Clinical Features, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Narcolepsy

  • Lois E. Krahn
Part of the Current Clinical Practice book series (CCP)


Narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder that typically begins at a young age, has the potential to greatly disrupt social, educational, and vocational development. Because of the nature of its symptoms (e.g., excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy, in particular), narcolepsy provides insights to mechanisms regarding human sleep regulation. Its universal symptom of inappropriate daytime sleepiness probably contributes most substantially to the resulting impaired quality of life that has been documented (1). A specific and intriguing sign of narcolepsy, experienced by 60% of patients, is cataplexy, or transient muscle weakness triggered by emotions. Other classic, but less specific symptoms include sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations. Disturbed nocturnal sleep is the most recent addition to the constellation of symptoms.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea Multiple System Atrophy Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Sodium Oxybate Multiple Sleep Latency Test 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lois E. Krahn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychologyMayo ClinicScottsdale

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