Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS) is a sleep disorder in which one experiences a persistent episodic hypersomnia and mood changes. The condition that only affects men can also make individuals experience hyperphagia, hypersexuality and other symptoms.
The effects of the condition are physical as well as psychological; it can affect your personal, professional and social lives. There are several viruses that have been observed to trigger the condition, the onset of which is usually follows a viral infection.
Those with the condition experience reoccurring feelings of excessive tiredness and prolonged sleep. One with the disorder sleep 15 to 21 hours a day during episodes.
Excessive appetite (hyperphagia), unusual cravings, increased sexual urges (hypersexuality), changes in mood, cognitive ability, severe apathy, anxiety, repetitive behaviours and headaches are commonly reported. Patients may act very childlike and communication skills and coordination may also suffer.
MRI, CT scans, lumbar puncture and toxicology diagnostics are done to rule out the possibilities of other conditions. The thalamus is thought to possibly play a role.
As of now, there is now known treatment for Kleine-Levin syndrome and little evidence supporting drug treatment. According to researchers, lithium has been reported to have limited effects in case reports. It helps decreasing the length of episodes and duration between them in some patients. Stimulants have been shown to promote wakefulness during episodes, but they do not counteract cognitive symptoms or decrease the duration of episodes.
Unusually young or old patients and those who experience hypersexuality tend to have a more severe course. Those who initially have frequent attacks generally see the disease cease earlier than others. The condition spontaneously resolves, and the patient is considered to be cured if there have been no symptoms for six years.
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