Paediatric narcolepsy: a review of diagnosis and management

Arch Dis Child. 2022 Jan;107(1):7-11. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2020-320671. Epub 2021 May 11.


Narcolepsy is a chronic disabling neurological sleep disorder that requires lifelong treatment. We have outlined the clinical features of narcolepsy, the assessment and diagnosis process and have summarised the existing treatment options for children and adolescents with narcolepsy. In the future, the approach to management of paediatric narcolepsy should ideally be in a multidisciplinary setting, involving specialists in sleep medicine, sleep physiology, neurologists and psychologists/psychiatrists. A multidisciplinary approach will help to manage the potential impact of narcolepsy on children and adolescents who are in a stage of their life that is critical to their physical, emotional and social development and their academic attainment.

Keywords: adolescent health; child psychiatry; sleep.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy / methods
  • Adolescent
  • Cataplexy / diagnosis
  • Cataplexy / therapy
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Narcolepsy / diagnosis*
  • Narcolepsy / therapy*
  • Patient Care Team
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Aids, Pharmaceutical / therapeutic use
  • Wakefulness-Promoting Agents / therapeutic use


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Sleep Aids, Pharmaceutical
  • Wakefulness-Promoting Agents