Unveiling Culprits, Part 1: The Immunological Morpheus

Cracked Science

As medical research pushes back the veil on the causes of certain well-known diseases, we are sometimes surprised at the unlikely culprits. It sounds obvious today, for instance, that cigarette smoking can cause lung cancer: one can easily picture the smoke snaking down to the lungs and leaving a nasty deposit. Sometimes, however, the connection between the cause and the effect is far from intuitive.

Take narcolepsy, for example. Yes, narcolepsy.

It’s real.

Narcolepsy, which has a typical prevalence of 1 in every 2000 individuals, classically presents with excessive day-time sleepiness accompanied by sudden loss of muscle tone, sometimes in conjunction with hallucinations and a feeling of paralysis upon waking up or falling asleep1,2.

Want to know what it looks like to be narcoleptic? Here’s a short excerpt from an English programme:

It would be funny were it not real. Can you imagine going out shopping, applying for…

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