The Worst Disease You Can Get: Fatal Familial Insomnia and the I-Function

AnnaM's picture

Pierluigi Gambetti, one of the discoverers of the condition known as fatal familial insomnia (FFI), claims that it is "the worst disease you can get." (5) Given the vast number of diseases in the world, Gambetti's claim seems farfetched at first glance, maybe even selfish; who wouldn't want to take credit for discovering one of the worst diseases in the world? But a quick overview of the disease presents solid evidence in favor of the claim- and some interesting insights about the many tasks of the I-function.

FFI has been discovered in only 28 families worldwide; it is an autosomal dominant gene mutation, meaning that a parent with the disease has a fifty percent chance of passing it on to his or her child (2). That much is predictable. But every other aspect of the disease is wildly unpredictable, forcing family members to make difficult decisions. If parents have such a high chance of passing on the disease, one might ask, why don't they simply choose not to have children? The answer: FFI , unlike many other fatal genetic conditions, doesn't appear until the victim is middle-aged, and tests to see whether parents carry the FFI mutation only recently became available (1). Here the first questions of the I-function, and the first paradoxes of the disease, appear. If this disease occurred in childhood, natural selection would have long ago done away with it. Because it does not strike until middle age, however, parents who may be carriers must make difficult decisions about childbirth. Paradoxically, it is in the parents' best interest to have more children, in order to ensure that at least some live FFI free into old age. More children, however, also means more potential FFI cases- a tough paradox for the I-function to work through.

Next, the symptoms. FFI baffled investigators for years, because certain symptoms resemble encephalitis, end-stage alcoholism, and dementia, among other conditions (1). But the hallmark of FFI, which the aforementioned conditions don't necessarily show, is the complete inability to sleep. The brain wave patterns that appear on FFI patients' EEGs go up and down wildly, in a pattern completely unlike the normal sleep-wake cycle; they may still show patterns indicative of REM sleep at night, but they do not pass through the sleep stages that typically precede REM, and they can still move while in the REM stage (5). There are also unbelievable highs in pulse and blood pressure, excessive sweating and an eventual loss of coordination and other gross motor skills (including speech) before the victim finally falls into a coma-like state and dies (1). But, most horribly, the thinking portions of the I-function remain intact, even as the rest of the body deteriorates (4). Because FFI is invariably fatal, patients understand that they will die, can talk and write freely about their coordination deteriorates and understand their fate up until their death (5). Some diseases, like Alzheimer's disease, are tragic because their victims lose the ability to describe their decline; in these diseases, the I-function deteriorates along with the physical body. But FFI is tragic for precisely the opposite reason; it leaves the I-function intact, even when its victims are clearly in physical agony.

Even the agent that causes FFI defies conventions. It is a prion, a form of infectious protein. Humans naturally produce thousands of intricately folded proteins, and the vast majority of them are harmless. But if one protein happens to misfold in a harmful way, it can trigger a chain reaction, leading other proteins to produce similarly harmful forms; the immune system cannot counteract the chain, since it does not see the proteins as infectious agents (4). The exact mechanisms behind this process, and the reasons why it should be fatal, aren't well understood. The effects of prions on the brains of FFI victims, however, are well-documented. In most areas of the brain, FFI victims show remarkably little damage. The thalamus, however, is utterly destroyed, full of holes (3). Given this evidence, one might try to make the argument that the I-function cannot be located in the thalamus; after all, FFI victims remain completely able to think and comprehend the world, even as the prions destroy that part of the brain. However, the I-function isn't limited to one section of the brain, and it does not only control thinking and speech. Indeed the sleep-wake cycle, so damaged in FFI victims, is also regulated in part by the I-function; people simply tend to forget this fact, because sleep feels like such a natural part of our existence. Only in unusual cases, like the severe insomnia of FFI, do we remember the I-function's role in this cycle.

FFI, then, presents yet another example of why it's useless to try to pin down one precise area where the I-function lies. One can see from FFI victims that the parts of the I-function that have to do with language use and comprehension, with naming people and objects in the world, probably aren't located in the thalamus. But the thalamus must play some role in the sleep-wake cycle, judging from FFI victims' brain damage, and the I-function aids in sleep-wake cycles as well; one cannot give an exact location for a function that performs so many diverse tasks.

 

Web Sources:

1) Case Study: Fatal Familial Insomnia; Location: Venice, Italy; To Sleep No More

2) Dying for Sleep: Researchers Track the Cause of a Rare but Fatal form of Insomnia

3) Fatal Familial Insomnia

4) Biofundamentals: Protein Folding and Turnover

Non-Web Source:

1) The Family That Couldn't Sleep: A Medical Mystery, by D.T. Max. Random House Publications, New York, 2006.

Comments

Serendip Visitor's picture

The video didn't post, you

The video didn't post, you can find the video on YouTube... It's by Chris Lasala and i think its called Shall we continue in sin that Grace abounds? God Forbid.

Hesavedme's picture

sin

When you get born again the difference is Who you are to God and who he is to you, the bible says all men have fallen short of the law, all men have sinned, that's why Christ had to die in our place so he could take and nail on that old rugged cross all our sins , pay the penalty for every single one of them where for 3 hours every sin everyone every committed or will commit was imputed on him and he paid the penalty for evey single one and cried it is finished. It's Jesus + nothing, remember unless you are Jewish the first or mosaic covenant given by god to the Jewish people led out of Egypt wasn't even an option for u. It was between the Jewish people and God. It's not till Christ's death on a cross that we as non Jews even have access to a covenant but they have access to it as well. It's a covenant that's based on Gods gooodness and not our own, Christ's sinless life not ours, his love not ours, this is the greatest gift ever given by which we get to call the creator of the universe father. And get to know him. Will you sin after your saved? Yes but you are no longer judged on your righteousness but Christs righteousness. He will remember your sin no more and you will start to change because God just made a home in your heart. We die to the law and are made alive in the spirit. He then instead of using tablets of stone to tell you what's right or wrong just speaks to your heart. It's a real living relationship not a dead religion.

