Monday, February 26, 2007

Kleine-Levin Syndrome



Miss Hoyland, a 26-year-old youth charity worker, is one of only a handful of Britons to suffer a rare sleep disorder which can cause her to stay in bed for up to a week at a time.

She wakes only to snack on whatever food is available and visit the bathroom before relapsing into a dream-like state.

The attacks started when she was 17 and studying for her A-levels - forcing her to take weeks off school to sleep.

After graduating she was working as a sales assistant when one day she became woozy and had to sit down, then minutes later she was snoozing in the staff room.
Since then she has suffered 'sleeping episodes' for a week every two months.

It took a further eight years until specialists correctly diagnosed her with Kleine-Levin Syndrome, known more commonly as sleeping beauty disease.
Thought to be caused by a chemical abnormality in the base of the brain where sleep and appetite is governed, the incurable neurological disorder affects fewer than 1,000 victims worldwide.
Sufferers are often uncontrollably hungry when they awake and it can affect sex drive as well as behaviour.
There is no cure, but the condition can be treated by a combination of behavioural therapy and stimulant drugs to stay awake.

Kleine-Levin Syndrome is a rare disorder (less than 200 cases reported in the literature, according to The International Classification of Sleep Disorders, 2nd edition, 2005). Episodes of sleepiness last several days to several weeks, and occur 1-10 times per year. During sleep episodes, patients sleep as much as 18 hours a day, waking or getting up only to eat and void. During episodes, binge-eating, confusion, aggression, and hypersexuality may be present.

The NINDS website has a good summary of the disorder.

I hope this patient's doctors are writing up the case and studying her polysomnographically both during and between episodes to add to the limited scientific literature about this disorder.

3 comments:

Parag said...

KLS is one of the very rare Sleep Disorders and 70% of patients are male. More often than not, KLS patients grow out of the illness or it grows much milder in adulthood.

medthehead said...

please help...I sleep for up to 3 days every 2 weeks. I am 49 and have had it for at least 30 years. Have tried loads of meds. Inbetween sessions I am normal(ish) why has no one else got this???

Dagdgsd Dffbd said...

The article posted was very informative and useful
thanks for sharing..
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