Last Reviewed : 12/24/2020

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder involving the loss of the brain's ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, comparable to how people who do not have narcolepsy feel after 24–48 hours of sleep deprivation, as well as disturbed sleep which often is confused with insomnia. Another common symptom of narcolepsy is cataplexy, a sudden and transient episode of muscle weakness accompanied by full conscious awareness, typically (though not necessarily) triggered by emotions such as laughing, crying, terror, etc. affecting roughly 70% of people who have narcolepsy.

The system which regulates sleep, arousal, and transitions between these states in humans is composed of three interconnected subsystems: the orexin projections from the lateral hypothalamus, the reticular activating system, and the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus. In narcoleptic individuals, these systems are all associated with impairments due to a greatly reduced number of hypothalamic orexin projection neurons and significantly fewer orexin neuropeptides in cerebrospinal fluid and neural tissue, compared to non-narcoleptic individuals. Those with narcolepsy generally experience the REM stage of sleep within five minutes of falling asleep, while people who do not have narcolepsy (unless they are significantly sleep deprived) do not experience REM until after a period of slow-wave sleep, which lasts for about the first hour or so of a sleep cycle.

It is most common between ages 40 and 50 and may decline after age 60. The term narcolepsy derives from the French wordnarcolepsie created by the French physician Jean-Baptiste-Édouard Gélineau by combining the Greek ????? (narke, "numbness" or "stupor"),[9] and ????? (lepsis), "attack" or "seizure".

We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.


Basic information: web md narcolepsy national institute of neurological disorders and sleep narcolepsy sleep education narcolepsy nhs uk narcolepsy mayo clinic narcolepsy definition help guide narcolepsy university of maryland medical center narcolepsy emedicine health narcolepsy health line narcolepsy cleveland clinic narcolepsy in children better health sleep - narcolepsy american sleep association narcolepsy everyday health what is narcolepsy? very well narcolepsy symptoms, causes, and treatments


Advanced information: medscape narcolepsy medicine narcolepsy new york times narcolepsy in-depth report psych central narcolepsy symptoms patient narcolepsy and cataplexy medical news today narcolepsy: causes, symptoms and treatments national organisation for rare diseases narcolepsy health communities narcolepsy


Research: liechty j. sleeping beauty gets an eye exam: a case report and literature review on narcolepsy. optom vis perf 2014;2(3):126-9 millichap, j.g., (2008). diagnosis and management of narcolepsy reviewed. pediatric neurology briefs. 22(11), pp.84–85. doi: : lamb f, ploner a, fink k, maeurer m,bergman p, piehl f, et al. (2016) no evidence for disease history as a risk factor for narcolepsy after a(h1n1)pdm09 vaccination. plos one 11(4): e0154296. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154296 lourdes m. delrosso, andrew l. chesson, and romy hoque, “manual characterization of sleep spindle index in patients with narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia,” sleep disorders, vol. 2014, article id 271802, 4 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/271802 hermann l. müller, “increased daytime sleepiness in patients with childhood craniopharyngioma and hypothalamic tumor involvement: review of the literature and perspectives,” international journal of endocrinology, vol. 2010, article id 519607, 7 pages, 2010. doi:10.1155/2010/519607 b lockrane, p bhatia, and robin gore, “successful treatment of narcolepsy and cataplexy: a review,”canadian respiratory journal, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 225-227, 2005. doi:10.1155/2005/341295 review article front. neurol., 11 september 2014 | cortical–subcortical interactions in hypersomnia disorders: mechanisms underlying cognitive and behavioral aspects of the sleep–wake cycle by linda j. larson-prior et al., mechanisms of sleep-wake cycle and genetics of sleep disorders. a review. by robel abay.. international journal of pharma sciences and research (ijpsr) issn : 0975-9492 vol 6 no 12 dec 2015 sheng p, hou l, wang x, wang x, huang c, et al. (2013) efficacy of modafinil on fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness associated with neurological disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. plos one 8(12): e81802. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081802 orexin receptors: a journey through their discovery to the development of suvorexant, the new sleeping pill by anandabaskar nishanthi et al., doi: int j basic clin pharmacol. 2016 jun;5(3):573-578


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Presentations/quiz/newspaper articles: narcolepsy and the swine flu vaccine: the girl who falls asleep 40 times a day dear people with narcolepsy, you are awesome! portraits of narcolepsy in new york city the simpsons shows why narcolepsy is no laughing matter this is the world of narcolepsy schoolboy, 11, has been left unable to smile or laugh without suffering narcolepsy fits after he was given a nasal spray flu vaccine as part of a government scheme

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