Kara Cohen's picture

fatal insomnia

I know I have this disease and there's nothing I can do about it but wait to die. I'm petrified. I haven't slept in nearly 8 months, went through early menopause at 38, brain and body burns all day and night, can't detect temps, apathetic, psychotic and more. I lost everything these past 2 years and now I live isolated with my father in Nashville TN with no health insurance. I read what you posted about G d and Jesus. I completely understand. I want to do that and don't know how...just give my entire life to Jesus. I've lived a very sinful life and I believe that this disease is a form of punishment for my dreadful sins. Can G d forgive me? Can he heal me? I really need help and spiritual guidance. I'm very fearful of death and this disease will kill me. Thank you so much and I appreciate all the spiritual guidance you have to offer. You may email me back at Thank you so much!!

Hesavedme's picture

forgivness

I can tell you 1 thing for sure and that is that God can do anything, he spoke the world into existence and made us into his image. Then sent his only begotten son so that anyone that believes on him may have eternal life. The issue isn't sin as weird as that sounds. Sin is everywhere in everyone, the issue is do you have a real relationship with Jesus, he loves us so much he died for us taking all our sin and sickness and poverty and giving us his rightouness. This is called the divine exchange. Now we all are spirit having a earthly experience and we will continue to live on after this body has expired and if we have a relationship with him we will spend eternity with him in paradise, I would suggest you check out ministers like Joyce Meyer, Joseph Prince, and creffelo dollar. They are a great way to get practical application from what is in the bible but remember they are only going to make clear or light the way to Jesus and Gods word the bible. If you have a bible I would start in the new testament and the gospel of John then go forward to acts and so on. THIS IS NOT RELIGION let me be clear. This will require faith and patience so it may be easier to look at some teachings with Joyce or Joseph Prince or creffelo dollar to guide you at the beginning and try and get into a good faith based bible believing non denominational church. Hope this helps the few people that asked, let me know if you or anyone else that responded to my comment need, even if it's just to talk to someone. God Bless

Serendip Visitor's picture

thank please help

Please help me learn how i can turn away from sin so god can heal me i cant do anything right and my life is so hard for me right now i just want to feel alive again what should i do

Gurlygirl2012@aol.com's picture

Please look at what I wrote

Please look at what I wrote to Karan. Yes, Jesus can heal you, don't worry. Everyone who can't sleep and has insomnia needs Jesus, only He can heal you!

Serendip Visitor's picture

hi

All my genetic testing came back normal,and all other tests.The only thing I can think of is sporadic fatal insomnia because the mind still stays crisp while the I function deteriorates.My neurologist is wanting me a psychiatrist and i refuse because Ive been to one before and I dont have mental illness and strong medicine does not help my insomnia at all, people actually think im more calm then ever. I feel fine just dont sleep.no matter how tired i am or relaxed i got into a light REM sleep that barely lasts.dont have big money so i guess im stuck to see the exsperts in chicago.

Adam Broski's picture

Rhodiola rosea may slightly

Rhodiola rosea may slightly help you deal with the symptoms. Look it up.

chaiwat's picture

sFI is not rare ( so do not ste

I can not sleep around 6 months.
I went to Neurofeedback which it shown that my brain have many red point spread around the brain
( brain have many point which not release), the neurofeedback professional in Singapore do not know what wrong .MRI,CT scan,and do not show abnormal thing
I can use diazepam for sleep but it not too long
I stress on one period of time and I out of blue

I have very stress one period of time and after that my sleep pattern are worst .

I pain my head like sth thing bite my brain

Sincerely

Chaiwat TH

Serendip Visitor's picture

????

You must word this in the English language if you want a reply. What you wrote is incomprehensible, therefore I cannot help you. G. Mac MD/Phd.

Tyler Bonner's picture

cure

I suggest you try using monoatomic gold its been helping a lot of people with sleep issues.You would have to do your own research but its pretty amazing stuff. I take it myself for my insomnia. It basically levels out your brain waves, evening out the left and right parts of the brain.Youre going to have to make it at home because the online stuff is mostly fake.I know cures to most diseases so just message me if youre ever sick. You dont have to take my advice i could care less its your life.

Sincerely, Tyler Bonner

Serendip Visitor's picture

cure

the cure for hemophilia b?

Serendip Visitor's picture

Monoatomic gold

What is monoatomic gold and where I can buy it? Thanks.

Mary E. Reynolds, BS, RPGST's picture

Types of insomnias.

Let me start off to say that I am a Registered Polysomnograpic Technologist. That makes me a sleep expert, but it does not make me a doctor. ONLY A DOCTOR can diagnose what type of insomnia that you have.

FFI is genetic and very rare. That means that you do not have it if no one else in your family has died from it. PERIOD. You just don't catch it. It is that simple. Now someone in your family may have died and not been diagnosed with it, but that is unlikely.

There are different types of insomnia. I will briefly go through them.

