Narcolepsy in children

Semin Pediatr Neurol. 1996 Mar;3(1):36-43. doi: 10.1016/s1071-9091(96)80027-1.


Childhood narcolepsy is frequently under-diagnosed. Hypersomnolence may not always be accompanied by cataplexy, sleep paralysis, or hypnagogic hallucinations in the early stages. Pathophysiologic considerations revolve around an altered central nervous system catecholamine-acetylcholine balance. Both idiopathic and symptomatic forms have been described. Serial polysomnography and multiple sleep latency tests may be required to establish a definitive diagnosis. The long-term management requires the provision of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological forms of therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Narcolepsy / diagnosis*
  • Narcolepsy / drug therapy
  • Narcolepsy / physiopathology
  • Polysomnography*
  • Sleep Stages / drug effects
  • Sleep Stages / physiology