- Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by an excessive amount of fatigue during the daytime and, in severe cases, sudden attacks of sleep.
- People with narcolepsy find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time and might fall asleep when having a conversation or, most dangerously, while operating machinery.
- Patients can suffer for years before the correct diagnosis is made.
- There is no cure for narcolepsy, but medications and lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms.
Narcolepsy can be associated with cataplexy, which is the loss of muscle control triggered by emotional events. Cataplexy may lead to slurred speech and buckling knees or even complete paralysis. These events are uncontrollable and activated by intense emotions such as joy, laughter, fear or anger.