Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Teen with sleeping beauty syndrome wakes up after two months
"I've missed nine exams 15-year-old Stacey Comerford tells reporters. She fell asleep in April and only just woke up last week.
She sleep-walks to use the bathroom and eat but is never aware of doing anything because she does all these while she is asleep.
Comerford suffers from Kleine Levin Syndrome (KLS), also known as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome, a condition affecting only about 1,000 people around the world. This disease usually disappears when one becomes a full adult.
"There's never any warning. I've even found her fast asleep on the kitchen floor," Comerford's mother, Bernie Richards, tells the Sun. "When she's in an episode, she might get up to go to the toilet or get a drink but she's not awake. I call it sleep mode."
Richards says doctors initially waved off her daughter's symptoms as a result of "moody" behavior.
"I was even investigated by the local education authority because Stacey's school thought I was deliberately keeping her out of school," Richards said. "They've stopped now we've got a diagnosis."
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) says Kleine Levin Syndrome affects primarily adolescent males (70 percent) and can often result in an individual sleeping for up to 20 hours at a time. While there is no treatment or cure for the condition, many individuals living with the condition simply outgrow it as they age, usually over the course of 8 to 12 years.