Narcolepsy With Cataplexy

What is Narcolepsy With Cataplexy?

Narcolepsy with cataplexy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. People with narcolepsy with cataplexy have an overwhelming urge to sleep during typical waking hours and struggle to stay awake and alert. This disorder can also lead to sudden muscle weakness or paralysis known as “cataplexy”.


The exact cause of narcolepsy with cataplexy is unknown, but it is believed to be due to genetic and environmental factors. People with narcolepsy with cataplexy are missing an essential chemical in their bodies called hypocretin which is involved in the regulation of wakefulness and sleep.


The primary symptom of narcolepsy with cataplexy is excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and sudden muscle weakness or paralysis (cataplexy). Other symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Hallucinations (vivid dreaming)
  • Sleep paralysis (unable to move while transitioning between sleep and wakefulness)
  • Uncontrollable sleep episodes


Treatment for narcolepsy with cataplexy includes medications and lifestyle changes to help manage symptoms. Common medications prescribed to treat narcolepsy with cataplexy are stimulants and antidepressants to help promote wakefulness and reduce the severity of cataplexy. Lifestyle changes such as taking frequent naps, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep are also important to help manage the symptoms.