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2008 Dauvilliers Y Convertir en PDF 

Narcolepsy with cataplexy.


Dauvilliers Y, Arnulf I.
[Narcolepsy with cataplexy.]
Rev Neurol (Paris). 2008 August - September;164(8-9):634-645. Epub 2008 Mar 4. French. 


    Résumé en anglais

Narcolepsy is a rare, disabling sleep disorder, with a prevalence of 20 to 30 per 100,000. Its onset, from childhood to the fifties, peaks in the second decade. The main features are excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy or sudden loss of muscle tone triggered by emotional situations. Other less consistent symptoms include hypnagogic hallucinations, sleep paralysis, sleep maintenance insomnia, REM sleep behavior disorders, attention deficit and weight gain at disease onset. Narcolepsy with cataplexy remains a clinical diagnosis but nighttime and daytime polysomnography (multiple sleep latency tests) are useful to document a mean sleep latency below 8min and at least two sleep-onset REM periods. HLA typing shows an association with HLA DQB1*0602 in more than 92% of cases but was not included in the new diagnostic criteria. In contrast, a low hypocretin levels (values below 110pg/ml) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was highly specific for narcolepsy with cataplexy. The deficiency of the hypocretin system is well-established in animal models of narcolepsy (murine and canine narcolepsy) but also in human narcoleptics with a 90% reduction of CSF hypocretin levels in relation with an early loss of hypocretin neurons. The cause of human narcolepsy remains unknown, however an autoimmune process is most probable. The treatment of narcolepsy includes stimulants against sleepiness (modafinil, methylphenidate), anticataplectic drugs (antidepressants) and sodium oxybate. The current therapeutic target is oriented towards hypocretine agonists, histamine (an arousal system) H3 antagonists and immunosuppressants.

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