Adjustment insomnia is extremely common, probably the most common type of insomnia. Basically people develop this when they are having changes in their lives. This could be a new baby, a new job, being fired from a job. It can be caused by a death in the family or worrying about the economy. School exams and the list goes on and on. It is life's stressors. Usually once the stressor is not so stressful, the insomnia goes away.

Psycho-physiological Insomnia is also very common. This is basically when people are sure they won't sleep they won't. At normal bedtime or normal nap time sleep may be unable to be acheived. Quite often, this person sleeps just fine if it wasn't a "planned" sleep. Maybe falling asleep on the couch watching tv is real easy. Or sleeping during a car ride (hopefully not as the driver). Or maybe you are falling asleep in class. Lots of times people fall asleep on vacation just fine.

Paradoxical insomnia is when people complain of insomnia, but they really had none at all. Even during sleep tests people will say they didn't hardly sleep a wink, but in fact EEG's (brain signals) show that they did in fact sleep quite normally. People with this should keep a sleep diary for a few weeks.

Idiopathic Insomnia is probably the most detrimental (besides FFI). This is a Insomnia due to unknown causes. It is first diagnosed as an infant and continues on throughout a persons life.

Insomnia due to Mental Illnesses is quite common. Name the mental illness and there may be incidences of Insomnia. However, the Insomnia can cause the mental illness. Using depression as an example: Some people with depression can develop insomnias, and some people with Insomnia can develop depression. Kind of like the old age question: What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Many people just have insomnia because they have poor sleep hygiene. There are many recommendations for this. Just a few are: Go to bed only when tired, do not exercise heavily within four hours of your bedtime, do not eat within three hours of going to sleep. You can do your own web search of sleep hygiene. You made it here, so I am sure you can find that.

Behavioral Insomnia of Childhood is bad sleep hygiene for children and infants. But it is up to the parents to provide this. This is when parents don't set limits. It could be something like letting your child have that one glass of water, or letting your baby fall asleep with a bottle. It could be letting your child play for "just five more minutes" or leaving toys in the crib so they can entertain themselves. Some of these things are okay once in a while, but not every night.

Then there are insomnias due to drug or substances. They could be of the prescribed type or the illegal type. Just about every type of drug could cause disturbances. Just look it up on the web. There are way to many for me to even start naming. Even benadryl can cause sleep disturbances. I know from my own experience, benadryl gives me great restlessness, so much so that I tell health professionals I am allergic to it.

Insomnia Due to Medical Condition is as stated. Certain pains and aches like arthritis or perhaps an allergy in which you itch all night and are up all night scratching. Or it could be just the fact that a person is aging.

Go back and read my post for 06/20/2013. It touched on a few of these topics, but it HIGHLY STRESSED to GO SEE YOU DOCTOR. Maybe you need a specialist even. You go to the doctor and let them handle it. Don't keep coming here trying to diagnose yourself with FFI or any other kind of insomnia. Maybe it is apneas waking/keeping you up. Or possibly it is your bladder waking keeping you up. Maybe indigestion is waking/keeping you up. Maybe it is the TV waking./keeping you up. Maybe it is the dog waking/keeping you up. Maybe your _________ (fill in the blank) is waking/keeping you up...

I'll say it one last time DON'T SELF DIAGNOS, GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR.

Mary Reynolds, RPGST

Kats's picture

Re: Types of insomnias.

There have been cases of sporadic fatal insomnia that otherwise present like FFI. It's only been about two handfuls of cases, however, so it is exceedingly rare.

cliff 's picture

fatal famial insomnia

hi ive been awake for 6months without a single seconds sleep. ive been to my doctor numerous times & his response is to say that i would simply be dead if i hadnt slept. know one believes me. i recently spent 3-4months in a psychiatric hospital because my family and relevent health professionals think im dilusional. - they say its impossible. it started at the beggining of the year ... i was emitted into a psychiatric unit for around five months because they believed this time i was having delusions of a fungul infection which happens to cover my whole body & a dermotologist diagnosed me with though they refused to check if this was true. so they decided to forcefully inject me with an anti-psychotic (oil based) drug called zuco-clopixal. this drug has made me resistant to all drugs e.g alcohol, cannabis, tamazepam, zopiclone etc these drugs have absolutely no effect on me what so ever ... i drank two bottles of wine and took seven temazepam and had no effect on me? i took 14 zopiclone in one go and again no effect. im afraid ive not got long left please help me

Serendip Visitor's picture

this disease is not as,rare as you think

This is,a real life horror story,, prion disease and trying to find an,answer to this .
Ive been to sleep studies , two nuerologists, they cant find out whats wrong, all blood work normal no auto immune diseade no huntingtons etc, the very few clinics that test for cthese symptoms are in california and ohio ,lucky me,,doctors ask do i know my family history , no sbecase my family history is not known, the bad news is yes alot were from Italy on my dads side but no one knows who they are ,anither possibility. Im bed ridden daily and researchers in california are so annoying not returning my emails. Im hallucinating no sleep this us crazy , and no damn doctors know why , incredible ,
This is america ill make myself heard to even if i have to write the president i will be heard my family as well,this is crazy that there is no help unless u have the best insurance or are a millionaire .God puts doctors here to help people not shun them over there symptoms,i will make sure whatever happens to me people will be tested the right way for this disease and doctors will take pple seriously because im not giving up even if my symptoms get worse, this disease will have a name , and thank you to all the rude doctors that i sent emails out to with no reply in california,im know im not a celebrity but how funny do things change when you have the best in life , how,sad, even the rich pple at fund raisers,are fake cause they havent helped me.

