Narcolepsy Education on Demand

Watch experts in narcolepsy describe in detail topics such as pathophysiology, clinical presentation, symptom recognition, and diagnosis

  • Neurobiology of Sleep and Wakefulness

    Neurobiology of Sleep and Wakefulness

    Neurobiology of Sleep and Wakefulness

    To better understand the disorder of narcolepsy and how it affects patients' lives, it is worthwhile to first understand the pathophysiology of the disorder in the context of normal sleep-wake physiology. This section reviews the current well-accepted theories on the neurobiology of normal sleep and wakefulness.
  • Pathophysiology and Symptoms of Narcolepsy

    Pathophysiology and Symptoms of Narcolepsy

    Pathophysiology and Symptoms of Narcolepsy

    This section reviews the pathophysiology of narcolepsy and its symptoms. There are two primary types of narcolepsy - narcolepsy with cataplexy and narcolepsy without cataplexy. As significantly more is known about the pathophysiology of narcolepsy with cataplexy, much of what is described here will focus on this type of the disorder.
  • Diagnostic Challenges

    Diagnostic Challenges

    Diagnostic Challenges

    In this section, the faculty review the multiple challenges involved with diagnosing narcolepsy. Some of the challenges discussed include symptom overlap with other disorders (primarily the symptom of excessive daytime sleepiness), comorbidities, and variations in patient descriptions of symptoms.
  • Identification and Screening

    Identification and Screening

    Identification and Screening

    This section of the broadcast highlights the nuances of the clinical presentation of narcolepsy and provides methods for differentiating the symptoms of narcolepsy from other conditions with a similar presentation. The symptoms of narcolepsy can be remembered as C.H.E.S.S.: cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations, excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep paralysis, and sleep disruption.
  • Establishing the Diagnosis

    Establishing the Diagnosis

    Establishing the Diagnosis

    The clinical approach to diagnosis includes identification of the symptoms associated with narcolepsy. Clinicians should rule out other causes, particularly for excessive daytime sleepiness, and consider potential comorbid conditions. Finally, sleep laboratory testing with standardized PSG followed by an MSLT should be performed to establish the diagnosis. This section of the broadcast briefly describes some of these processes.

Neurobiology of Sleep and Wakefulness

To better understand the disorder of narcolepsy and how it affects patients' lives, it is worthwhile to first understand the pathophysiology of the disorder in the context of normal sleep-wake physiology. This section reviews the current well-accepted theories on the neurobiology of normal sleep and wakefulness.