Post-H1N1 Flu Vaccination Narcolepsy in Switzerland: A Retrospective Survey in the 30 Sleep-Certified Swiss Centers

Eur Neurol. 2016;75(3-4):105-8. doi: 10.1159/000444318. Epub 2016 Feb 23.


Narcolepsy-cataplexy is a sleep-wake disorder and suggested to be immune-mediated, involving genetic and environmental factors. The autoimmune process eventually leads to a loss of hypocretin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus. Epidemiological studies in several countries proved an increased incidence of narcolepsy after H1N1 flu vaccination and infection. This survey in 30 sleep centers in Switzerland led to the identification of 9 H1N1-vaccinated children and adults as newly diagnosed narcolepsy. Clinical features included the abrupt and severe onset of sleepiness, cataplexy and sleep fragmentation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cataplexy / epidemiology
  • Cataplexy / etiology*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype*
  • Influenza Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Narcolepsy / epidemiology
  • Narcolepsy / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Switzerland
  • Vaccination / adverse effects


  • Influenza Vaccines