Gurlygirl2012@aol.com's picture

PEOPLE, PLEASE EMAIL ME!

PEOPLE, PLEASE EMAIL ME! . I couldn't hardly sleep for 5 months pretty much, you need Jesus! he healed me, He will heal you too! This is not a joke. I know the torture and horrible desperation that comes into play when you can't sleep and the fear, the horrible horrible fear.... Seriously just give Jesus a chance to heal you and follow Him, what do you have to lose? Seriously? He can rescue you from this torture... The medical industry are all liars.... There is nothing wrong with you really, there is a reason why this is happening and I know what it is...just please email me if you need help, Jesus will heal you, He is real! If you want to continue to be tortured with not sleeping that is up to you but Jesus is the answer you are looking for everyone... Only He can truly cure you! Please contact me if you need help!!

Kim's picture

Fatal insomnia

Pray for me....jesus is lord

cliff 's picture

IVE BEEN AWAKE FOR SIX MONTHS

IVE BEEN AWAKE FOR SIX MONTHS WITHOUT A SINGLE SECOND OF SLEEP. NO ONE BELIEVES ME!!! IM NEAR THE END IM IN ALOT OF PAIN N FEEL VERY WEAK. MY DOCTOR SAYS I WOULD BE DEAD IF I HADNT SLEPT SIX MOON. WTF DO I HAVE TO GAIN FROM LYING?! CHEEKY MUPPET. IM NEAR THE END SOMEONE PLEASE HELP. MY NAMES CLIFF IM 28 YEARS OLD
HELP.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Physically impossible

Your doctors are right tho, you WOULD be dead if you've actually gone 6 months without a single second of sleep. Lab rats died within 2 weeks when deprived of any sleep at all. You ARE getting moments of sleep, you're just probably aren't aware of it. When I went hypothyroid for a bit, I stopped experiencing the sensation of 'falling asleep.' The only way I knew I had slept at all was remembering hints of dreams or a light sense of 'waking.' I felt like I had just laid in bed awake all night. But then I remembered dreams, which were proof to me I had slept, even if my perception said otherwise. Eventually it went away, but I can see how somebody experiencing that could jump to the conclusion that they never sleep ever. Your perception isn't always on point with reality. That doesn't make you crazy, it makes you human. Even those who suffer from fatal insomnia sleep. Their sleep is typically light sleep tho, which keeps their body from recharging fully. I suggest you record yourself sleeping (there are apps you can download on your smartphone that track your sleep) to get a different perspective. I guarantee you are getting sleep SOMEWHERE. It is humanly impossible to survive that long with not a single ounce of rest.

Kara Cohen's picture

sporadic fatal insomnia

Hi Cliff. I'm Kara Cohen. I have SFI and havent slept in nearly a year. It's horrible and nobody believes me. I'd really like to talk to you. You can call me at . WE need help and support and it's important to communicate with those who suffer the same illness. I hope you're still alive and better. Please call!

Kara Cohen's picture

Fatal Insomnia

Hi Cliff. Are you still alive? I completely understand what you're going through. I am going through the same thing. I haven't slept in 8 months now and have horrible symptoms such as loss of period, brain/body burning, loss of concentration, loss of memory, hallucinations, dementia. I live with my father in Nashville, TN. He doesn't notice my disease because he doesn't pay attention to it. He, like the rest of my family, think it's just a mental disorder. Haven't seen my mother and sister and friends in a year or longer so they don't know. This is excruciatingly painful and scary. I can walk, write, see, eat. No emotion and no sleep. Please let me know if you're still here and getting help. Hope you don't have this and that you're better. You may find me on Facebook, Cohen, Kara

Trey's picture

Dear Cliff

I would suggest insisting to your doctor that this is what has happened. If he still denies it, ask another doctor until one believes you. Once one believes you, you can work on a diagnosis. Stay strong and keep holding on.

Update me with what happens,

Trey

kim's picture

I take xannax and celexa

I take xannax and celexa works for me

diandra alexander's picture

reply on your serendip post

B cuz I care & I am a very inquiring mind cuz MINe is BEYOND this world at least. So I'm curios how long have u not been able to sleep, meaning: when did this start fist u (age it began, age now)? And what's the longst u have nor bewn able to aleep ( hrs. Days wtc,) and currently upon ur rwply how lobg have u gone without sleep? Plewse eeply, its important to me cuz I'm very psychologically itelectual peaon, like I said BEYIND thw qorld

Kara Cohen's picture

sporadic fatal insomnia

Hi. I completely relate to what you're going through. I haven't slept in 6 months. It's getting worse and worse. I believe I have schizophrenia as well because I suffer from complete flat affect and have had major delusions. However, the insomnia is killing me, causing burning sensations in my arms, legs and head. It's very painful. I have no money and am staying with my father who brings me to a low budget clinic and they do nothing. It's difficult to think clearly and concentrate on anything. I never sleep and I don't want to die this way. Six months is a long time and I read that women lose their periods. I lost mine 6 months ago and I'm only 38. I'm very scared of dying, especially this way and there's nothing to do about it. I wish there was some relief or way to help this situation. I'm very sorry for your illness as well. Out of curiosity, do benzos or antipsychotics help? I'd love to talk to you about this and I know how devastating and lonely this illness is. Please get back to me!! Thank you and I hope we can make each other feel better somehow.

