Sleep Apnea And Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a CNS disorder of unknown etiology characterized by the classic pentad of EDS, cataplexy (muscle weakness precipitated by emotions), sleep paralysis (inability to move at sleep onset or upon awakening), hypnagogic or hypnopom-pic hallucinations (dream-like perceptions at sleep onset or upon awakening), and nocturnal sleep disturbance. Symptoms are believed to be physiologic correlates of intrusion of REM sleep or REM atonia into periods of wakefulness.

It is now believed that narcolepsy with and without cataplexy are two distinct clinicopathologic entities and they have been separated into two separate diagnostic categories (30). There are two main challenges in the diagnosis of narcolepsy, namely, identifying patients with clear-cut cataplexy and in the differentiation of narcolepsy without cataplexy from other conditions causing EDS, which are numerous and most commonly include SDB, chronic sleep deprivation and insufficient sleep syndrome, inadequate sleep hygiene, RLS, and PLMS with frequent nocturnal awakenings.

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