Narcolepsy is characterized by permanent, overwhelming feelings of sleepiness and fatigue. Other symptoms include abnormalities of dreaming sleep, such as dream-like hallucinations and feeling physically weak or paralyzed for a few seconds.
Diagnostic Criteria for Narcolepsy (DSM-IV-TR)
A. Irresistible attacks of refreshing sleep that occur daily over at least 3 months.
B. The presence of one or both of the following:
- cataplexy (i.e., brief episodes of sudden bilateral loss of muscle tone, most often in association with intense emotion).
- recurrent intrusions of elements of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep into the transition between sleep and wakefulness, as manifested by either hypnopompic or hypnagogic hallucinations or sleep paralysis at the beginning or end of sleep episodes.
C. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or another general medical condition.
- Scammell TE. Narcolepsy. N Engl J Med. 2015 Dec 31;373(27):2654-62. [Medline]
- Ahmed I, Thorpy M. Clinical features, diagnosis and treatment of narcolepsy. Clin Chest Med. 2010 Jun;31(2):371-81. [Medline]
Created Jan 21, 2016.