Signs of Narcolepsy
Symptoms of Narcolepsy
The list of medical symptoms mentioned in various sources
for Narcolepsy may include:
List of 31
Note that Narcolepsy symptoms usually refers to various medical symptoms known to a patient,
but the phrase Narcolepsy signs may often refer to those signs
that are only noticable by a doctor.
Signs or Symptoms of Narcolepsy:
Genes and Disease by the National Center for Biotechnology (Excerpt)
Affected individuals are extremely drowsy during the daytime and may fall into a deep sleep at any time. After a short nap, the patient may feel refreshed, but it is only a short period of time before drowsiness returns.
The second major symptom of narcolepsy is called cataplexy. Cataplexy refers to a sudden weakness of the muscles that leads to collapse. This is often triggered by an emotional response such as laughter, surprise, or anger.
(Source: Genes and Disease by the National Center for Biotechnology)
NINDS Narcolepsy Information Page: NINDS (Excerpt)
The four classic symptoms of the disorder are excessive daytime
sleepiness; cataplexy (sudden, brief episodes of muscle weakness or
paralysis brought on by strong emotions such as laughter, anger, surprise
or anticipation); sleep paralysis (paralysis upon falling asleep or waking
up); and hypnagogic hallucinations (vivid dream-like images that occur at
sleep onset). Disturbed nighttime sleep, including tossing and turning in
bed, leg jerks, nightmares, and frequent awakenings, may also occur. The
development, number and severity of symptoms vary widely among individuals
with the disorder.
It is probable that there is an important genetic
component to the disorder as well. Unrelenting excessive sleepiness is
usually the first and most prominent symptom of narcolepsy. Patients with
the disorder experience irresistible sleep attacks, throughout the day,
which can last for 30 seconds to more than 30 minutes, regardless of the
amount or quality of prior nighttime sleep. These attacks result in
episodes of sleep at work and social events, while eating, talking and
driving, and in other similarly inappropriate occasions.
(Source: excerpt from NINDS Narcolepsy Information Page: NINDS)
Narcolepsy: NWHIC (Excerpt)
characteristic of narcolepsy is excessive and overwhelming daytime
sleepiness, even after adequate nighttime sleep. A person with narcolepsy
is likely to become drowsy or to fall asleep, often at inappropriate times
and places. Daytime sleep attacks may occur with or without warning and
may be irresistible. These attacks can occur repeatedly in a single day.
Drowsiness may persist for prolonged periods of time. In addition,
nighttime sleep may be fragmented with frequent wakenings. (Source: excerpt from Narcolepsy: NWHIC)
Narcolepsy: NWHIC (Excerpt)
In addition to overwhelming irresistible sleepiness, there are three
other classic symptoms of narcolepsy, which may not occur in all patients:
Cataplexy: sudden episodes of loss of muscle function,
ranging from slight weakness (such as limpness at the neck or knees,
sagging facial muscles, or inability to speak clearly) to complete body
Sleep paralysis: temporary inability to talk or move when
falling asleep or waking up. It may last a few seconds to minutes.
Hypnagogic hallucinations: vivid, often frightening,
dream-like experiences that occur while dozing or falling asleep.
Only about 20 to 25 percent of people with narcolepsy experience all
symptoms. The symptoms of narcolepsy, especially the excessive daytime
sleepiness and cataplexy, often become severe enough to cause serious
disruptions in a person's social, personal, and professional life and can
severely limit activities.
In most cases, the first symptom of narcolepsy to appear is excessive
and overwhelming daytime sleepiness. The other symptoms may begin alone or
in combination months or years after the onset of the daytime sleep
(Source: excerpt from Narcolepsy: NWHIC)
Narcolepsy: NWHIC (Excerpt)
You should be checked for narcolepsy if:
you often feel excessively and overwhelmingly sleepy
during the day, even after having had a full night's sleep;
you fall asleep when you do not intend to, such as while
having dinner, talking, driving, or working;
you collapse suddenly or your neck muscles feel too weak
to hold up your head when you laugh or become angry, surprised, or
you find yourself briefly unable to talk or move while
falling asleep or waking up.
(Source: excerpt from Narcolepsy: NWHIC
More Symptoms of Narcolepsy:
More detailed symptom information may be found on the symptoms of Narcolepsy article.
In addition to the above medical information, to get a full picture
of the possible signs or symptoms of this condition
and also possibly the signs and symptoms of its related medical conditions,
it may be necessary to examine symptoms
that may be
Medical articles on signs and symptoms:
These general reference articles may be related
to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:
What are the signs of Narcolepsy?
The phrase "signs of Narcolepsy" should, strictly speaking,
refer only to those signs and symptoms of Narcolepsy that are not readily apparent to the patient.
The word "symptoms of Narcolepsy" is the more general meaning; see symptoms of Narcolepsy.
The signs and symptom information on this page
attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Narcolepsy.
This medical information about signs and symptoms for Narcolepsy has been gathered
from various sources,
may not be fully accurate,
and may not be the full list of Narcolepsy signs or Narcolepsy symptoms.
Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Narcolepsy may vary on an individual basis for each patient.
Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they
are indeed Narcolepsy symptoms.
» Next page: Complications of Narcolepsy
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