Journal of Neurology

, Volume 261, Issue 8, pp 1644–1646 | Cite as

Narcolepsy: environment, genes and treatment

  • K. J. Peall
  • N. P. RobertsonEmail author
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Narcolepsy is a central sleep disorder typically involving symptoms of daytime somnolence, unintentional lapses into sleep, sleep paralysis and frequent nocturnal awakenings. The disorder involves a dissociated sleep-wake cycle with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep intruding into wakefulness. Narcolepsy with cataplexy (type 1 narcolepsy) is caused by loss of hypocretin-secreting neurons, decreasing CSF levels of this neuropeptide. Mean prevalence is believed to be 30/100,000, with the highest rates observed in Japan and the lowest in Saudia Arabia. Age at onset is typically 10–30 years, peaking at 15 years and rarely presenting <10 years and >40 years of age.

Although this is a rare disorder, it has significant social implications and at present has only a limited repertoire of effective therapeutic strategies. Longitudinal studies have demonstrated that those with narcolepsy tend to have a lower quality of life, a lower level of education and employment, depression and...


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Alemtuzumab Modafinil Narcolepsy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychological Medicine, and Clinical NeuroscienceCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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