Japanese scientists have discovered a gene that causes the disease “narcolepsy”, ie. sudden drowsiness.
According to researchers at the University of Tokyo, the disease occurs in 1 in 2,500 cases in the United States and Europe, but is 4 times more common in Japanese. Therefore, scientists studied DNA from 222 residents of the Land of the Rising Sun who are prone to narcolepsy, and 389 who did not.
It turned out that 45% of patients with narcolepsy had the same gene, while in healthy people it is found in only 30% of cases. It is an intermediate gene that sits between the sleep gene and the sleep cycle gene.
Having tested the presence of this gene in 424 Koreans, 785 Europeans and 184 African Americans, the experts found that Koreans with narcolepsy also have a stable relationship between the disease and the presence of this gene, while such a relationship was not found in Europeans and African Americans.
Researchers cannot yet explain the reason for this phenomenon.
Note that narcolepsy is a disease that mainly affects people from 10 to 30 years old. Narcolepsy is accompanied by sudden drowsiness and falling asleep, regardless of the person’s will, several times during the day. In addition, narcolepsy is accompanied by sudden muscle weakness when experiencing strong feelings and realistic hallucinations.