David Parkes

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks


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Narcolepsy is the specific syndrome of daytime sleepiness with cataplexy, where there is a sudden loss of muscle tone—often provoked by the anticipation of emotions—leading to a tendency to fall, mouth opening, dysarthria or mutism, and facial muscle jerking. It is associated with loss of hypocretin (orexin) neurons in the hypothalamus, hypocretin-1 concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid below 100 ng/litre, and the HLA genotype DQ B1*0602. Once established, narcolepsy is lifelong; spontaneous recovery does not occur. Treatment—which is essential to restore school performance, work, driving ability and quality of life—is with stimulant (e.g. amphetamine) and anticataplectic (e.g. clomipramine) drugs, supported by a 15-min nap once or twice a day....

Chapter.  2370 words. 

Subjects: Neurology

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