xxviii. Some good news

15 June 2006 at 03:33 | Posted in Circadian rhythm | 3 Comments
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There is anecdotal evidence, among all the sad and even enraging reports from people who do not get help, that our little corner of the world is making some progress. People with circadian rhythm disorders are learning what the problem is and are being helped.

Examples found on various lists/boards on the web:

 

  • A woman who works in the admissions office of an American university sits in a staff meeting discussing a student’s application for disability accommodation based upon his diagnosis of Delayed Sleep-Phase Syndrome. She’s always had a lot of trouble getting up in the morning. As the meeting progresses, she starts feeling almost schizophrenic: is it the student they are discussing, or is it herself?

 

  • A little girl on the east coast of the USA is accommodated by her school at considerable expense to the school district. At age nine, she started school at 11 a.m. and after finishing classes was tutored in the subjects she’d missed. She’s eleven now and can no longer get up at 10 a.m., so she attends only the last hour of the day with her class and is tutored until 5 p.m.

 

  • A 24-year-old in a European country has Non-24-hour Sleep-Wake Syndrome. The government subsidizes her internship in a publishing house where she starts work about an hour later each day for three weeks. By then she has a very short working day before closing time and is allowed a week off.

 

  • A 30-year-old nurse who has always considered herself to be an insomniac, takes classes in her field. One day they discuss circadian rhythm disorders and their possible causes and treatments. She has a light-bulb-moment. In just a couple of weeks she’s gone through the necessary tests and has her DSPS diagnosis.

 

I expect to be able to add to this list. It is a coincidence that these first examples are mostly about women and girls. Men are just as active in the forums as women, and both mothers and fathers write in about the problems of their children of both sexes.

It is heartening to learn that some schools at all levels are becoming aware and that nursing classes cover these disorders!

  • (update September 2006) A 17-year-old who’d had a hard time getting up the last few years was more and more miserable through his junior year. A good, active and popular student, his increasing tardies were punished by taking him out of the athletics program. He felt he was losing friends and all interest in school. With letters from three doctors in hand and after much searching, his mother has found an evening academy for him. If he manages to pass all subjects there, he will be allowed to transfer credits and graduate from his former school together with his class in the spring!

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Next:  xxix. Guest Blogger, not a morning person

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3 Comments »

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  1. I was wondering if you think the recent discovery of how “tau” increases an organism’s internal clock will lead to more effective treatments for DSPS? I am hopeful.

  2. The abstract is here:
    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0604511103v1

    Tho’ it appears at this point to apply more to ASPS than to DSPS, it does seem logical that the two disorders must have related causes. DSPS and Non-24 are being seriously studied several places in the world, and surely some of the researchers will have a look at these new results. I agree that we can hope that researchers now will be inspired to work more, differently and better, leading to improved advice and treatment for sufferers.

  3. If they can figure out how the tau mutation initiates ASPS….it may be possible to advanced the sleep phase of people who suffer from DSPS.


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