Fatal insomnia is thankfully extremely rare, because as of now there is no known cure, and not even a way to keep the symptoms under control until the inevitable happens. Attempts to use sleeping drugs have only made the condition even worse, and may even bring forward the date of the death of the patient. Even making the lifestyle changes which will normally serve to prevent insomnia from becoming a serious problem, has limited effect when dealing with this medical phenomena that is known to have its root cause within genetics.
The diagnosis of fatal familia insomnia, can only be formally made by examining the genetic make up of the patient, and this should be done in any severe case of insomnia just to make sure that this extremely rare condition is not the cause. Even of it is the cause, the patient is better off knowing, because the will only have a limited amount of time to arrange their affairs and to make sure that they get what they can out of the remaining months of their life. The average length of time a patient has left is only eighteen months, and there is little deviation from this in individual cases.
Exactly what causes this condition to develop remains largely unknown, but there is a link within certain families. The gene which causes the condition has only been found in forty different families, and there is a fifty percent chance that it will be passed on through reproduction. Only a hundred people in the entire world are carriers of the gene, but that does not make the condition any less devastating to those who develop it. The standard insomnia treatments may even make the condition worse, which is why an early diagnosis is essential.
The most disturbing aspect of all in fatal insomnia is the failure of any and all treatments which have been developed to try to combat the condition. None of the drug treatments which have been used successfully with other insomnia patients are able to even affect this condition, much less take the patient to a position where the condition can be cured. The use of drugs to try to assist the patient to gain a good night’s rest, even non-prescription drugs which are routinely available over the counter, has not proven to have a positive effect. There are even those who believe that all drugs of this type actually make the condition worse.
There is nothing which can be done for anyone who is diagnosed as having this condition, beyond the attempt to allow them the best possible life in the remaining months. The average length of time that a patient has left is typically averaged at eighteen months, and few individual patients appear to vary much from that estimate. If the patient has family, they can obviously be a great help by taking on some of the tasks which would be extremely difficult if the patient was to be left alone. The key is to maximize the time which is left, especially that before the condition worsens.
Due to the rarity of fatal insomnia, there is even a dearth of information available to help people cope with the diagnosis or with the time following it. The best that you can do is research the information which is available on the Internet, and then join a forum which is dedicated to insomnia as a whole. Even to there may only be a limited amount of information about this specific condition, there is sure to be a sympathetic and helpful attitude of understanding towards anyone with fatal insomnia.