Narcolepsy - FAQs

Q: Who should I consult if ‘Narcolepsy’ is suspected?

A: Consult a ‘Sleep Expert’ or a General Physician.


Q: How will we know if we are suffering from narcolepsy?

A: The most prominent symptom would be excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) occurring at inappropriate times. This may or may not be accompanied by other symptoms like cataplexy. These symptoms lead to a suspicion of narcolepsy.

Q: Are there other causes for excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)?

A: Sleep deprivation has become one of the most common causes of EDS, which is due to modern day life style adaptations. Various medications can also lead to EDS, as can consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Medical conditions, including other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, various viral or bacterial infections, mood disorders such as depression, and painful chronic illnesses can cause EDS.

Q: Can we achieve ‘normalcy’ with the present available therapy for narcolepsy?

A: Yes, balancing therapy according to the severity and changing symptoms can achieve a near- normal state of alertness

Q:  What is the long-term prognosis for narcoleptic patients?

A: Narcolepsy is a life-long disease. The symptoms may vary in severity during the patient's lifespan, but they never disappear completely. In fact, the symptoms usually gradually worsen over time, and then tend to become stable. The fluctuations in symptoms can be attributed to an irregular sleep/wake schedule, the use of substances or drugs that affect the central nervous system, infections of the brain, and the development of additional sleep disorders.

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