Serendip Visitor's picture

hi, about testing

So I just got my genetic testing results for prion related illness, petscan, mri, all cant find any prion disease but it still cant diagnose whats wrong why i just dont sleep.a nice deep refreshing sleep.I dont know of any other tests that I can tell my neurologist to do because I dont know whats causing this and if its a prion and not genetic whyis it so hard to diagnose,maybeit had something to do with my toe infection and the overload of antibiotics that changed mt brain chemistry,very frustrating .now what a brain biopsy,i need answers.

hello's picture

also

Also , why is so limited testing done about this, all these tests are so hard to get , i begged my nuerologist but she told me she didnt want to put me threw a spinal tap , i just got an mri but that doesnt show all the time, genetic testing is very hard to come by even if you have insurance.I guess doctors dont care unless your dead and then they just take your brain out.I also live with my dad karen , and he doesnt even have money like that either, i have a little insurance that really doesnt cover alot , so these kinds of tests are very pricey and its very unfortunate doctors dont do genetic testing to rule this out, even my nuerologist said , im not showing signs of cjd prion but ffi and sfi she doesnt know, prion disease can stay in your body for years , doctors dont know.much about.it bevause of.its rarity, its not that hard i demanded one of.my doctors to do the genetic testing but he told me no, so i guess he is a jerk cause he didnt even care,, yes its rare but alot of pple actually do get it, cjd ffi sfi, they can be around and can effect pple , just cause its rare doesnt mean nothing.ypu cant diagnose but a doctor needs to a damn exspensive

Kara Cohen's picture

Sporadic fatal insomnia and other prion diseases

Hi Karen. I'm still going through the same suffering without sleep and doctors. My brain and body burn all day and night, can't concentrate, have flat affect, dementia, hallucinations. I'm so scared and don't have insurance. A friend of mine in NJ told me he'll pick me up in Nashville, take me to NJ to live there and see his neurologist. I'm so scared. I'm only 38, don't have children, husband, or supportive family. They just think I'm mentally ill but that's not true. I wasn't like this last year. It just keeps getting worse and worse, not to mention that I lost my period last July. Seriously scared to death and don't want to die alone like this!! Please help!! I've tried sleeping aids, antipsychotics, antianxiety and nothing works. It's been almost 7 months and don't know how much longer I'm gonna live with this. Trying desperately to find spirituality, love and help!!! Don't know what to do!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

i know

I did genetic testing , had an,eeg, mri ,pet scan , all kinds of blood work but nothing seems to be normal with my sleep no matter how tired I am I still feel I cant sleep, yea its like complete flat line effect, doctors say im a very rare case because they cant figure out why this happened.I did have an infection on my toe thatalmist i lost , the doctors gave me an over dose of antibiotics, maybe this was my starting point plus my back surgery for spinal fusion maybe it messed up the chemicals in my brain, something wierd is going on but the drs.cant even figure itout. A spinal tap is my only other option but my dr is trying to see what lab can see how my chemicals are messed up, this is complicated , i hate trying to find answers with no solution in site. Heather wilson198346 ay g mail, since i cant type my address on here exactly you can read how it sounds and send mail to my account ,thank you.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Yes, antipsychotic meds

Yes, antipsychotic meds worked for me.

hello's picture

this is the wierdest thing ive ever been threw

I hate this, im scared to dope up with medicine i take nyquil already and hardly get any relief, im here for you karen,and I know what your going threw,i have a messed up spine on top of ,which had spinal fusion done in 2008 so i dont know what the hell is going on with my sleep now, its an unushual symptom one day my.body didnt want to sleep and i would try and try , when i tried hard enough i would get about an hour wake up sometimes never going back to bed justtossing and turning,and any little sleep i get feels like a very light sleep for a little bit with awakenings for.no.bb reason, there is no cause to my insomnia im not depressed or anxiety ridden, ive had problems in the past with anxiety but this insomnia has nothing to do with it.

Mary E. Reynolds, BS, RPGST's picture

nyquil

NyQuil is not good to take on a regular basis. If I am not mistaken, one dose of NyQuil has 12.5 mg of doxylamine succinate. It also has acetaminophen and alcohol. But too much of acetaminophen combined with alcohol is not good for your liver.Taking 2 doses of NyQuil gives you 25, which is normally the amount in one Unisom. Again try the unisom if regular benadryl is not working. I will say it again... look up SLEEP HYGIENE. one night of sleep hygiene will not fix it. It has to be a regular routine. A life style chant\ge. It is like dieting - one day of a good diet does not help you lose weight. Just as in a diet, it has to continue otherwise you will yo-yo. Not committing to good sleep hygiene as a routine you may yo-yo with your insomnia. Hope this helps

Serendip Visitor's picture

hi

Yes, thank you for the reply , Im here in Florida, where are you located?we can exchange numbers if you like.my facebook is heather virginia wilson.please feel free to talk with me My insomnia is so bad i dont even think this kind exsist,my email is

Mary E. Reynolds, BS, RPGST's picture

medications

@Kara Cohen

Really benzos should not be used as sleep aid for very long. I am not sure how long. I think it is like 2 weeks. Benzos are quite easy to be dependant upon even addicted. Also it takes increasing amounts faster than other sleep aids. The big antipsychotic used is seroquel. It does have the side effect of wanting to eat all the time- especially carbs. One med used almost exclusively for sleep is trazadone. It is an antidepressant, but they learned when they get up to therapeutic amount for depression, the person is basically sleeping all the time. So it is rarely used for depression anymore. Also it does not need very much to make you sleepy. It is also cheap to buy. I haven't had to buy it out of pocket in a long time, but when I did have to, i think it was like 15 dollars for 30 days. Also which can be tried is a special Unisom, which can be also found in generic. You have to look at all the ingredients. most of them are just benadryl with a different name. This one has an ingredient called doxylamine succinate. It is also one of the main ingredients in NyQuil that makes you sleepy. What I do is alternate the doxy with benedryl so that i don't get too used to either one. This is from a recommendation from my doctor.

