Therapeutic advances in narcolepsy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Narcolepsy treatment has changed dramatically over the last century. For the treatment of sleepiness in narcolepsy, we have progressed from the early use of caffeine. We have available a variety of different stimulants, and a wake-promoting agent, modafinil, which is widely regarded as the first-line medication for narcolepsy. Cataplexy is managed by medications whereas behavioral treatment, such as avoidance of emotion, was the only treatment available in the past. Following the widespread use of antidepressant medications for cataplexy, we now have sodium oxybate, which works by an unknown mechanism but is the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medication for cataplexy. We also recognize that other sleep disorders can occur in narcolepsy, such as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome or rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, and new treatments allow these comorbid conditions to be effectively treated. However, although we cannot cure narcolepsy, the current treatments for excessive sleepiness and cataplexy can be effective for many patients. We are improving the quality of life for our patients without producing clinically significant adverse effects. We need new therapeutic advances and several medications that work, though different mechanisms are likely to be available in the near future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-440
Number of pages14
JournalSleep Medicine
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007

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Narcolepsy
Cataplexy
Therapeutics
Wakefulness-Promoting Agents
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
Sodium Oxybate
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
United States Food and Drug Administration
Caffeine
Antidepressive Agents
Emotions
Quality of Life

Keywords

  • Narcolepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology

Cite this

Therapeutic advances in narcolepsy. / Thorpy, Michael J.

In: Sleep Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 4, 06.2007, p. 427-440.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Thorpy, Michael J. / Therapeutic advances in narcolepsy. In: Sleep Medicine. 2007 ; Vol. 8, No. 4. pp. 427-440.
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