Diagnosis and management of central hypersomnias

Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2012 Sep;5(5):297-305. doi: 10.1177/1756285612454692.


Central hypersomnias are diseases manifested in excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) not caused by disturbed nocturnal sleep or misaligned circadian rhythms. Central hypersomnias includes narcolepsy with and without cataplexy, recurrent hypersomnia, idiopathic hypersomnia, with and without long sleep time, behaviorally induced insufficient sleep syndrome, hypersomnia and narcolepsy due to medical conditions, and finally hypersomnia induced by substance intake. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is a subjective tool mostly used for EDS assessment, while the Multiple Sleep Latency Test serves as an objective diagnostic method for narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnias. As for symptomatic therapy of EDS, the central nervous system stimulants modafinil and methylphenidate seem to work well in most cases and in narcolepsy and Parkinson's disease; sodium oxybate also has notable therapeutic value.

Keywords: Excessive daytime sleepiness; hypersomnia; methylphenidate; modafinil; narcolepsy; sodium oxybate.