Work on good sleep hygiene. just look up those words and you will get all sorts of hits. you should also keep a sleep log of at least 2 weeks, if you have not done this yet. You log when you went to bed, when you think you fell asleep. what time you woke up. also any naps no matter how short. It would also be a good idea to track your other activities. When and what you ate and drank. Whatever activity that you have done and when. compare those to the "rules" of sleep hygiene. You may have to make some sacrifices like moving the TV out of your room if it is there. Don't drink caffeine within 6 hours of your bedtime. Stuff like that.

Remember I AM NOT A DOCTOR. the things that I told you are from my studies as a polysomnographic technologist and even more so, from personal experience. Hope this helps

Kara Cohen's picture

fatal insomnia

Thank you I've tried trazadone and other antidepresants in low and high dosages. They failed to work as well. I don't drink caffeine. My brain and body continue to burn, always constipated, body is stiff, lost my period in July, chronic yeast infections, loss of memory, complete flat affect, hallucinations, no health insurance, no transportation. I really need help. Sorry!! So scared of dying!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

hi kara

Kara i can relate to you 100%-since i cant put personal info on here im going to spell out how you can reach me. My personal number seven eight six four
Nine
Nine
Eight
Six
Seven
Five

Ive been like this and no one understands i know how you feel omg

Serendip Visitor's picture

Please Please for the love of

Please Please for the love of god, i know how horrible and offensive this may be i have no idea what kind o person you are, but if you are unable to get help, donate your body to science, im not asking you to suffer. and prion disease only effects a small amount of people, but its so hard to treat, in part so few specimen to study.

ofcourse this is your choice.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I am so sorry for your

I am so sorry for your troubles. No one deserves to experience anything like this. Remember that there is still goodness in the world, there is still love, and there is still beauty. The world will become better and will answer the cries of people like you, sooner or later. From one human being to another, know that you are loved.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Sporadic FFI

My mother died in Octobert last year from suspected CJD, and are concentrating on Sporadic Fatal Familial. It is not a pretty disease, she got sick and died with 18 months. She also had psychiatric symptoms, loss of bladder and bowel, myoclonus and she lost her function to walk and talk. She died after only 6 weeks in hospital. I not long attended the National CJD conference in Australia and it was fantastic. There were no medication they could give her, nothing stopped her pain or her myoclonus, it was that bad she was put on life support to protect her airway, from there she went to pallitative care. This disease is quiet rapid, progresses fast and there is no cure. If any of you think you could have it...remember it is mostly genetic, but if there is no mutation found on codon 129 you will be have no major risk at getting it, as it means it is not genetic and generally you will not be tested unless you have a family history. There is a Sporadic FFI, but i think it has only affected like 8 people in the world since 1995.

Serendip Visitor Beth's picture

Similar to FFI now. I Am worried.

