Emory Magazine features story of Anna, a 32-year-old attorney, who could do nothing to quench her insatiable need for sleep, even when she slept for 57 hours straight.
Follow Anna’s journey for help, which led her to the Emory Healthcare Sleep Program and Kathy Parker, one of five nurses in the country certified in sleep medicine. Parker led a team of researchers and clinicians to find answers and hope for Anna and others like her.
It was the most baffling case that Kathy Parker, an expert in sleep disorders, had ever encountered. “Anna,” a thirty-two-year-old attorney, came to the Emory Healthcare Sleep Program in June 2005 because her excessive need for sleep—as many as fifty-seven hours at a stretch—had put her career, and her life, on hold. “She reported that she craved sleep,” said Parker, co-director of the Emory Healthcare Sleep Program. “In fifteen years, I have never had a patient tell me that. They’ll say, ‘I can’t stay awake,’ or ‘I struggle to stay awake,’ but Anna described it as this crazy compulsion to sleep.”
Parker enlisted an interdisciplinary team of Emory scientists to investigate Anna’s case. The team not only diagnosed the rare condition that Anna is suffering from—endozepine-induced recurrent stupor—they also are developing what may be the first treatment for the devastating illness…
– Carol Clark | ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Case Awakens Hope for Cure | www.emory.edu