Current Understanding of Narcolepsy 1 and its Comorbidities: What Clinicians Need to Know

Lois E. Krahn, Phyllis C. Zee, Michael J. Thorpy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Narcolepsy is a chronic neurologic disorder associated with the dysregulation of the sleep–wake cycle that often leads to a decreased quality of life and results in a considerable health burden. There is often a delay to diagnosis of narcolepsy, mainly due to the lack of recognition of this disorder. One of the main factors hindering the diagnosis of narcolepsy is the association of comorbidities, which include other sleep disorders, psychiatric disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and metabolic disorders. The signs and symptoms of these comorbidities often overlap with those of narcolepsy, and some of the medications used for their treatment may obscure the symptoms of narcolepsy, leading to a delay in diagnosis. This review is targeted to clinicians unaccustomed to working with sleep disorders and aims to increase recognition and improve the management of narcolepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-243
Number of pages23
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Cataplexy
  • Comorbidities
  • Diagnostic delay
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Hypersomnolence
  • Narcolepsy
  • Orexin
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Sleep disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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