Last Updated: 2013-03-21
Narcolepsy is a chronic condition characterized by a disruption of the sleep-wake cycle and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep intrusion.
The classic tetrad of narcolepsy, seen in only 10% to 15% of cases, includes excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations.
The only clinical manifestation that is specific to narcolepsy is cataplexy.
Disease onset is usually in the second decade of life.
Multiple sleep latency test usually shows shortened sleep latency and at least 2 sleep-onset REM periods.
Therapy involves lifestyle modification, stimulants for daytime sleepiness, and drug treatment for cataplexy.
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