What is Cataplexy? Definition
What is Cataplexy? The Definition of Cataplexy: It is a symptom of Narcolepsy in which there is a sudden episode of muscle weakness triggered by extreme emotions such as fear, anger, laughter and anxiety. The word cataplexy comes from the Latin word “cataplessa” which means, “to strike down with fear". Cataplexy effects functions like walking, talking, eating or driving and can therefore lead to injuries. A sufferer may experience varying degrees of muscle weakness and paralysis. Cataplexy is believed to represent a fragment of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that intrudes into otherwise normal consciousness. Similar to muscle atonia during sleep but Cataplexy occurs during wakefulness. A cataplectic attack is sudden in onset and is localized to a specific muscle group or parts of the body.
What are the symptoms? What are the effects? Muscle tone loss varies from mild to severe, may be partial or complete and results in general weakness. Cataplexy can last from a few seconds to several minutes. It can affect a range of muscle groups including facial features to the entire body. The symptoms of Cataplexy include the following: