Florida Teen Suffers Debilitating Narcolepsy

photo: wsvn miami

Ruth Hamper: “If he goes down, we need to get to him right away to keep him safe.”

A Florida teenager has been diagnosed with a rare disease that causes him to fall asleep for weeks (full story on 7 News Miami). The dangerous narcoleptic condition places stress on his family, who fears something bad might happen to him if they aren’t watching and his condition takes hold. The condition is called Kleine-Levin syndrome and was heavily linked to the Pandemrix vaccine given to teenagers back in 2010. There is no disclosure or noted relationship with this child and any flu vaccinations and we aren’t suggesting any link.

According to 7 News out of Miami.

Eighteen-year-old Michael Hamper is a black belt in tae kwon do, a straight-A student and an all-around great kid — but he’s silently struggling.

Michael Hamper, 18 years old: “The world keeps spinning, and mine stops pretty much.”

When Michael goes to sleep, he doesn’t always wake up. He sleeps for two weeks at a time.

Ruth Hamper, Michael’s mom: “Every time he has an episode, I walk into his room and I am in tears. And I just look at him because he lays there like in a coma.”

Michael has a rare disease called Kleine-Levin syndrome.

It’s nicknamed Sleeping Beauty syndrome, but there’s nothing beautiful about it.

Chris Hamper, Michael’s dad: “He goes from an extremely active, well-spoken, adult grown man, to a 2-year-old child in a matter of hours, sometimes minutes.”

More about Kleine Levin Syndrome:

What causes Kleine Levin syndrome seems to remain a mystery.

Episode onset is often abrupt, and may be associated with flu-like symptoms. Excessive food intake, irritability, childishness, disorientation, hallucinations, and an abnormally uninhibited sex drive may be observed during episodes. Mood can be depressed as a consequence, but not a cause, of the disorder. Affected individuals are completely normal between episodes, although they may not be able to remember afterward everything that happened during the episode. It may be weeks or more before symptoms reappear. Symptoms may be related to malfunction of the hypothalamus and thalamus, parts of the brain that govern appetite and sleep (source)

Kleine Levin syndrome presenting after HINI vaccine

A 13-fold higher risk of narcolepsy was found Irish children/adolescents vaccinated with Pandemrix compared with unvaccinated children/adolescents. Most vaccinations took place between week 42 of 2009 and week 15 of 2010. Median delay between vaccine and first symptom of narcolepsy was 2.2 months. We report a case of Klein Levine syndrome that presented in the same time frame. Objective of report is to see if other centres have experience of KlS post vaccine or post HINI. (source)

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