At a time when the teenager should be living each day to the fullest, she is trapped in a roughly six-week cycle in which she has no choice but to take to her bed, slumbering for about 10 days at a time.
Kaitlyn has developed an extremely rare condition called [easyazon-link asin="5510852747" locale="us"]Kleine-Levin syndrome[/easyazon-link], or KLS, and it is stealing her life away.
“Kind of like the day before, I start feeling really tired and it’s really hard for me to focus in class,” she says from her home in Winona, Ont., near Hamilton. “And then after that, I’m just gone for 10 days. I have to sleep, I can’t stay awake.”
What is Kleine-Levin Syndrome
[easyazon-image align="left" asin="6130135440" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41176SGlB-L._SL160_.jpg" width="109"]Kleine-Levin Syndrome (“KLS”) is a rare sleep disorder characterized by recurrent and unusually long episodes of hypersomnia, associated with behavioral/cognitive disturbances, megaphagia and more rarely sexual disinhibition. These serious episodes alternate with periods without any symptoms, and normal sleep and behavior typically lasting months to years. KLS primarily strikes adolescents and is self-limiting; cessation of episodes typically occurs in early adult life.
The cause of KLS is unknown. All diagnostic test results on KLS patients to date, including brain imagery, EEG, serum virus titres, and CSF examination, have been normal. However, nearly half of the patients experience a non-specific, mainly flu-like infectious disease a few days before the onset of their first KLS episode. The rarity of KLS, compared to the high frequency of flu-like diseases in the general population, suggests that some patients may be more predisposed to KLS. This vulnerability may be genetic. med.stanford.edu