Sleep Home > Research on Narcolepsy

Research on narcolepsy has already led to many advances, and researchers continue to search for more effective methods for dealing with the sleep disorder. Scientists are trying to increase their understanding of its possible causes and improve the ability of physicians to detect and treat the disease. Patients who join research studies on narcolepsy have the first chance to benefit from narcolepsy treatments that have shown promise in earlier research.

An Overview of Research on Narcolepsy

Doctors and scientists all over the country are conducting research on narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder characterized by brief attacks of deep sleep. Research studies on narcolepsy are designed to answer important questions and to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective. Research on narcolepsy already has led to many advances, and researchers continue to search for more effective methods for dealing with the disorder.

Current Areas of Focus for Research on Narcolepsy

Scientists involved with research on narcolepsy are trying to increase understanding of the possible causes of narcolepsy and improve physicians' ability to detect and treat the disease. Scientists are studying narcolepsy patients and their families, looking for clues to the causes, course, and effective treatment of this sleep disorder. The recent discovery of families of dogs that naturally have narcolepsy has been of great help in these studies.
Scientists are also working to better understand sleep mechanisms and the physical and psychological effects of sleep deprivation, and to develop better ways of measuring sleepiness and cataplexy.
Recently there has been a growing awareness that narcolepsy can develop during childhood and may contribute to the development of behavior disorders. A group of scientists is conducting a large epidemiological study to determine the prevalence of narcolepsy in children aged 2 to 14 years who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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