Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that is associated with Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), hypnagogic hallucinations, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and fragmented night sleep. It is the brain inability to control sleep-wake cycles. Sleep attack can occur during any activity such as driving, during the conversation, while eating or playing. People with narcolepsy have strong urge to sleep and possess a lack of energy. Cataplexy is the impulsive loss of muscles function with weakness in muscles; it may last for few seconds or minutes. It is triggered by emotions such as fear, laughter or surprise; it frequently occurs during the stress of fatigue. Sleep paralysis is characterized by temporarily unable to move any part of the body. It is triggered by fear, but it does not cause any harm. Sleep paralysis may occur in 15% of the population. People with narcolepsy may also experience hallucinations that are characterized by realistic and often frightening dreams.
Narcolepsy caused due to any mental illness, lack of brain chemical known as hypocretin or it may also be due to any inherited conditions, infections, trauma, hormonal changes, stress or immune-system dysfunction, etc. About 10% of patients with narcolepsy with cataplexy have a genetic predisposition. Narcolepsy can occur in both men and women and can begin any age, typically occurs in the early twenties and lasts all through life. People with narcolepsy experience normal life span, it is believed that in every 2000 people, one suffers from narcolepsy in the United States. Hypocretins, a neurotransmitter is involved in regulating sleep/wake cycle along with other metabolic functions. Researchers discovered that in the hypothalamus, located in the brain, hypocretin-producing cells are destroyed in patients with narcolepsy and cataplexy. The cause of the destruction of hypocretin cells is not known yet, though it is an auto-immune disorder.
Narcolepsy is the third most common sleep disorder diagnosed and affects a large segment of the population. The prevalence rate of narcolepsy compared to the U.S. population, is substantially lower in Israel, about one in 500,000 people and considerably higher in Japan i.e. about one per 600. Narcolepsy is not curable, but it can be treated with drugs such as dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate, and others to reduce the incidence of sleep attack.
Global narcolepsy treatment market is segmented by type and therapeutic treatment. Based on the type, global narcolepsy treatment market is segmented into primary narcolepsy with cataplexy, primary narcolepsy without cataplexy, narcolepsy due to medical conditions and unspecified narcolepsy. By therapeutic treatment, the global narcolepsy treatment market is segmented into central nervous system stimulants, sodium oxybate, and antidepressants. Rising prevalence of the disease increased awareness of healthcare professional, demand for new and innovative drugs is anticipated to drive the global narcolepsy treatment market. In 2009, H1N1 influenza pandemic in Europe led to rising in the incidence of the sleep disorder narcolepsy. Whereas inadequate access to health care, cost, and availability of essential medicines and lack of standardized tools for diagnosis and treatment will hamper the growth of global narcolepsy treatment market.
By regional presence, the global narcolepsy treatment market is segmented into five broad regions viz. North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa. Europe market is projected to experience high growth due to government initiative in research and development. Asia Pacific market is anticipated to grow at the fastest growth rate during the forecast period, owing to factors such as rising standard of living, lifestyle changes, focusing on healthcare expenditures and due to the high prevalence rate in Japan compared to other countries worldwide.
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Some of the major players in global narcolepsy treatment market are Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Graymark Healthcare, Inc., Shire Plc, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Others.
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