Sometimes the worst nightmares are the ones you don’t have. There are numerous conditions, disorders, and illnesses that either limit or prevents the amount of sleep an individual is able to get. Many of them are quite dangerous, but none of them are as frightening or rare as fatal familial insomnia.
Prion diseases are a category of rare fatal brain diseases that can strike both humans and animals. The disease hits the nervous system and impairs essential brain functions, which can cause memory loss, decrease in intelligence, personality and behavioral changes, and insomnia. It is caused by an altered and mutated PRNP gene, inherited from a parent, that manifests itself in misshapen protein cells that can pop up in brain tissue.
In humans, there are five known prion diseases: Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Syndrome, Kuru, and Fatal Familial Insomnia. There are six known animal prion diseases, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or more commonly known as “Mad Cow Disease.”
Like all prion diseases, Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) is caused by a change or mutation of the PRNP gene, which allows it to clump together in the thalamus region of the brain, eventually destroying the cells there. The thalamus region controls sensory and motor skills, as well as regulation of consciousness and sleep. The mutated PRNP gene “eats” holes in the brain, giving it a “sponge-like” appearance. This can lead to the inability to sleep (progressively getting worse overtime) and when sleep is achieved, very vivid dreams. It has been observed from EEG readings taken while the victim is awake show signs associated with REM sleep. Essentially, they are so sleep deprived, they enter a dream-like state when awake.
Other symptoms associated with FFI include lack of controlled movement or coordination, as well as personality changes. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, it is fatal within months or could persist (and get worse) for a few years. The normal life span once diagnosed is 12 to 18 months, but it always leads to death.
Oddly, the first signs and symptoms of FFI don’t tend to develop until our 40s and 50s. While no one knows for sure why the gene sits dormant and does not mutate until then, doctors have theorized that perhaps it is spurred on or activated by the vulnerability of the brain during middle age.
While no one knew it at the time, the first recorded case of Fatal Familial Insomnia (though, possibly not the actual first case of it) this rare genetic disorder.
Another interesting story is the one of Vietnam man Thai Ngoc. In 2004, he claimed that he hadn’t slept for 31 years (since 1973) after being stricken with a bad fever. Despite over 11,000 sleepless nights, he claimed that he suffered very little ill physical or mental effects. Some have claimed that Ngoc is proof that Fatal Familial Insomnia isn’t always fatal. Others, primarily doctors and experts, have claimed that Ngoc is actually sleeping, he just doesn’t know it. Some insomniacs can’t tell the difference between sleeping and being awake and engage in very brief “micro-naps” throughout the day.
Relationship with coffee also are related to insomnia because your day might be drowsiness when too long stay at night.
You feel more comfortable when it’s around. There’s just something about walking around with a mug full of coffee that just puts you at ease. You can talk with people without having to worry about what you’re doing with your hands; it’s great! It’s the first thing you think about every morning. The only thing that convinces you to get out of bed is the beautiful coffee aroma that wafts into your room every morning. You would take that smell over sweet nothings whispered in your ear any day of the week. You can’t imagine a future without it. It’s always been there for you; it will always be there for you. Your life will always include coffee. Always !
Help yourself beat up insomnia by listening to music …
Copyright 2015 by Gizmodo.com & YouTube