Hi Julie! Just an opinion, but I do not feel it is far fetched to suspect that narcolepsy could make one more susceptible to a broad, perhaps unlimited, range of symptoms, conditions, or diseases. Inadequate sleep, without the presence of narcolepsy, is a physical stress and compromises the function of many body systems. I do not believe it is far fetched to theorize that chronic inadequate sleep might compromise the body enough to make one more vulnerable to another condition that they may have a predisposition to due to genetic or environmental factors.
I have about a 15 year health history of neurological problems that have never been diagnosed. Excessive sleepiness has always been present, where other symptoms came and went. Because of the other symptoms, narcolepsy was always ruled out quickly. Years of documenting certain symptoms and observing certain connections led me to discuss with my doctor the idea that perhaps the sleeping problem was in fact the only problem. He sent me to a neurologist that specializes in sleep; narcolepsy is his number one suspect. I am pending a diagnosis at present; my MSLT was not administered properly. It may sound odd, but I do have some hopes that I do have narcolepsy and that my other symptoms will dissipate as my treatment is improved, thus ruling out the possibilty of other diseases or conditions.
I have been on Provigil for many years at 200 mg per day. My general condition did improve after that. I started this journey of addressing the sleep problem a year ago, and I have taken 0, 50, or 100 mg of Provigil a day throughout the year. My general condition was worse and symptoms that had not been present in years reappeared. Now, I am on 300 mg of Provigil a day and working my way up to 400. Again, other symptoms are disappearing. There is a definite connection. I am really curious to find out from others what kind of odd symptoms they might experience that are not explained by narcolepsy, especially those symptoms that improved after diagnosis and treatment.
I think that in the years to come, science will discover connections, both positive and negative, between many diseases and conditions. Scientific research has found that people with sickle cell anemia stand up better to malaria, providing some insight to the biological success of the mutation. Much study is being done on the narcolepsy gene, as it seems to be connected to many autoimmune diseases, but having the gene does not mean that a person will develop any autoimmune disease at all. Studies have indicated that 9 out of 10 people with the gene do not develop cancer, which is a far better rate than the general population. So, in addition to any potential negative factors caused by the presence of the gene or any resulting disease or condition, there may be positive factors as well.
It is this point that I spoke in my posting in Daily Living the seeming unwillingness of researchers to ask the broader questionshttp://narcolepsynet...?showtopic=1946