Narcolepsy

The Sleep Center at Christian Hospital specializes in treating narcolepsy in adults and children.

What is Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a chronic, neurological sleep disorder with no known cause. It involves the body's central nervous system. Narcolepsy is a genetic disorder, and is caused by a deficiency in the production of a neuropeptide called orexin by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus.

To schedule an appointment or for more information please call 314.747.9355 or toll-free 877.747.9355 or email us.

Symptoms of Narcolepsy

The following are the most common symptoms of narcolepsy:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). An overwhelming desire to sleep at inappropriate times or sleep attacks
  • Cataplexy
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Hypnagogic hallucinations

Secondary or auxiliary symptoms include:

  • Automatic behavior. Performing routine tasks without conscious awareness of doing so, and often without remembering
  • Disrupted nighttime sleep
  • Other difficulties may result from one's continuing struggle to cope, including:
    • Feelings of intense fatigue and continual lack of energy
    • Depression
    • Difficulty in concentrating and memorizing
    • Vision (focusing) problems
    • Eating binges
    • Weak limbs
    • Difficulties in handling alcohol

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis for narcolepsy may include any of the following:

  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Overnight polysomnogram (PSG) 
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)
  • Blood test

Specific treatment for narcolepsy will be determined by your doctor and may include any of the following:

  • Medications
  • Nap therapy
  • Proper diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Behavioral therapy

To schedule an appointment or for more information please call 314.747.9355 or toll-free 877.747.9355 or email us.