La narcolessia è una malattia pediatrica: Le red flags per riconoscerla

Translated title of the contribution: Narcolepsy is a paediatric disease: Use red flags to recognise it

Elena Antelmi, Luca Vignatelli, Icilio Ceretelli, Maurizio Bellini, Claudio Carta, Pietro Cortelli, Renzo Guerrini, Francesca Ingravallo, Valentina Marchiani, Francesco Mari, Giovanni Pieroni, Fabio Pizza, Carmen Verga, Elisabetta Verillo, Luigi Ferini Strambi, Raffaele Ferri, Domenica Taruscio, Giuseppe Plazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale - Narcolepsy is a chronic rare disease that frequently develops in children. It is characterised by excessive daily sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations as well as disturbed nocturnal sleep. Moreover, psychiatric disorders, obesity and early puberty can complete the clinical picture. Narcolepsy diagnosis is often delayed and many patients receive wrong diagnoses and inappropriate treatments. Objective - The Associazione Italiana Narcolettici e Ipersonni (AIN) promoted the “Red Flags Project” in order to increase early detection by doctors that visit subjects with narcolepsy symptoms. The project has been developed by a multidisciplinary panel including main Scientific Societies involved in narcolepsy diagnosis, with the methodological contribution of the Neurological Sciences Institute of Bologna University and Istituto Superiore di Sanità. Method - The project has been divided into three phases. Phase 1: preparation of a questionnaire aimed at defining diagnostic delay, barriers and solutions and questionnaire filling in by Scientific Societies representatives and AIN members. Phase 2: shaping of typical and atypical narcolepsy pictures in adults and in children, on whose basis Red Flags have been defined. Phase 3: the panel has produced suggestions aimed at Red Flags spreading and barriers overcoming. Results - Narcolepsy Red Flags are 5 paradigmatic clinical pictures: 3 for children and 2 for adults. The limited early symptoms knowledge of doctors, in particular on symptoms different from sleep attacks, is the main barrier to diagnosis. Conclusions - “Red Flags Project” deals with diagnostic delay, proposing paradigmatic clinical pictures, in order to arouse diagnostic suspect and suggest targets of Red Flags spreading.

Translated title of the contributionNarcolepsy is a paediatric disease: Use red flags to recognise it
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalMedico e Bambino
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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