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photo Narcolepsy
By Jason Margolis

More than one in 2,000 Americans - perhaps as many as 200,000 people - suffer from narcolepsy, a disorder characterized by the total disruption of the normal sleep pattern. Yet few healthcare providers have been trained to recognize narcolepsy and other sleep disorders, and the majority of sufferers remain undiagnosed. In fact, on average, the disorder is not correctly diagnosed until fourteen years after the person first experiences symptoms. This remarkable film presents the experiences of three individuals whose lives and relationships have been disrupted by narcolepsy. Intertwined with their compelling stories, it offers solid, comprehensive scientific information about this disorder, with the aid of Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, director of the Stanford University Center for Narcolepsy.

People with narcolepsy are always sleepy, yet are unable to experience normal, rejuvenating sleep. They may also suffer from vivid hallucinations and temporary muscle paralysis when waking or falling asleep. Most dramatic, narcoleptics are plagued by an effect called cataplexy, where they may collapse without warning. While the popular misconception is that the person has fallen asleep, this is actually an uncontrollable paralysis of their voluntary muscles. The symptoms of narcolepsy typically arise during later adolescence or young adulthood. The condition has no cure, and its precise cause is unknown.

25 minutes
© 2000
Purchase $199 DVD
Order No. QA-323
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-974-6

Reviews
"An impressive, well put-together documentary, which accurately documents the severe negative impact of narcolepsy on its sufferers." Jed Black, MD, Director of the Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic

"An excellent resource. Required viewing for persons with narcolepsy, sleep disorder centers, and other professionals who need to be educated regarding this disabling neurological condition." Robert L. Cloud, Executive Director, Narcolepsy Network

Awards & Conference Screenings
American Psychological Association
Aspen Shortfest

Related Films
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When the Brain Goes Wrong: Portraits of individuals with brain dysfunctions including schizophrenia, manic depression, epilepsy, stroke, head injury, headaches and addiction. Physicians add information about causes and treatments.

Twitch and Shout: People with the sometimes startling symptoms of Tourette Syndrome contend with a society which often sees them as crazy, and with bodies and minds that won't always do what they're told.


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