The Importance Of Sleep: Fatal Familial Insomnia

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Sleep, is an important function that effects everyone. Without an adequate amount of sleep, one would be at risk for not only diseases, but also effects one executive functions. While this might be easy to say, some may not be able to sleep because of a disease such as Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) which apparently effects forty different families worldwide (Fatal Familial Insomnia 1:40-1:52). Before one would know more about a disease like that, the first thing to know is what is sleep, does it have a purpose, and lastly how important is it that we should get an adequate amount of sleep.
To begin, sleep is when the body is the least physically active; this is essential as it is how the body repairs itself and the functions of every organ
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In fact, according to Michael Twery, the Director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders (NSCDR) states that a total 35 percent of Adults in America get less than seven hours of sleep a night (Why Sleep is Important?). Also, according to the Documentary “Sleepless in America” from National Geographic says that in fifty years, we have lost a total average of two hours of sleep a night (5:58). With this lack of sleep, as well as people working more than one job just to get by, according to the National Geographic documentary “Sleepless in America” it is predicted that those who work more than 24 hours of sleep without an adequate amount of sleep is likely to not only get into a car accident, but are also most likely to make mistakes at work (11:47-12:11). Because of that, many experts believe that this lack of sleep had led to disasters such as the Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the Staten Island Ferry crash (Sleepless in America …show more content…
The disease is a one that occurs genetically (passed down from one generation to another), is also a class of prion disease, and is said to only effect a total of forty families throughout the world (Fatal Familial Insomnia 6:09-6:10). This rare genetic disease effects the thalamus region of the brain which according to Social Security is also responsible for our ability to see, and our motor skills or movement (DI 23022.949 Fatal Familial Insomnia). The disease occurs when a mutation in the PRNP gene (DI 23022.949 Fatal Familial Insomnia) is initiated causing the production of a strange protein that build up in the brain called prions which clump together causing damage and ultimately destruction of nerve cells (Fatal Familial Insomnia 1:49-1:52, 5:49-6:04). The result of this is the formation of what the video describes as “sponge-like holes” and which slowly build up in the thalamus (Fatal Familial Insomnia 6:04-6:07, 6:13-6:22). Currently, there is no cure or treatment to slow the progression of the disease and according to Social Security those who are diagnosed with the disease often die within six to thirty-two months afterwards (DI 23022.949 Fatal Familial Insomnia). While the disease is rare, it is still important to understand its effects and how sleep is detrimental to ones’

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