Wake Up Narcolepsy Donates $20,000 for Narcolepsy Research at Harvard and Stanford Universities

Wake Up Narcolepsy (WUN) recently awarded research grants totaling $20,000 to two of the world’s leading scientific investigators studying narcolepsy, a debilitating, chronic sleep disorder. The donations were generated at Wake Up Narcolepsy – Boston, an evening of comic relief to benefit narcolepsy research and awareness, held in October 2013.

The WUN grants include:

$10,00 to Dr. Thomas Scammell, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Scammell’s laboratory is examining how positive emotions trigger cataplexy and if gene therapy can improve the sleepiness of narcoleptic mice. Though this research is still years away from application for people, these discoveries provide hope for more effective treatments.

$10,000 to Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, Director of the Center for Sleep Sciences and the Center for Narcolepsy at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Dr. Mignot is internationally recognized as having discovered the cause of narcolepsy. The WUN grant will underwrite his continuing work on the genetic and environmental co-factors contributing to the development of narcolepsy.

Both are longtime recipients of WUN research funding. After receiving the WUN donation, Drs. Scammell and Mignot wrote to Monica Gow, WUN Executive Director and Co-founder. Dr. Scammell wrote:

Dear Monica,

I just received a check from WUN for $10,000. What a great and unexpected surprise!

Over the last few years, our research has really benefited from WUN’s support, and WUN’s donations have allowed us to pursue high-risk experiments that we have not been able to fund through the NIH. These include our experiments to restore orexin signaling in the brains of narcoleptic mice and the new discovery of more histamine neurons in people with narcolepsy.

Thanks to you and WUN for your generosity and all the energy you put into helping people with narcolepsy!