Narcolepsy screening refers to testing people for narcolepsy even though they may not have symptoms of the disorder. At this point, a routine, effective screening test for narcolepsy has not yet been developed.
Narcolepsy screening involves testing people for narcolepsy even though they may have no symptoms. At this point, a routine, effective screening test for narcolepsy has not yet been developed. However, there are tests that can be used to help make a narcolepsy diagnosis if a person is experiencing narcolepsy symptoms.
You should be checked for narcolepsy if:
- You often feel excessively and overwhelmingly sleepy during the day, even after having had a full night's sleep
- You fall asleep when you do not intend to, such as while having dinner, talking, driving, or working
- You collapse suddenly or your neck muscles feel too weak to hold up your head when you laugh or become angry, surprised, or shocked
- You find yourself briefly unable to talk or move while falling asleep or waking up.
If a person has possible narcolepsy symptoms, the doctor will do a physical exam and ask about the patient's personal and family medical history. The doctor will also recommend additional tests in order to make a diagnosis of narcolepsy.
Two tests that are commonly used in diagnosing narcolepsy are the polysomnogram and the multiple sleep latency test. These tests are usually performed by a sleep specialist.
(Click Diagnosing Narcolepsy for more information about these tests and other ways that a narcolepsy diagnosis is made.)