Clinical features, diagnosis and treatment of narcolepsy

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55 Scopus citations


Narcolepsy is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic/hypnapompic hallucinations. It is currently believed to be caused by a deficiency in hypocretin-producing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus. Diagnosis is by the presence of appropriate clinical symptoms and confirmation by a polysomnogram followed by a multiple sleep latency test. There are nonpharmacologic (eg, scheduled naps, following proper sleep hygiene) and symptom-directed pharmacologic (eg, central nervous system stimulants, modafinil, sodium oxybate, certain antidepressants) treatments that are usually used together for optimal management of narcolepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
JournalClinics in Chest Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Differential diagnosis
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics
  • Narcolepsy
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pediatric
  • Symptoms
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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