Treatment of narcolepsy

Giuseppe Didato, Lino Nobili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder characterized, in its classical form, by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) with irresistible episodes of sleep, cataplexy, disrupted nocturnal sleep, hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations and sleep paralysis. It is often under-diagnosed, however, if it is suitably diagnosed, symptoms can be well treated by means of targeted drugs, such as modafinil to treat EDS, sodium oxybate for cataplexy, as well as EDS and disrupted nocturnal sleep, and tricyclic and newer antidepressants for cataplexy. Hallucinations and sleep paralysis can be treated with the same drugs used for cataplexy. Amphetamines and amphetamine-like stimulants are used less nowadays. Behavioral measures are also important and useful. The discovery of hypocretin deficiency in narcoleptic patients opens new perspectives for the development of newer therapeutic approaches for both EDS and cataplexy. Therapy for narcolepsy is chronic, hence symptomatic. However, the correct use of available drugs enables patients to gain a better quality of life, keeping the symptoms under control, which, mainly from a social point of view, are heavily disabling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897-910
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

Fingerprint

Cataplexy
Narcolepsy
Sleep Paralysis
Sleep
Hallucinations
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Sodium Oxybate
Therapeutics
Amphetamines
Tricyclic Antidepressive Agents
Amphetamine
Nervous System Diseases
Quality of Life

Keywords

  • Cataplexy
  • Modafinil
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sodium oxybate
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

Treatment of narcolepsy. / Didato, Giuseppe; Nobili, Lino.

In: Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, Vol. 9, No. 6, 06.2009, p. 897-910.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Didato, Giuseppe ; Nobili, Lino. / Treatment of narcolepsy. In: Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. 2009 ; Vol. 9, No. 6. pp. 897-910.
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