Narcolepsy with cataplexy associated with nocturnal compulsive behaviors: A case-control study

Vincenzo Palaia, Francesca Poli, Fabio Pizza, Elena Antelmi, Christian Franceschini, Keivan Kaveh Moghadam, Frederica Provini, Uberto Pagotto, Pasquale Montagna, Carlos H. Schenck, Emmanuel Mignot, Giuseppe Plazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Objectives: To assess the prevalence of sleep related-eating disorder (SRED ) and nocturnal smoking (NS) in patients with narcolepsy with cataplexy (NC). Design: Case-control study. Setting: University hospital. Patients or Participants: 65 consecutive adult NC patients (33 men; mean age 43.9 ± 19.2 years) and 65 age-, sex-, and geographical origin-matched controls. Interventions: Validated questionnaires were used to investigate SRED , NS, restless legs syndrome (RLS ), and psychopathological traits (using Eating Disorder Inventory-2 [EDI-2]; Maudsley Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory [MOCI]; and Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]). Measurements and Results: NC patients showed a higher prevalence of SRED (32% vs 3%, P = 0.00001), NS (21% vs 0%, P = 0.00006), and RLS (18% vs 5%, P = 0.013) than controls. Moreover, NC patients presented more frequently with an eating-related pathological profile on the EDI-2 (80% vs 46%, P = 0.00006) and had a higher prevalence of depressed mood on the BDI (41% vs 18%, P = 0.004). In comparison to patients without SRED, NC patients with SRED were more frequently women (71% vs 39%, P = 0.013), had higher "bulimic" (29% vs 2%, P = 0.004) and "social insecurity" (48% vs 18%, P = 0.013) traits on the EDI-2, had higher obsessive-compulsiveness on the MOCI (29% vs 4%, P = 0.009), and were more depressed on the BDI (67% vs 29%, P = 0.005). NC patients with NS showed more frequent pathological profiles on the EDI-2 (100% vs 75%, P = 0.035), including the "bulimic" (29% vs 6%, P = 0.015), "perfectionism" (43% vs 14%, P = 0.016), and "social insecurity" (50% vs 22, P = 0.035) profiles. Conclusion: Our study shows a strong association of the compulsive nocturnal behaviors SRED and NS with adult NC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1371
Number of pages7
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2011


  • Case-control study
  • Narcolepsy with cataplexy
  • Nocturnal compulsive behaviors
  • Nocturnal smoking
  • Sleep related-eating disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Clinical Neurology


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