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

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

Narcolepsy Comorbidities Can Add to the Impact of the Disorder1

People living with narcolepsy have a higher prevalence of comorbidities compared with the general population.2

Psychiatric comorbidities, especially depression, are reported up to 4 times more often in people living with narcolepsy,1 and the risk for cardiovascular diseases is higher.2

There’s More to Know About Comorbidities in People Living With Narcolepsy

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More likely to have anxiety3

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More likely to have mood disorders3

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More likely to develop cardiovascular disease2

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More likely to develop diabetes2

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Are overweight4

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More likely to have high cholesterol2

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  1. 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.
  2. Black J, Reaven NL, Funk SE, et al. Medical comorbidity in narcolepsy: findings from the Burden of Narcolepsy Disease (BOND) study. Sleep Med. 2017;33:13-18.
  3. Ruoff C, Reaven N, Funk S, et al. High rates of psychiatric comorbidity in narcolepsy: findings from the burden of narcolepsy disease (bond) study of 9,312 patients in the United States. J Clin Psych. 2017;78(2):171-176.
  4. Kok SW, Overeem S, Visscher TLS, et al. Hypocretin deficiency in narcoleptic humans is associated with abdominal obesity. Obes Res. 2003;11(9):1147-1154.

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.

Sleep-onset REM period.

The VLPO as well as the median preoptic nucleus (MnPO) are located in the hypothalamus and contain essential neurons for promoting non-REM sleep. These neurons project to all wake-promoting regions to inhibit wakefulness and promote non-REM sleep during the night.8,11 Neurons in the extended VLPO mediate the promotion of REM sleep by inhibiting certain wake-promoting neurons that suppress REM sleep.8