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

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

Narcolepsy Resources for Healthcare Professionals

Access tools and downloadable resources for you and your office.

Narcolepsy Resources and Tools

A Quick Guide for Evaluating the Impact of Narcolepsy

Understanding the impact of excessive daytime sleepiness and other symptoms on patient functioning and quality of life is important for improving clinical outcomes.

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A Quick Guide for Evaluating the Impact of Narcolepsy

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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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Clinical Conversation Simulator Tool

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Narcolepsy Assessment Tool

Use this tool to help your patients assess how narcolepsy may be interfering with their lives. Encourage them to share their results at their next appointment.

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Narcolepsy Assessment Tool

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A Guide to the Pathophysiology of Narcolepsy

A concise guide to understanding signs and symptoms that reflect sleep-wake state instability as well as the underlying neuronal processes behind stable wakefulness.

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A Guide to the Pathophysiology of Narcolepsy

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Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS)

An 8-item questionnaire to assess daytime sleepiness based on a person’s sleep propensity in common situations.

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Narcolepsy Severity Scale (NSS)

A 15-item scale that evaluates the frequency and impact of the five main narcolepsy symptoms.

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Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire-10 (FOSQ-10)

A 10-item questionnaire that assesses the impact of excessive daytime sleepiness on daily activities.

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The Neurobiological Basis of Narcolepsy

Carrie E Mahoney, Andrew Cogswell, Igor J Koralnik, Thomas E Scammell

This review discusses the current understanding of how hypocretin neurons regulate sleep-wake behavior and the consequences of the loss of hypocretin neurons. It also summarizes the developing evidence that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disorder that may be caused by a T cell–mediated attack on the hypocretin neurons.


Intermediate hypocretin-1 cerebrospinal fluid levels and typical cataplexy: their significance in the diagnosis of narcolepsy type 1

Adrienne Elisabeth van der Hoeven, Rolf Fronczek, Mink Sebastian Schinkelshoek, Frederik Willem Cornelis Roelandse, Jaap Adriaan Bakker, Sebastiaan Overeem, Denise Bijlenga, Gert Jan Lammers

Individuals with intermediate hypocretin-1 levels or typical cataplexy more often have outcomes fitting the PSG and MSLT criteria for narcolepsy than those with normal levels or atypical cataplexy. In addition, typical cataplexy has a much stronger association with hypocretin-1 deficiency than atypical cataplexy. The findings from this study helped inform the updates made to the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, 3rd ed. Text Revision (ICSD-3-TR) guidelines in 2023.


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.