On July of 2013 I pushed myself in the early afternoon when on the tired side and that did me in. I just wanted to feel 'normal' when i was tired and i got into trouble. I had such trouble sleeping ever since. The worst in my life. I always had trouble sleeping but I'd eventually bounced back. Starting in July it just never happened (as in bouncing back). I first used half a benedryl and a tiny bit of melatonin for about a week which put me in a zombie sleep. Then later I just took benedryl then took 2 benedryls which would work one day but not the next. so it was an every other day success. I was also using some NAC and some Taurine. It was all a hit or miss. Plus a doctor told me how bad benedryl was. So in August I got off the benedryl and tried NAC, taurine and other nerviness like celery seed or whatever other herbal remedy which would work here and there or I'd change the dosage. And I'd have to take it all at the right time and if the timing was off then nothing would work. I hadnt had luck with drugs. Ambien made my throat close up and ativan gave me shortness of breathe. Remeron lit me up. in the past serequel made me very manic. So there were many drugs i just couldnt take for this problem. Before this happned I didnt really need to take anything really. I just had to catch the sleep wave. So in August again I was doing my herbal and supplement stuff and then that wasnt working much anymore. And trying remotely to live a life with having to walk on a tight rope i fell many times by just trying to live a little or taking whatever a second too late and these little things would just change/alter my brain chemistry. So later in August I was trying the benedryl again and benedryl was woking maybe 4 times a week and i'd go like 3 nights with no sleep. Or i'd take it a few minutes too late or whatever it was. I think my body was just getting so confused and depleted. Then benedryl worked really well in Sept and it backfired the next night so i didnt take it again. During all of this I couldnt live a life starting in July cause I was so exhausted. So in Sept I tried gaba, taurine, and NAC which worked but saw how good kavanice was which was supposed to be better and it had taurine and somethng like gaba but crossed the blood brain barrier. So i tried kavinace and the other stuff every other night to test it out. i guess kavinace won but i'd only sleep maybe 2-3 hrs tops. Hearing how bad kavince is i eventually stopped taking it cause it was doing weird things to my brain. My brain has gotten weaker and weaker, More depleted. I feel the connections in my brain dont connect anymore. I havent been able to do much. i feel like much of my brain is gone. i dont feel drowsy anymore. I have the FFI symptoms of my brain going rapid and wild when i try to sleep and not be calm really. My brain has felt electricuted throughout all of this and it's only gotten worse. I feel like my thalamus is totally damaged and out of whack. I feel like my brain circuitry is not right at all. i feel like i'm missing too many parts of my brain. My brain has felt torn apart beginning more so in Sept and October It's felt twisted, torn apart, missing pieces and yet moving rapidly at top speed not in racing thoughts but just like a wizzing in my brain mostly on the left side. Like with the FFI people it feels like their brains are going fast and they have the rapid heart rates and sweating at night and if they sleep it's only briefly in REM. I may briefly sleep but it's not much or not at all. So it's been real intensely bad for over a month i guess. It's been bad since July but really bad since mid Sept til late October. I'm afraid I can relate to the FFI people. And now the nerves in my back are inflamed and feel twisted at times. My doctor in early Octboer said my brain was inflamed and disregulated(going all over the place). I feel i barely have any brain cells to rub together. I've been restless at night and want to just lose it cause its' so hard to sleep or just try to rest. and i cant enjoy life mainly cause i feel so depleted. even watching tv or listening to the radio can be too much. i feel i am in too deep. i've been online now for a number of hrs but i ate too much which makes me feel normal to have more energy but it's going to cause inflamation and probably another night in a row with no sleep at all. i've had halucinations brief ones which i guess is the body's way to trick one into thinking one is sleeping. i'm scared cause i've never slept this bad for so long and have been this disabled. I cant drive a car. I could barely handle going to the dentist. And now if I feel a bit more on the tired side my jaw, head, or arm can move which i guess means i'm low in dopamine. and my weight has gone down since over a month. I weigh maybe 78 lbs. and have other nerve issues as in burning mouth disease. I am falling apart. and I am still stunned at the symptoms i've gone through and FFI. One's brain isnt supposed to go wild when trying to sleop. i cant remember when i felt being drowsy? Oh and a few weeks ago i tried somethng like benedryl but a little stronger which backfired and burned my head and made me so anzy. I've been living in a hell or got myself into a hell. You think it cant get any worse but it can. This may not be like FFI but maybe i unwittingly gave myself the sporadic one or just by making stupid mistakes i damaged my prions, thalamus etc. Just looking at my bed gives me dread. There's been so much damage. Sleep just should be natural or not a big deal. Even my hair changed. My hair is flat and has a burned out texture whereas before it was thick and wavy. Everything is so scary now and is so out of whack. I've made life so difficult. My brain is so confused. it's just too depleted and wired and tired and there's no connections like there once was. Cranial sacral used to help me months ago now that is a disaster. same with acupuncture. i couldnt even maintain things. it just kept going down hill so fast. If i didnt have to sleep life would be fine. I mean who loses the ability to be drowsy and instead the brain goes wild? unless its' somethng like FFI /brain damage. I feel like the nerves are sometimes out of my head or are just not there at all. I guess it's amazing I still do walk, talk, move etc. People around me who have seen me decline has been awful too. I had no idea thngs could get this bad. lying on both sides of my head generally hurt (hurts more on the left side). No creature should go through this ever. I cant believe i unwittingly put myself through this. and I did push myself today cause i wanted to 'feel normal' but i'll be paying the price later. I wish i could take some elixer and put my brain back together. I miss my old self so much. And if things get worse than how will I handle that? It's been so hard psychologically and physically now. i have been halucinating all the time for a few weeks (audio, music). I wish this was all a bad dream. I never could have imagined any of this stuff months and months ago. This has all been out of this universe. I'm 40 yrs old. And when all of this has been going on I lost the ability to be positive but got very down and negative and upset which only made things worse. I should have been more grounded too and not so confused and tried listening to my instincts. It's just not easy being positive when things are so difficult. As they say things can always get worse. I thought of putting myself in a psych ward but they couldnt help cause those drugs are way too powrerful for me. Christ if somehing a bit more powerful than benedryl gave me such probems. I wish I knew exactly what to take for whatever to actually work. It's just stunning how the brain/brain chemistry can change so rapidly. And I dont know how people live with such an awful illness? Sigh..

Kara Cohen's picture

fatal insomnia

Hi Beth. I hope you get this message. I completely relate to what you're going through. I haven't slept since July and have all the same symptoms and I have nobody to talk to about it. My brain and body burn all the time. I've developed dementia and have tried so many different drugs. None of them work and only make this worse. It's so frightening how the brain/body chemistry can change so rapidly and living with this disease, feeling so all alone and out of touch is awful. I have flat affect and hallucinate as well. However, I could really use a friend and somebody who can relate. I'd really like to talk so feel free to call me at . Nobody should have to go through this awful illness and feel so all alone.

Mary E. Reynolds, BS, RPGST's picture

question

did seroquel make you manic or restless? It makes me restless in which I take a different medication to control that.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Have you had your B12 levels checked methylation cycles

