Question: What Can Narcolepsy Be Mistaken For?

What does a narcoleptic attack feel like?

vivid dreams or hallucinations upon falling asleep (hypnogogic hallucinations) feeling paralyzed momentarily in sleep (sleep paralysis) interrupted nighttime sleep.

sudden attacks of muscle weakness in the daytime (cataplexy).

Do I have narcolepsy or am I just tired?

Narcolepsy disrupts a person’s sleep-wake functions, causing extreme daytime drowsiness and sleep attacks, which are brief episodes of falling asleep. Most people with narcolepsy have difficulty sleeping at night despite being tired during the day.

How do I know if I have had narcolepsy?

While excessive daytime sleepiness (persistent sleepiness during waking hours regardless of how much sleep you get the night before) is a key early symptom of narcolepsy, many people who have extreme fatigue during the day may not initially suspect that they have the condition.

Is there a mild form of narcolepsy?

In about 10 percent of cases of narcolepsy, cataplexy is the first symptom to appear and can be misdiagnosed as a seizure disorder. Attacks may be mild and involve only a momentary sense of minor weakness in a limited number of muscles, such as a slight drooping of the eyelids.

Is there a definitive test for narcolepsy?

Two tests that are considered essential in confirming a diagnosis of narcolepsy are the polysomnogram (PSG) and the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT). In addition, questionnaires, such as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, are often used to measure excessive daytime sleepiness.

Anxiety disorders, especially panic attacks and social phobias, often affect patients with narcolepsy. Although symptoms of mood disorders are present in many patients, the prevalence of major depression is not increased. Anxiety and mood symptoms could be secondary complications of the chronic symptoms of narcolepsy.

What happens if narcolepsy goes untreated?

When left untreated, narcolepsy can be socially disabling and isolating. It often leads to the onset of depression. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may occur more often in people with narcolepsy. Making lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms.

Is narcolepsy a mental illness?

However, narcolepsy is frequently misdiagnosed initially as a psychiatric condition, contributing to the protracted time to accurate diagnosis and treatment. Narcolepsy is a disabling neurodegenerative condition that carries a high risk for development of social and occupational dysfunction.

How do I know if I have narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy can usually be diagnosed by observing how you sleep and ruling out other conditions. See a GP if you think you have narcolepsy. Before your appointment, you may find it useful to record your symptoms in a diary or complete an Epworth sleepiness questionnaire.

What is a common misdiagnosis of narcolepsy?

Is It Narcolepsy? In a physician survey and retrospective chart review study of 252 patients with narcolepsy, 60% of patients had initially received a misdiagnosis of another disorder. The most common misdiagnoses included depression (~31%), insomnia (~18%), and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) (~13%).

What are the five signs of narcolepsy?

There are 5 main symptoms of narcolepsy, referred to by the acronym CHESS (Cataplexy, Hallucinations, Excessive daytime sleepiness, Sleep paralysis, Sleep disruption). While all patients with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness, they may not experience all 5 symptoms.

Is Narcolepsy considered a disability?

Narcolepsy isn’t one of the conditions the SSA considers a disability. But if your symptoms interfere with your ability to do your job, you may still qualify for benefits. The Disability Benefits Help website offers a free evaluation to help you determine whether your condition is considered a disability.

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