What is it?

Fatal familial insomnia (FFI) is a rare familial disorder that affects the thalamus, a brain area that controls, among others, sleep. It is a fatal disorder that may bring the person to death within a few years after the appearance of the symptoms. FFI forms part of the group of prion diseases which are rare conditions affecting neurons.

23 Alikes with Fatal Familial Insomnia

Learn from others
who are experiencing
Fatal Familial Insomnia.

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include trouble falling or staying asleep, muscle twitching and spasms, kicking and moving while sleeping, loss of appetite, and dementia. In advanced stages, symptoms may include speech problems, inability to sleep, mental and cognitive deterioration, loss of coordination, excessive sweating, and fever.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include sleep study, PET scan and genetic testing.


There is no cure for FFI and the treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms with sleep medications, for example.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

Alike Wisdom

Instantly get answers to medical questions with our AI, built from the collective wisdom of our community facing similar experiences

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Find people who are
experiencing a similar
medical reality

100% Free