Pernicious anemia can cause severe insomnia and it starts and happens gradually so it sneaks up on you when your body stops using b12 and your methylation cycle is screwed up it becomes a merry go round of trying to sleep I developed severe insomnia in conjunction with a positive bartonella and mycoplasma test. I also had toxic mold exposure and sinusitis for over a year and you have to get rid of that stuff before anything will start working again. A lot of people are being misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed for Insect Vector borne illnesses. If you have ever owned a dog a cat have been bit by a flea a tick sandflies mosquitos spiders etc they can all be hosts for those spirochetes which screw up your immune system and deplete your storages of magnesium and b12 the sleep vitamins and minerals and mess with your methylation cycle. You should find out if you have histadelia or high histamine that is more common than FFi and It can cause all sorts of issues from panic and anxiety attacks to insomnia. the reason why Benadryl and Seroquel work sometimes and not others is because they are both anti histamines but you have 3 different types of histamine receptors H1 H2 and H3 in your body Benadryl only blocks the H1 sites with are the ones in your skin that cause tingling itching etc Seroquel works better at low dosages as a histamine blocker for h3 receptors in your brain. If you have gut issues meaning malabsorption your not able to convert b12 cynacobalmin into its useable forms methylcobalmin and transcobalmin. you could be low on intrinsic factor because your gut is screwed up or your stomach acid is too low. Pernicious anemia can result from an autoimmune response and spiral out of control. Also If you have a lot of heavy metals in your body like mercury from fillings etc that can short circuit your brain. High copper in your blood can do the same think about it. you can experiment with taking molybdenum it will remove excess copper if that is your problem L- methionine will remove excess histamine from your body as well as high doses of vitamin C like 15,000 mg. Remember Your body is basically a battery and your brain and heart work from electrical impulses and signals. If your have too high of toxic metals your brain is basically short circuiting doesn't matter if its copper mercury or aluminum lead they will all conduct electricity differently and that's why peoples symptoms can be so different. You could also have kryptopyloria which is easily determined from a urine test a condition in which your body eliminates too much B6 and zinc. The way your body makes serotonin is High stomach acid needed to break down b6 and zinc.
when you become short the methylation cycle gets interrupted and can stop. You might have better Luck just buying B6 In its P5p form and taking zinc and Methyl B12 5000 mcg and buy something called intrinsic factor and see if your sleep improves. a lot of times people with B12 problems have too high folic acid and it can mask B12 deficiencies. You can also experiment with your histamine buy taking L-methionine 1500mg with vitamin C. Also blood types can play a factor . I am A+ and more prone to histadelia High histamine because we have low stomach acids so I have to take betaine HCL to boost my stomach acid and I also take Green papaya powder to help with digestion. I also went completely grain free or what they call Paleo Diet. Lastly People who have had EBV epstien barr virus or chronic fatigue can have a wired tired body meaning your body is tired but your mind races. If you have active viruses or bacterias in your body that means high cortisol, possible inflammation which your brain hates and uncontrolled cytokiene response. You can take all the anti inflammatory herbs if you thin you have an inflammation problem usually GUGGLE and Turmeric are good for inflammation as well as Quercitin or any of the citrus bioflavonoids.
Hope this helps

Vince

Magdolna's picture

I thing it's psychological

I had insomnia, with only a few hours of unfulfilling sleep per night for about 9 days. The cause was a sentimental issue that I could not let go. I stayed awake thinking about it day and night, trying to find a solution, i was desperate, very stressed, had palpitations, could not focus at courses, low appetite, until the nineth day when something good happened and i was finally able to let go and focus on that new good thing that had occured, and that same night I slept more hours and better and the next days untill las night, when I accidently found this topic on google and started thinking about insomnia and having a hard time trying to fall asleep last night because of it! I think it's psychological...
(sorry my english is poor, i hope u understant what i wrote )

JOSHUA EXCALLIBUR's picture

20 NIGTHS SLEEPLESS AND COUNTING

THIS DOESN'T EXPLAIN WHY ALL OF A SUDDEN I AM NOT SLEEPING AT ALL AND I AM STARTING TO WASTE AWAY. I HAVE NO SENTIMENTAL OR TROUBLING ISSUES BUT I JUST CAN'T SLEEP. I'VE GIVEN UP WORRYING ABOUT THIS AND JUST CONTIINUE EVERYDAY AS NORMAL BUT I SEE MY ARMS HAVE LOST NEARLY ALL THE MUSCLES ON MY FOREARMS AND WHEN I FLEX IT IS MAINLY BONE. I CANNOT LIFT MYSELF UP OVER WALLS OR BALCONIES ANYMORE. I EAT PROPERLY EVERYDAY. I FUNCTION. BUT I WONDER IF I WILL EVER SLEEP AGAIN. I AM IMMUNE TO EVERY KIND OF SLEEEPING AGENT. INCLUDNG TALCUM POWDER AND HIGHER DOSES OF SLEEPING PILLS. NO ONE CAN FIGURE THIS OUT AND MY MEMORY IS ALMOST COMPLETELY GOING FOR THE 2ND TIME. LAST TIME WAS A BRAIN INFECTION BUT THIS TIME DOCTORS ARE BAFFLED AND CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON. I PUT THIS INFORMATION ON THE NET TO IMPLORE ALL OTHERS TO NOT TAKE IT LIGHTLY AND GET ONTO THE MATTER ASAP. I HAVE COME TO THE UNDERSTANDING UNLESS I GO TO HOSPITAL AND POSSIBLY BE PUT INTO AN INDUCED COMA...I MAY NOT FIND A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM. HOPING THIS CAN HELP OTHER PEOPLE.

cliff 's picture

hey dude i have the same

hey dude i have the same problem ive been awake for 6months without a single seconds sleep. im closed to the end now. though know one believes me. my doctor says its impossible id be dead. my mum says im ill n need to get psychiatric help. at around month three i decided to jump off a bridge with a nuise around my neck (it snapped n i ended up in the river). oh yeah & n im resistant to all drugs e.g cannabis, alcohol, temazepam etc . have absolutely no effect on me whar so ever. heres my number

kim's picture

I go to a psych for my

I go to a psych for my problem

Serendip Visitor's picture

yes

Please talk to me
Email

Heather virginia wilson

Gmail

Since this site is wierd about numbers and such

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