Memorial Day Offer

Discover your mystery discount!

Narcolepsy

– Signs and Symptoms: – Main characteristics: excessive daytime sleepiness and abnormal REM sleep. – Excessive daytime sleepiness persists even after sufficient night time sleep. […]

« Back to Glossary Index

– Signs and Symptoms:
– Main characteristics: excessive daytime sleepiness and abnormal REM sleep.
– Excessive daytime sleepiness persists even after sufficient night time sleep.
– Individuals with narcolepsy tend to become drowsy or fall asleep unexpectedly.
– Cataplexy, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis are common symptoms.
– Narcolepsy often begins in childhood and affects males and females equally.

– Causes and Risk Factors:
– Narcolepsy is a clinical syndrome of hypothalamic disorder.
– The exact cause of narcolepsy is unknown, with potential autoimmune triggers.
– Up to 10% of cases have a family history of the disorder.
– Low levels of orexin are common in affected individuals.
– Traumatic brain injury, tumors, and other brain diseases can also cause narcolepsy.

– Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis:
– Diagnosis is typically based on symptoms and sleep studies.
– Excessive daytime sleepiness can be caused by various sleep disorders.
– Cataplexy may be mistaken for seizures.
– Other potential causes must be ruled out during diagnosis.
– Sleep apnea, depression, anemia, heart failure, alcohol, and lack of sleep can mimic narcolepsy symptoms.

– Treatment Options:
– No cure exists for narcolepsy.
– Lifestyle changes like regular naps and sleep hygiene can help.
– Medications such as modafinil, sodium oxybate, and methylphenidate are used.
– Tolerance to medication benefits may develop over time.
– Tricyclic antidepressants and SSRIs may improve cataplexy.

– Epidemiology and Complications:
– Narcolepsy frequency ranges from 0.2 to 600 per 100,000 people globally.
– The condition often starts in childhood and affects both genders equally.
– Untreated narcolepsy raises the risk of accidents.
– Narcolepsy typically occurs between early childhood and 50 years of age.
– Onset is most common between 15 and 36 years, but can occur at any age.

Narcolepsy (Wikipedia)

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that involves a decreased ability to regulate sleep–wake cycles. Symptoms often include periods of excessive daytime sleepiness and brief involuntary sleep episodes. Narcolepsy paired with cataplexy is evidenced to be an autoimmune disorder. These experiences of cataplexy can be brought on by strong emotions. Less commonly, there may be vivid hallucinations or an inability to move (sleep paralysis) while falling asleep or waking up. People with narcolepsy tend to sleep about the same number of hours per day as people without it, but the quality of sleep tends to be lessened.

Narcolepsy
The concentration of orexin-A neuropeptides in the cerebrospinal fluid of narcoleptic individuals is usually very low
Pronunciation
SpecialtySleep medicine, neurology
SymptomsExcessive daytime sleepiness, involuntary sleep episodes, sudden loss of muscle strength, hallucinations
ComplicationsMotor vehicle collisions, falls
Usual onsetChildhood
DurationLong term
CausesOrexin deficiency
Risk factorsFamily history, brain injury
Diagnostic methodBased on the symptoms and sleep studies
Differential diagnosisSleep apnea, major depressive disorder, anemia, heart failure, drinking alcohol, idiopathic hypersomnia, Sleep deprivation
TreatmentMedication, regular short naps, sleep hygiene
MedicationModafinil, sodium oxybate, pitolisant, methylphenidate, amphetamine, stimulants, antidepressants
Frequency0.2 to 600 per 100,000

Narcolepsy is a clinical syndrome of hypothalamic disorder, but the exact cause of narcolepsy is unknown, with potentially several causes. In up to 10% of cases, there is a family history of the disorder. Often, those affected have low levels of the neuropeptide orexin, which may be due to an autoimmune disorder triggered in genetically susceptible individuals by infection with H1N1 influenza. In rare cases, narcolepsy can be caused by traumatic brain injury, tumors, or other diseases affecting the parts of the brain that regulate wakefulness or REM sleep. Diagnosis is typically based on the symptoms and sleep studies, after ruling out other potential causes. Excessive daytime sleepiness can also be caused by other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, major depressive disorder, anemia, heart failure, drinking alcohol and not getting enough sleep. The accompanying cataplexy may be mistaken for seizures.

While there is no cure, a number of lifestyle changes and medications may help. Lifestyle changes include taking regular short naps and sleep hygiene. Medications used include modafinil, sodium oxybate and methylphenidate. While initially effective, tolerance to the benefits may develop over time. Tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may improve cataplexy.

Estimates of frequency range from 0.2 to 600 per 100,000 people in various countries. The condition often begins in childhood, with males and females being affected equally. Untreated narcolepsy increases the risk of motor vehicle collisions and falls.

Narcolepsy generally occurs anytime between early childhood and 50 years of age, and most commonly between 15 and 36 years of age. However, it may also rarely appear at any time outside of this range.

« Back to Glossary Index
This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.