Narcolepsy

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Narcolepsy is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • Gelineau's syndrome
  • narcoleptic syndrome
  • paroxysmal sleep

Disorder Subdivisions

  • narcolepsy with cataplexy
  • narcolepsy without cataplexy

General Discussion

Narcolepsy is a neurological sleep disorder characterized by chronic, excessive attacks of drowsiness during the day, sometimes called excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). Attacks of drowsiness may persist for only a few seconds or several minutes. These episodes vary in frequency from a few incidents to several during a single day. Nighttime (nocturnal) sleep patterns may also be disrupted. Three additional symptoms often associated with narcolepsy are sudden extreme muscle weakness (cataplexy), a specific type of hallucination that occurs just before falling asleep or upon awakening, and brief episodes of paralysis while waking up. The exact incidence of narcolepsy is 1 in 2,000 and most researchers believe that the disorder remains undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in many cases.

There is increasing evidence that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue or cells. In narcolepsy, the immune system destroys certain brain cells that produce a peptide called hypocretin. Why the immune system attacks healthy cells in narcolepsy is unknown and additional environmental and genetic factors may play a role in the development of the disorder.

Resources

National Sleep Foundation
1010 N. Glebe Road
Suite 310
Arlington, VA 22201
Tel: (703)243-1697
Email: nsf@sleepfoundation.org
Internet: http://www.sleepfoundation.org

Narcolepsy Network, Inc.
110 Ripple Lane
North Kingstown, RI 02852
USA
Tel: (401)667-2523
Fax: (401)633-6567
Tel: (888)292-6522
Email: narnet@narcolepsynetwork.org
Internet: http://www.narcolepsynetwork.org

American Sleep Association
1610 14th Street NW
Suite 300
Rochester, MN 55901
Tel: (507)287-6006
Fax: (507)287-6008
Email: asda@millcomm.com
Internet: http://www.sleepassociation.org/

Tri-State Sleep Disorders Center
1275 E. Kemper Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45246
Tel: (513)671-3101
Fax: (513)671-4159
Tel: (800)838-4322
TDD: (311)111-6111
Email: ggaz@tristatesleep.com
Internet: http://www.tristatesleep.com

Narcolepsy Institute
Montefiore Medical Center
111 East 210th Street
Bronx, NY 10467
Tel: (718)920-6799
Fax: (718)654-9580
Email: MGoswami@NarcolepsyInstitute.org
Internet: http://www.narcolepsyinstitute.org

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
TDD: (301)468-5981
Email: me20t@nih.gov
Internet: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

MedicAlert Foundation International
2323 Colorado Avenue
Turlock, CA 95382
USA
Tel: (209)669-2401
Fax: (209)669-2456
Tel: (888)633-4298
Email: Inquiries@medicalert.org
Internet: http://www.medicalert.org

Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research
College of Nursing, Suite 208
The University of Illinois at Chicago
845 South Damen Avenue (M/C 802)
Chicago, IL 60612
Tel: (312)996-5176
Fax: (312)996-7008
Email: julielaw@uic.edu
Internet: http://www.uic.edu/nursing/CNSHR/index.html

MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
USA
Tel: (920)336-5333
Fax: (920)339-0995
Tel: (877)336-5333
Email: mums@netnet.net
Internet: http://www.netnet.net/mums/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  2/14/2011
Copyright  1986, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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