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Conditions InDepth: Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder. People who have it may fall asleep at any point during the day. This happens quickly and without control. Sleep attacks last 3 to 30 minutes long. They also carry a risk of danger. They can happen at any time such as while driving or standing on a ladder. Narcolepsy can make it harder on your work and social life.
The exact cause is unknown. There may be a combination of problems with:
  • Certain genes in the brain
  • The immune system—it attacks healthy cells
  • Your environment
What are the risk factors for narcolepsy?What are the symptoms of narcolepsy?How is narcolepsy diagnosed?What are the treatments for narcolepsy?Are there screening tests for narcolepsy?How can I reduce my risk of narcolepsy?What questions should I ask my doctor?What is it like to live with narcolepsy?Where can I get more information about narcolepsy?

References

Narcolepsy. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116132/Narcolepsy . Updated November 14, 2017. Accessed August 24, 2018.
Narcolepsy. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/narcolepsy. Accessed August 24, 2018.
Narcolepsy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Narcolepsy-Fact-Sheet. Updated July 6, 2018. Accessed August 24, 2018.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
  • Review Date: 05/2018
  • Update Date: 08/24/2018
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