Children who developed narcolepsy after being given the swine flu vaccine were affected by such serious sleep-disorder related conditions that some were initially thought to be suffering from schizophrenia.
The revelation came as the solicitors acting for two-thirds of those now suing the State over having received the controversial vaccine Pandemrix warned that a redress scheme was simply not enough and that full accountability was required for what happened.
In severe cases, sufferers can fall asleep at any time – when they are eating, sitting watching TV or even while working in a school classroom.
Many suffer from cataplexy – loss of muscle tone – causing them to collapse like a puppet when experiencing extreme emotions. They also suffer from sleep paralysis, rendering them unable to move while they experience hallucinations.
In many cases, the severity of these dreams and nightmares, and their understandable consequences for young people, led doctors to suspect a form of schizophrenia before narcolepsy was finally diagnosed.