We have all had a restless night, but for individuals with a rare genetic disease called fatal familial insomnia the occasional instance of insomnia can turn deadly. The National Geographic Channel focuses on this disease in a new special.
Fatal familial insomnia usually begins when someone has problems falling asleep, a common symptom among all the various types of insomnia. Within several months, though, this condition causes a severe, intractable inability to sleep. Its other associated symptoms lead to abnormalities involving blood pressure, heart rate, and sweating. Typically the sleep study, or polysomnogram, for fatal familial insomnia will demonstrate an absence of slow-wave sleep. Within six months to 3 years the condition will lead to coma and death.
The National Geographic Channel focuses on the condition of fatal familial insomnia as part of its Explorer series in a special that will air Tuesday, April 27 at 10 PM ET/PT. Tune in and learn about a disease that can leave you, quite literally, dead tired.