Physical activity and sleep/wake behavior, anthropometric, and metabolic profile in pediatric narcolepsy type 1

Marco Filardi, Fabio Pizza, Elena Antelmi, Paolo Pillastrini, Vincenzo Natale, Giuseppe Plazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Regular physical activity is routinely recommended in children and adolescents suffering from narcolepsy type 1 (NT1), but controlled studies analyzing its influence on sleep/wake behavior, metabolic, and anthropometric profile in pediatric NT1 are lacking. Methods: Fifty consecutive drug-naïve NT1 children and adolescents were assessed through actigraphic, clinical, and metabolic evaluations. Patients were compared with respect to their engagement in leisure-time physical activities (LTPA): patients engaged in LTPA (n = 30) and patients not engaged (No-LTPA, n = 20), respectively. Results: LTPA patients presented lower BMI, with different BMI categories distribution and higher HDL cholesterol, when compared with No-LTPA subjects. Increased night-sleep duration, higher sleep quality, and reduction of nap frequency were documented through actigraphy in LTPA subjects. Subjective sleepiness, as measured by ESS-CHAD, was also lower in LTPA subjects while cataplexy frequency proved similar between the two groups. Discussion: In pediatric NT1 patients, regular engagement in LTPA is associated with significant differences on sleepiness, anthropometric and metabolic profile and objectively assessed sleep/wake behavior. Engagement in LTPA is beneficial and should be strongly encouraged in pediatric NT1 patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number707
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Issue numberAUG
Publication statusPublished - Aug 24 2018


  • Actigraphy
  • Children
  • Narcolepsy type 1
  • Physical activity
  • Weight control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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