The History of Narcolepsy – Excessive sleepiness in evolution

The History of Narcolepsy – Excessive sleepiness in evolution

By In Idiopathic Hypersomnia, Narcolepsy, treatment On December 8, 2017


Central Disorders of Hypersomnolence encompass conditions including Narcolepsy and Idiopathic Hypersomnia – at here at the best Adelaide Sleep clinic in Adelaide, we manage all these conditions.

Narcolepsy was first described the 1870’s were it was associated with Cataplexy and Postencephalitic Narcolepsy. With these reports from over a century ago, it was the first known primary sleep disorder to be described, identified and the symptomatology reported. It was from here that the classic tetrad was Excessive Daytime Sleepiness, Cataplexy, Sleep Paralysis and Hypnagogic Hallucinations was coined. Fragmented sleep is also a common symptom that is often overlooked.

Our understanding of Narcolepsy progressed with the development of treatments such as Methylphenidate in the 1950’s – known to ameliorate some Narcolepsy symptoms.

In the following decade of the 1960’s came tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and their use in cataplexy, at around the time we discovered sleep-onset REM periods (SOREMPs).

The first consensus for the definition fo Narcolepsy was ratified in the 1970’s under the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD). The following decade saw the first documented association of Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-DR2 and Narcolepsy (Honda et al, Sleep 1986).

With the 1990’s came the discovery of Hypocretin 1 and the Hypocretin Receptor 2 Gene. Today we can diagnose Narcolepsy with the Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) and CSF Hypocretin levels.

At Adelaide Sleep, we have experts who are trained in specifically counselling, diagnosing, and treating Narcolepsy and all Sleep Disorders. We treat the whole spectrum fo sleep disorders, and pride ourselves on being able to differentiate and treat each of these separately.

If you believe you may have Narcolepsy or one of the Narcolepsy-like conditions, we can help. Call us now for an appointment.

© APSS 2018


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