Kleine-Levin Syndrome | Drauzio Varella

In Kleine-Levin syndrome, also known as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome, bouts of hypersomnia can last for hours, days, or weeks.

Kleine-Levin syndrome (SKL), also known as “Sleeping Beauty Syndrome”, is named after a key character in the German story who, by assaulting a witch, was forced to fall asleep until the king shall raise him. go with a kiss of love.

In medicine, the name selects an extremely neurological disorder, difficult to diagnose, which comes to be known as Kleine-Levin syndrome, in honor of two scientists which has been devoted to the description of the disease, which has been divided into one of several types. hypersomnia.

See also: Poor sleep

Among the main characteristics of the disease of unknown origin, the following stand out: 1) the occurrence of recurrence and recurrence of periods of prolonged or nocturnal sleep, which seems to be gone for many years; 2) too weak to wake up and fall asleep during the day; 3) small-scale uncertainty that makes it difficult to identify the impact of the disease; 4) the exertion of violence decreases over time; 5) Consent, although the path to treatment is still unknown; 6) Infectious diseases, in general, last for ten consecutive days and can recur every three or four months of the year.

Hypersomnia problems can last for hours, days or weeks, and include changes in cognitive and behavioral behaviors, which affect the quality of life of the person and their associates. them, as well as the social, emotional, and functional well-being of patients. . of the condition.

Kleine-Levin syndrome can occur at any age, but is particularly common in young men and women. Only occasionally are women and adults affected by the disorder, which is associated with the classic trio of the following symptoms: hypersomnia (excessive sleep), hyperphagia (compulsive eating), and overt and aggressive sexual hyperactivity.

As there is not yet known the effective treatment that supports the complete treatment, clinical trials of patients with this disease have found that the problem can go away, without medication or special care, around the age of 35/40.

Causes Kleine-Levin Syndrome

Kleine-Levin Syndrome is a condition for which it is not yet known (hence the so-called idiopathic or primary). Several hypotheses have been raised to clarify the origin of the disease, starting with the spread of the disease by a temporary recurrence of the disease.

Genetics, autoimmune and background, head trauma and severe depression are other causes of this condition, which are still being studied.

Some studies show changes in certain areas of the brain (hypothalamuslimbic system, thalamus and frontotemporal cortex, for example) may be involved in the regulation of sleep and mood in patients with the disease.

Now, the model is acknowledging that the disease may be genetic and interfere with immunity and the environment.

Symptoms of Kleine-Levin syndrome

Recurrences of excessive sleep, anorexia, and sexual dysfunction are important signs of Kleine-Levin syndrome.

At the onset of a concussion, hypersomnia can last for an hour and several hours of sleep, without interruption. The person only gets up after strenuous exercise, using the bathroom and eating regularly

Called “sleep inertia,” the transition from sleep to sleep can be slow and can lead to confusion.

Even in an emergency, in the short time when he is really asleep, a change in behavior can occur, marked by fatigue, apathy, mental confusion, vision loss and concentration, memory lapses, irritability, lack of food control, loss of inhibition. gender and even hallucinations.

Another constant complaint, in this case, is the difficulty of distinguishing dreams from reality, when the person is trying to remember what happened while sleeping. drowsiness (amnesia). It is also one that, in the morning, there are manifestations of behavioral, emotional lability and patients are less sensitive to sound and light.

It is important to remember that, in one crisis and another, the person returns to a positive attitude and returns to normal, as if he or she were not affected. of this sleep. On the contrary, they seem to be doing well, enjoying good physical and mental health, and only a small group is shown to have more mental illness. .

See more: Sleep

Diagnosis of Kleine-Levin syndrome

From the diagnostic point of view, the diagnosis of Kleine-Levin syndrome of uncertainty was made by isolation, preferably by a cohort of patients, led by a psychiatrist.

Therefore, blood tests and x-rays (MRIultrasound, compute tomography) have been shown to be useful in developing a differential diagnosis with other pathologies that present similar symptoms.

In any case, the most reliable diagnosis for the diagnosis of hypersomnia, in most cases, and Kleine-Levin syndrome, in particular, is still polysomnography, a non-invasive procedure. which allows the assessment of good sleep and diagnosis of emergencies.

In order to complete the diagnosis, it is necessary that the symptoms appear for at least a month and have a negative impact on the patient’s quality of life.

Treatment of Kleine-Levin syndrome

Up to now, there is no known cure for Kleine-Levin syndrome, a rare disease that rarely occurs and the etiology is unknown. Faced with such evidence, the attention of scientists has turned to control and reduction of symptoms. It has been shown to be able to improve the quality of life of patients with the disease, using certain stimulant drugs, such as amphetamines and antidepressants, which have shown some efficacy in similar cases. such and in the symptoms of mental illness.

Along with pharmacological benefits, heart stabilizers and anticonvulsants can be part of the treatment given for the behavioral disorders associated with the disease. The chemical formulation of lithium-based drugs during emergencies has been tested and proved to be effective.

In the event of an emergency, it is part of the treatment to keep the person asleep, without distractions, for as long as he or she needs to.

However, although there are different approaches, the goal of treatment remains the same: in order to reduce the time of excessive sleep during the day and continue, as much as possible, the people who can stay asleep.

Unfortunately, effective treatment for the syndrome is still not found. However, current research shows that the so-called Sleeping Beauty Syndrome is not what it used to be. The current model confirms that the disease has a genetic background with respect to the immune system and the environment.

Frequently asked questions about Kleine-Levin syndrome

What are the symptoms of Kleine-Levin syndrome?

Recurrences of excessive sleep, anorexia, and sexual dysfunction are important signs of Kleine-Levin syndrome. When seizures occur, during sleep, changes in behavior, extreme fatigue, dizziness, confusion, dissatisfaction and thoughts, memory lapses, irritability, loss of consciousness. have dietary control, no sexual inhibition and even forgetfulness.

In addition, there are also problems in distinguishing dreams from reality and manifestations of behavior, emotional lability and sensitivity to sound and light.

What causes Kleine-Levin syndrome?

Kleine-Levin Syndrome is an undiagnosed condition. Now, the model is acknowledging that the disease may be genetic and affects the immune system and the environment.

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