Advancements in the understanding of narcolepsy are happening. Register for updates »

Advancements in the understanding of narcolepsy are happening. Register for updates »

Clinical Assessment for Ongoing Narcolepsy Symptoms

Gain insights on what to look for when evaluating your patients for ongoing symptoms.

Managing narcolepsy in the clinical setting can be difficult.1-3 Patients may not always report their symptoms because they may be embarrassed by them or are unaware of their impact.3,4

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Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)

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Cataplexy icon


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Disrupted nighttime sleep

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Hypnagogic hallucinations icon

Hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations

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Sleep paralysis

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Clinical Conversation Simulator Tool

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Clinical Conversation Simulator Tool

Use this tool to practice your clinical interview skills and get insights from the experts on evaluating the impact of ongoing symptoms in people living with narcolepsy.

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Asking Your Patients About the Impact of Narcolepsy

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Asking Your Patients About the Impact of Narcolepsy

Ongoing symptoms of narcolepsy can compromise daily functioning and quality of life.1,3,5 Gain a deeper understanding of the impact excessive daytime sleepiness and other symptoms may be having on your patients with narcolepsy.

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Sleep-Wake State Stability

Brush up on the characteristics of normal sleep and wakefulness.

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Narcolepsy can have a significant impact on your patients

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  1. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. International Classification of Sleep Disorders. 3rd ed. Text Revision. American Academy of Sleep Medicine; 2023.
  2. Overeem S. The clinical features of cataplexy. In: Baumann CR, Bassetti CL, Scammell TE, eds. Narcolepsy: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Springer-Verlag New York; 2011:283-290.
  3. Thorpy MJ, Dauvilliers Y. Clinical and practical considerations in the pharmacologic management of narcolepsy. Sleep Med. 2015;16(1):9-18.
  4. Overeem S, Reading P, Bassetti C. Narcolepsy. Sleep Med Clin. 2012;7:263-281.
  5. Thorpy M, Morse AM. Reducing the clinical and socioeconomic burden of narcolepsy by earlier diagnosis and effective treatment. Sleep Med Clin. 2017;12(1):61-71.

Performance of routine tasks without awareness.

Sudden and brief loss of muscle tone, often triggered by strong emotions or certain situations. Narcolepsy with cataplexy is known as narcolepsy type 1.

Complete collapse to the ground; nearly all skeletal muscles are involved.

Only certain muscle groups are involved.

Biological clock mechanism that regulates the 24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings. It is controlled in part by the SCN in the hypothalamus and is affected by the daily light-dark cycle.

Frequent awakenings and inappropriate transitions between states of sleep and wakefulness during nighttime sleep.

The inability to stay awake and alert during the day.

A neurotransmitter in the brain that supports wakefulness.

Vivid, realistic, and sometimes frightening dream-like events that occur when falling asleep.

Also known as orexin. A neuropeptide that supports wakefulness and helps suppress non-REM sleep and REM sleep.

Primary brain region for regulating the timing of sleep-wake states.

Unintentionally falling asleep due to excessive daytime sleepiness. Also known as “sleep attacks.”

Brief, unintentional lapses into sleep or loss of awareness.

A validated objective measure of the tendency to fall asleep in quiet situations.

People living with narcolepsy type 1 have low levels of hypocretin.

Narcolepsy without cataplexy; the cause of narcolepsy type 2 is unknown.

A state of sleep characterized by slower-frequency, more synchronized neuronal activity and decreased muscle tone. Deep stages help to restore the body.

A multiparameter test that monitors physiologic signals during sleep; used as a diagnostic tool in sleep medicine.

A state of sleep characterized by fast-frequency, desynchronized activity on EEG, vivid dreams, and loss of muscle tone. Normally occurs 60-90 minutes after sleep onset. Also known as “paradoxical sleep.”

Brief loss of control of voluntary muscles with retained awareness at sleep-wake transitions.

An abnormal sleep phenomenon characterized by REM sleep occurrence within 15 minutes of sleep onset; may occur during nighttime sleep or daytime napping.

A group of neurons located in the hypothalamus that are essential for promoting non-REM sleep. These neurons project to all wake-promoting regions to inhibit wakefulness and promote non-REM sleep during the night.