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More clues about narcolepsy

The Oct. 24 issue of ScienceNews focuses on sleep and discusses researchers' recent findings on insomnia, narcolepsy and other disorders. Stanford researcher Adi Aran, MD, is included in one of the articles, as is narcolepsy expert Emmanuel Mignot, MD, PhD. Last spring, Mignot published work showing that narcolepsy is likely a product of an autoimmune attack; in August a study from Mignot and Aran in Sleep showed that the streptococcus infection may be the culprit behind said attack. As described in the ScienceNews piece:

In the study, people with newly diagnosed narcolepsy had higher blood levels of strep antibodies than did controls, suggesting the patients’ immune systems were geared up to fight off an infection. What’s more, this antibody response lingered for up to three years in people with narcolepsy, whereas the antibody levels go down in just months in most healthy people. “We believe that strep infection might be one of the triggers for narcolepsy,” says Aran. “We don’t know exactly how, but we believe streptococcus does something.”

Previously: Narcolepsy = autoimmune disease

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