Dying To Sleep (Full Documentary)
In which case, insomnia can be deadly?
Causes of disease
Fatal family insomnia was first mentioned in 1979 by an Italian doctor I. Reuter. A relative of his wife two years before that began to experience serious health problems. She complained that she could not fall asleep, but it seemed to everyone that she was sleeping all the time. Over time, her condition worsened, but doctors blamed all the symptoms for depression. A year after the onset of the illness, the relative died.
Soon, the same symptoms are found in the sister of this woman, which in about a year ended in death. Dr. Reuter stated that it manifests itselfstrange genetic disease. This was confirmed by the fact that long before that, in 1944, the same symptoms brought the grandfather of these women to a psychiatric hospital, where he died.
I. Reuter began a thorough study of this disease.After his wife's uncle fell ill, specialists observed him throughout his illness, and all the manifestations and behavior of the man as a whole were recorded in detail. About six months later, he ceased to adequately perceive reality. After his death, the brain was sent to the United States for examination, where it was possible to establish the causes of the disease.
It turned out thatfatal familial insomnia develops due to gene mutation. The chromosomes of the patient differed from the chromosomes of a healthy person: in particular, in one of them, instead of aspartic acid, asparagine was found, because of which the shape of protein molecules was changed throughout the body. In the thalamus - the part of the brain responsible for including sleep, because of these changes amyloid plaques form, leading to insomnia, and later to further disturbances and death.
The first symptoms of the disease can manifest in people aged 30-60 years. The duration of the disease can vary: in some cases it is only 7 months, in others - three years. Fatal family insomnia is incurable, and sleeping pills do not help with it, because not only the sleep process is disturbed, as with other types of insomnia, but the mechanism that triggers it.
Experts describe the 4 stages of the disease.At first, about 4 months the period of constant severe insomnia lasts, also a depressive state, bouts of fear and panic are observed. Then about 5 months may last a period when hallucinations are also added to the symptoms due to a complete lack of sleep. At the next stage, the depletion of the body and significant weight loss are noticeable, which can last about 3 months. The last stage of fatal familial insomnia is characterized by the patient's lack of reaction to the surrounding reality: he does not speak or move. Usually within half a year after that the patient dies.
All symptoms of fatal familial insomnia can be calledconsequences of lack of sleep, because a person is not able to constantly be in a waking state. The name of the disease contains the term "familial" because it is inherited. If the parents did not have these symptoms, then the children do not have the disease exactly.
Modern science sees the solution to the problem of this disease in the development of gene therapy.For now, the relatives of those people who have found fatal familial insomnia can only hope that they have not been affected by the deadly gene.
Video: Can You Die From A Lack Of Sleep?
Fatal Familial Insomnia - Documentary
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