everybody loves Raymond can even break me down. I never thought of a relation to N. I have noticed these have gotten worse now that my N has gotten worse. Maybe due to sleep issues in general and effecting my moods? Again, very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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Hello - new to board - not yet officially diagnosed...I also experience Cataplexy (what made me and my doctor suspect N)

Anyways I wanted to add to the emotional outbursts comments. Ever since all this sleepiness and cat-attacks started years ago I've become the biggest crier & giggler I know. I actually have to warn people that I cry easily - I cry and or giggle uncontrollably when I get hurt, angry, sad, etc. - more so when I'm extremely tired. The first noticeable time was when I was a bridesmaid for my sister - as soon as she walked down the aisle, I cried like a baby through the whole ceremony - I still to this day cannot figure out why I cried! I wasn't all that happy for her - definately not sad - it was so weird. Luckily Zoloft helped even me out a little.

And when I get hurt - like the other day, I bumped my head on something. I just stood there unable to move or talk and just kept giggling - my boyfriend thought I was crazy. so weird. :huh:

And to the person who mentioned not being able to do things like quit a job in person - just went through that and cried the whole way through it. It was so awkward! I also giggle when I'm trying to tell someone something serious - I always look like I'm lying. Im 28 - I shouldn't be giggling and crying at work! :angry:

PS Since I'm not officially PWN.. this can all be caused by something else I guess... I've read it happens in people who have had a stroke. they call it "emotional lability" or "labile affect"

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Interesting with the emotional stuff. Prior to my N diagnoses one of the things the diagnosed me with was social anxiety disorder.

I never do well with leaving a job or breaking up with someone even if it was a very short thing. The strangest things set me off too. I'm cried from radio commercials, songs, tv shows and movies. But the weird part is that they weren't just the ones that are supposed to make you really sad.

Anyways I just thought I'd let you know I'm the same way with the rocky emotions.

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its okay for some, I have to refain from laughter,crying even down to surprise because these all send me into a cataplexy where I will totally collapse in a heap. When it happens when your out in the supermarket and you collapse and you can see the looks you get. Then when you at the checkout you can still here people like "thats him who was on the floor". I have no issue with my problem I got it and until its controlled it'll all keep happening. I feel for my family members who are with me when I have these cataplexy attacks

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[

:o CATAPLEXY :o

I had a bad experience the other day been talking in dining room to some family, do you know them solid wooden chairs that have high backs? I was stood next to one felt a cataplexy coming on tried to move away ended up with my stomach on the top of the high back and my head was just of the seat and legs were of the floor luckly my brother in law and my dad grabbed me as the chair started to fall back with my weight. it f****** hurt got bruised stomach

and felt sick once I come out on my attack.

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[

:o CATAPLEXY :o

I had a bad experience the other day been talking in dining room to some family, do you know them solid wooden chairs that have high backs? I was stood next to one felt a cataplexy coming on tried to move away ended up with my stomach on the top of the high back and my head was just of the seat and legs were of the floor luckly my brother in law and my dad grabbed me as the chair started to fall back with my weight. it f****** hurt got bruised stomach

and felt sick once I come out on my attack.

Damian, that happened to me before. The attack was so violent that it busted some of those cappilaries in my my eyes, and the whites of my eyes were the color of blood for almost 2 weeks.

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My cataplexy ususally occurs when i am very tired.Laughter and when a horror movies music start to play usually what triggers it.

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I USE TO ONLY GET CAT ATTACKS FROM LAUGHTER.NOW I GET THEM FROM HORROR AS WELL .FOR SOME REASON THEY ARE GETTING WORSE. IVE GOT A CLOSE FRIEND THAT IF SHES OUT AND ABOUT WITH ME AND I HAVE A BAD ONE,SHE EITHER LAUGHS WITH ME AND SITS ON THE FLOOR OR GETS ON HER SOAP BOX AND SAYS TO ON LOOKERS HAVE YOU NEVER HEARD OF CATAPLEXY ???????? AND STARTS HANDING OUT LEAFLETS.BLESS HER .IT MAKES ME SMILE EVERY TIME :)

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