Sunday, September 28, 2008

Narcoleptics Are Mutants

New resarch points to a genetic basis for narcolepsy:

Japanese researchers found a genetic variant linked to a much higher risk of narcolepsy, publishing their results in the journal Nature Genetics ... They looked at the genetic code of hundreds of volunteers, some with narcolepsy, some without, to look for differences.

The variant they found was linked to an 79% higher chance of narcolepsy in Japanese people, and a 40% increased chance in other ethnic groups.

It is found close to two genes, CPT1B, and CHKB, which have already been singled out as candidates for involvement in the disorder - as they both have a role in regulating sleep.
Fabulous! Overnight, narcolepsy has gone from we don't know the cause and we don't have a cure to the modestly better we have some idea of the cause and we don't have a cure.

The cited article helpfully adds that narcolepsy can be distressing.

My cheap cynicism would probably go down better if I myself had any answers for the cause(s) or cure(s) of narcolepsy, but I have none. Not even one. I do, however, confirm that narcolepsy can be distressing.

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