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

Sleep. 2011 Oct 1;34(10):1365-71. doi: 10.5665/SLEEP.1280.


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.

Keywords: Narcolepsy with cataplexy; case-control study; nocturnal compulsive behaviors; nocturnal smoking.; sleep related-eating disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cataplexy / complications
  • Cataplexy / psychology*
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Compulsive Behavior / complications*
  • Compulsive Behavior / psychology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / complications
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Smoking / psychology