Kleine-Levin Syndrome | Kleine-Levin Syndrome Treatment

Kleine-Levin Syndrome

Kleine-Levin syndrome is a complex medical disorder that causes recurring periods of excessive drowsiness and sleep up to 20 hours per day.

Symptoms may last for days to weeks, include excessive food intake, lack of energy, disorientation, irritability, and sensitivity to noise.

Mainly adolescents are the victims of this disorder. Affected persons are normal between episodes, although depression and amnesia may be noted for the time being after an attack.

It may be weeks or more before symptoms reappear. The start and end of each attack is usually not consistent and may be either rapid or gradual. Often there is confusion when waking.

Causes Of Kleine-Levin Syndrome

Symptoms of Kleine-Levin syndrome may be related to malfunction of the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that governs appetite and sleep. The start and end of each attack is usually not consistent and may be either rapid or gradual. Often there is confusion when waking.

Kleine-Levin syndrome is also connected with compulsive overeating, personality change, and lack of sexual inhibition. Compulsive overeating with quick weight gain may occur.

Even though the exact cause of Kleine-Levin syndrome is not known, in some cases this syndrome has been preceded by a fever, strain, or overexposure to sunlight. The start of this syndrome is usually impulsive.

Kleine-Levin Syndrome Diagnosis

Disturbances in sleep may be associated with a number of physical and psychiatric conditions. Evaluation usually includes a search for contributing factors, including a detailed history of current and/or recent drug taking.

The person may be referred to various specialists, including a neurologist and a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will look at any underlying behavioral problems. The neurologist will undertake an evaluation of the nervous system to exclude structural abnormalities of the brain.

Kleine-Levin Syndrome Treatment

Because the cause for the syndrome is unknown, there is no perfect treatment for Kleine-Levin syndrome.

Stimulants, which stimulate the central nervous system, such as methylphenidate, amphetamines and modafinil, administered orally, have been claimed to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks and are used to treat sleepiness.

Lithium and carbamazepine may be prescribed because of similarities between Kleine-Levin syndrome and certain mood disorders. Responses to treatment have often been inadequate.

This disorder needs to be differentiated from cyclic re-occurrence of sleepiness during the premenstrual period in teenaged girls that may be controlled with birth control pills.

All Article Categories