We may be step closer to understanding the genetic basis for narcolepsy, say Japanese scientists who looked at the DNA of those suffering from the condition. In people who exhibit the excessive daytime sleepiness, vision problems, and muscle weakness associated with narcolepsy, one particular gene variant shows up with significant frequency, especially among Japanese and Koreans, Reuters reports.
Scientists hope this study can lead to better treatments for the condition that is currently managed by prescription stimulants. One in 2,500 people of European descent suffers from narcolepsy, and the rate is four times as high in Japan. Although the genetic evidence wasn't quite as clear among those of European and African descent, it was strong in Koreans and Japanese.