Medical Q&As

Narcolepsy

Please could you give me some information about narcolepsy and is it in any way connected to Alzheimer’s?

The term narcolepsy refers to recurrent episodes of uncontrollable sleepiness. The individual is struck by an uncontrollable desire to sleep. The periods of sleep may occur at any time of day especially when the person is inactive. Most sufferers with narcolepsy are also affected by cataplexy, which means a sudden loss of muscle tone, which is provoked by sudden emotion such as anger or excessive laughter. Typically narcolepsy begins in adolescence or early adult life. I am not aware of an association between narcolepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. People with dementia can experience periods of sleepiness but that is not true narcolepsy.