Medicine adds yet another disease about which it knows nothing.
Her mom, Vicki, said Nicole will sleep 18 or 19 hours a day, and when she does wake up to eat, she said Nicole is in a sleepwalking state which she doesn’t remember. Vicki Delien said it was very frustrating just getting a diagnosis, CBS Radio reported.
They went to various hospitals until a doctor at Allegheny General Hospital finally realised that she was suffering from the rare sleeping disorder Kleine-Levin. “Affected individuals may go for a period of weeks, months or even years without experiencing any symptoms, and then they reappear with little warning,” the Kleine Levin Syndrome Foundation website stated.
‘Kleine–Levin syndrome, KLS, or Sleeping Beauty syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by recurring periods of excessive amounts of sleeping and eating. At the onset of an episode the patient becomes drowsy and sleeps for most of the day and night (hypersomnolence), waking only to eat or go to the bathroom. When awake, the patient’s whole demeanor is changed, often appearing “spacey” or childlike. They also experience confusion, disorientation, complete lack of energy (lethargy), and lack of emotions (apathy). Individuals are not able to attend school or work or care for themselves. Most are bedridden, tired, and uncommunicative even when awake.
Most patients report that everything seems out of focus, and that they are hypersensitive to noise and light. In some cases, food cravings (compulsive hyperphagia) are exhibited. Affected individuals also tend to lose interest in hobbies and activities that they used to be fond of before. In males, instances of uninhibited hypersexuality during episodes have also been reported. In females, instances of depression have been reported.
Affected individuals may go for a period of weeks, months or even years without experiencing any symptoms, and then they reappear with little warning. In between episodes those diagnosed with KLS appear to be in perfect health with no evidence of behavioral or physical dysfunction.
The cause of Kleine–Levin syndrome is not known. Thus, family support and education are the best management currently available’