"Sleeping Beauty" / Kleine-Levin Syndrome

rynner2

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#1
Here's a strange case:

The real-life Sleeping Beauty who snoozes for TWO weeks at a time
By Lucy Laing
Last updated at 2:14 AM on 11th February 2010

She is known to her family and friends as 'Sleeping Beauty' - but her life is no fairytale.

Louisa Ball, 15, sleeps for two weeks at a time because she suffers from an incredibly rare disorder.

She misses school exams, dance lessons and even missed an entire week’s holiday away with the family as she slept the whole way through.

Louisa, who lives in Worthing, has been diagnosed with Kleine-Levin Syndrome - also known as Sleeping Beauty Disease - where sufferers can fall into deep sleeps that can last for weeks.

She first developed the disorder in October 2008 after recovering from a bout of flu.

Her mother Lottie, 45, said: ‘She had a dose of flu that lasted for about a week but she never really recovered properly from it.

‘We afterwards found out that it was the start of a sleep mode, which comes before the deep sleeps.
‘She was exhausted and didn’t seem to be getting any better. She started to fall asleep at school and was rambling about things that didn’t make sense - just like she was talking in her sleep.

‘It really scared us, we didn’t know what to do. It just didn’t seem like Louisa was the daughter we used to know - she was like a different person.’

Louisa was referred to Worthing General Hospital in November that year and the paediatric consultant there told the couple that he didn’t know what was wrong with Louisa, but it may be hormonal.
By then Louisa was sleeping for ten days at a time. She would sleep deeply for 22 hours, then her parents would wake her just long enough to give her some food and take her to the toilet, then she would fall back to sleep.

Her father Richard Ball, 44, a surveyor, said: ‘She couldn’t do anything but sleep. She couldn’t go to school for days at a time when she was asleep.

‘It was very hard to wake her but we knew that we had to give her food and water. We would hurry to get her to eat her food whilst we could, but she would always be rambling and wouldn’t make any sense.

‘It was like she was sleep walking and talking in the times we did manage to wake her up. After she had been asleep for a week or ten days, she wouldn’t remember anything about it.’

Louisa was referred to St George’s Hospital in Tooting in March last year and a Consultant Paediatric there eventually diagnosed her with Kleine-Levin Syndrome.

The syndrome is a rare form or periodic hypersomnia, where sufferers have periods of prolonged sleep.

Doctors don’t know what causes it, although it is thought it may be related to malfunction of the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that governs appetite and sleep.

It is more common in males than females and usually disappears in adulthood, and between sleep periods the sufferer recovers completely.

etc...

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z0fJhbirWR
 

EnolaGaia

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#2
Here's a detailed account of another case from Colombia ...
Girl with Rare 'Sleeping Beauty' Syndrome Dozes for Months

A 17-year-old girl in Colombia drops into bouts of sleep that can last for days, weeks, or even months.

During her extensive slumbers, the girl often loses her memory; after one 48-day episode, she temporarily forgot her own mother's face ...

The girl, Sharik Tovar, is one of the few people with a rare condition called Kleine-Levin syndrome, otherwise known as "Sleeping Beauty" syndrome. Unlike the fictional Sleeping Beauty, people with Kleine-Levin syndrome can be woken up during an episode and may wake up occasionally on their own to eat or use the bathroom, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. Scientists estimate that the syndrome manifests in 1 to 5 people out of every million, according to the clinical resource UpToDate. Historically, more than 500 cases of the condition have been reported in the medical literature, although the unusual syndrome likely goes underdiagnosed.

About 70% of Kleine-Levin cases occur in adolescent males, but adolescent females and people of various ages have been known to develop the syndrome, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Tovar first developed the condition when she was 2 years old, and her longest episode to date lasted for two months, her mother told Noticias Caracol, a TK Colombian news outlet. When Tovar is bedridden, her mother liquifies all of the girl's food and feeds her every few hours to ensure she gets enough nutrition.

When awake, the affected person may feel confused and disoriented, and many individuals show a complete lack of energy and emotion. Most patients report that "everything seems out of focus" and that noise and light in the room feel overwhelming.

Along with experiencing sleepy symptoms, people with Kleine-Levin syndrome sometimes exhibit excessive food intake, experience hallucinations or display a unusually uninhibited sex drive, according to the Kleine-Levin Syndrome Foundation. Between episodes, affected people show none of these symptoms; they appear in perfectly good health.

The cause of Kleine-Levin syndrome remains unknown, though scientists hypothesize that its symptoms may stem from dysfunction in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus, which helps regulate basic bodily functions like sleep and appetite ...

A 2005 study in the journal Pediatric Neurology Briefs found that about 72% of Kleine-Levin cases occur after a person shows symptoms of an infectious disease. So, there's some speculation that a dangerous pathogen may harm the hypothalamus in affected people. Alternatively, the body's own defense system may mistake brain tissue in the hypothalamus for a foreign invader and launch an attack. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/girl-with-sleeping-beauty-syndrome.html
 

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#5
I believe there once was a similar disease affecting Europe, but infectious. It seems to have burned itself out. Sadly I can't remember where I was reading about it.
 

EnolaGaia

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I believe there once was a similar disease affecting Europe, but infectious. It seems to have burned itself out. Sadly I can't remember where I was reading about it.
Might you be referring to Encephalitis lethargica (EL) (aka: sleepy sickness, sleeping sickness (not to be confused with the African malady); Nellysa disease; Economo's disease)?

There was a worldwide EL epidemic from the time of WW1 into the 1920s, and it affected Europe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encephalitis_lethargica
 
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