About narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder involving the brain that affects 1 in every 2000 Americans. Narcolepsy occurs when the brain cannot normally regulate cycles of sleep and wake. This can cause daytime excessive sleepiness (ES) that results in episodes of falling asleep suddenly.1

Everyone who suffers from narcolepsy suffers from ES

People with narcolepsy do not necessarily sleep more than the average person. In fact, regardless of how well they sleep, patients with narcolepsy experience ES.2,3

In addition to excessive sleepiness (ES), many patients with narcolepsy experience sudden loss of muscle tone (called cataplexy). This often occurs in the knees, face, and neck, and may be triggered by emotions like excitement or surprise.1

The cause of narcolepsy is not known

Sometimes, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the brain cells involved in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. It is believed that narcolepsy is the result of these cells being damaged or destroyed.3