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Personal Blog

Kleine-Levin syndrome: the fish that got away

For my book, KLS was the fish that got away. I began research on KLS in connection with idiopathic hypersomnia, but later decided to cut a chapter on KLS to limit word count. My book mainly compares IH to narcolepsy, which has an extensive history and better-understood biology. 

KLS made things more complicated, because its peculiarities point toward other disorders, such as bipolar disorder, migraine headache and autoimmune encephalitis. I still think that comparing IH with KLS yields some insights, about both the disorders and the communities that have grown around them. Hence, this post.

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PTZ's convulsive history

The pro-convulsant drug pentylenetetrazol or PTZ has a fascinating history. PTZ's first medical uses in the 1920s predate the discovery of amphetamines. In the 1930s, it was used in psychiatric hospitals to deliberately induce seizures in people with schizophrenia. Decades later, it was advertised as a mild stimulant for the elderly, before being removed from the market as part of FDA reforms.


I did some research on PTZ for my upcoming book on idiopathic hypersomnia, because it was being tested in clinical trials for IH. Unfortunately Balance Therapeutics, the company that was developing the drug for Down syndrome and then IH, was dissolved, and it looks PTZ has come to a dead end. Read more about it here.

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