Familial lethal insomnia, a rare disease that ends in death

We know that the consequences of insomnia can be fatal. In a problem that is related to depression and that is surrounded by a feeling of helplessness and endless suffering, there is also room for ideas of suicide. But we go a step further and discover that, indeed, there is a type of insomnia that can be fatal. It’s about lethal family insomnia.

What is lethal insomnia

  • Fatal insomnia is one of those rare diseases, which affect a small number of people, but which we should not ignore. The data on fatal family insomnia are dangerously focused on Spain, since of the 100 cases diagnosed worldwide, 40 of them are in Spain. But what exactly is lethal insomnia?
  • Fatal familial insomnia has a high hereditary component to the point that people who suffer from it are advised against having children. We are facing the mutation of a gene that makes it impossible to sleep and its consequences are devastating. Death is the final outcome for this disease that has no possible treatment. That’s how harsh the news about deadly insomnia sounds.
  • We are not going to focus on the most dramatic details of the disease, but we can say that it begins with insomnia for which no treatment is effective and the patient stays awake night after night. Little by little, not sleeping is taking its toll in the form of seizures, memory loss, hallucinations, lack of mobility… until reaching a coma with the entire body paralyzed. The result is inevitably death and all this occurs in approximately twelve months from the appearance of the first symptoms.

Deadly lack of sleep

  • The relationship between lack of sleep and death has been known since ancient times, which is why sleep deprivation has been one of the most feared forms of torture. Perhaps these practices were better known in Nazi Germany or even in some prisons of dubious legality, but the truth is that preventing someone from sleeping is an exercise in cruelty that has been used since ancient times.
  • And it is that we do not tire of warning about the consequences of insomnia, about the importance of sleep and about its relationship with the quality of life. Muscle pain or headaches, confusion, irritability, lack of concentration and the thousand and one ailments that are aggravated by insomnia are just a sample of what happens when we talk about a bearable insomnia problem. If we move that “bearable” insomnia to the limits of what is bearable, the consequences are unimaginable.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top