The Nexus Narcolepsy Registry: methodology, study population characteristics, and patterns and predictors of narcolepsy diagnosis

Maurice M. Ohayon, Michael J. Thorpy, Ginger Carls, Jed Black, Miriam Cisternas, David J. Pasta, Shay Bujanover, Danielle Hyman, Kathleen F. Villa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective/background: The real-world experience of people with narcolepsy is not well understood. Patients/methods: The Nexus Narcolepsy Registry (NCT02769780) is a longitudinal, web-based patient registry of self-reported data from adults with physician-diagnosed narcolepsy. Surveys were electronically distributed every 6 months; the current analysis reports registry population demographics, narcolepsy diagnosis journey, and predictors of diagnostic delays. Results: The registry population included in this analysis (N = 1024) was predominantly female (85%) and White (92%), with a mean age of 37.7 years. Most participants had education/training beyond high school (93%). Mean (median) reported ages at narcolepsy symptom onset, first consultation for symptoms, and narcolepsy diagnosis were 18.1 (16), 26.4 (24), and 30.1 (28) years, respectively. A majority (59%) of participants reported ≥1 misdiagnosis, and 29% reported consulting ≥5 physicians before narcolepsy diagnosis. More than half (56%) of participants’ first consultations for narcolepsy symptoms were with a general practitioner, whereas the diagnosing clinician was usually a sleep specialist (64%) or neurologist (27%). Pediatric symptom onset was associated with a longer mean interval to first consultation than adult symptom onset (10.7 and 4.6 years, respectively; P < 0.001) and a longer mean interval between first consultation and diagnosis (4.5 and 2.2 years, respectively; P < 0.001). Overall, mean (95% CI) time from symptom onset to diagnosis was 11.8 (11.1–12.5) years. Conclusions: The Nexus Narcolepsy Registry data indicate that onset of narcolepsy symptoms frequently occurs in childhood or adolescence. In many individuals, the diagnostic process is long and involves multiple physicians and frequent misdiagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-414
Number of pages10
JournalSleep Medicine
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnosis
  • Diagnostic delay
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Narcolepsy
  • Nexus Narcolepsy Registry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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