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An NFL Superstar and Narcolepsy: Josh Andrews

by Cloe Gray, Ph.D., Senior Medical Writer at BioSerenity

July 07, 2022 | Sleep



Josh Andrews


Josh Andrews: Narcolepsy


Josh Andrews is an NFL offensive guard for the New Orleans Saints. He had played for five other NFL teams in his professional career, including the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons. A graduate of Oregon State University, Josh has a degree in sociology. In 2020, Josh announced that he had narcolepsy in an interview. He used his platform to support Project Sleep as his contribution for My Cause My Cleats, where players raise awareness of specific causes by wearing an organization’s logo on their cleats.

Narcolepsy


Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by falling asleep at inappropriate times and waking up frequently at night. As stated above, a person with narcolepsy can also enter REM sleep at inappropriate times as well. There are two types of narcolepsy, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 narcolepsy is characterized by cataplexy (sudden episodes of loss of muscle tone), whereas cataplexy is not observed in Type 2. Cataplexy is caused by a person falling into a REM-like state as they are awake.

Type 1 narcolepsy is typically thought to be caused by the loss of hypocretin neurons in the brain, whereas the cause of Type 2 remains unclear. Narcolepsy is typically treated with wakefulness-promoting drugs, such as modafinil. Sodium oxybate is used to treat cataplexy, as it allows a person to sleep more soundly at night and decrease their daytime sleepiness (this reduces the chances of falling into cataplexy’s REM-like state).


How can BioSerenity help with the diagnosis of narcolepsy?


Disordered sleep can be due to several factors, including narcolepsy. Disordered sleep may be diagnosed by keeping a sleep diary or undergoing a sleep study (also called polysomnography).


BioSerenity can assist with the diagnosis of narcolepsy by performing a sleep study. Polysomnography consists of a monitored overnight sleep recording; sleep studies are performed by licensed sleep technologists and the results are reviewed by board certified sleep specialists. Hallmarks of narcolepsy, including disordered sleep and altered REM staging, can be observed in these recordings and used to help make an accurate diagnosis.


Do you think you might have narcolepsy? Ask your doctor for more information regarding sleep testing at BioSerenity.


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