IPSA 2016 in Taipei talks about flu induced narcolepsy
At the Fourth International Pediatric Sleep Association congress (IPSA 2016) being held in Taipei March 11-13, 2016, chair of the congress Dr. Huang Yu-shu of Chang Geng Hospital in Linkuo says that flu induced narcolepsy among children and adolescents under 18 years old has increased 30% since the outbreak of the H1N1 flu epidemic in 2009 in Taiwan and tenfold on the Chinese mainland.
Clinical studies show that 95% of children and adolescents who suffer have narcolepsy have a common defect in the HLA-DQB1-0602 gene. It is suspected that the invading flu virus or the flu vaccine may have triggered an autoimmune response that destroys the sleep cycle mechanism. Among the Japanese population, about 10% to 15% carry this particular gene.
The HLA-DQB1 gene carries instructions to make a protein critical to the immune system. The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) helps the immune system tell the difference between the body’s own proteins and foreign proteins made by invading foreign viruses and bacteria.
Flu induced narcolepsy in children and adolescents may be suspected after catching the flu and they show signs of falling asleep at inappropriate moments with “naps” lasting for 8 minutes and continuing for more than 3 months.