Narcolepsy Diagnosis Criteria – Narcolepsy And Cataplexy

If you feel excessively tired during the day, you can use the narcolepsy diagnosis criteria to find out if narcolepsy is likely to be the cause of your problems. Let me explain how the criteria work, and how understanding the nature of cataplexy can help you find appropriate treatment.

Narcolepsy is a severely under-diagnosed disease – it’s thought to affect over 200,000 people in the US, but only a quarter of those are diagnosed. This is largely because the severity of narcolepsy varies so much.

While it’s immediately obvious in some sufferers, others mainly suffer from sleepiness with occasional extra symptoms, which can be difficult to positively diagnose. By understanding narcolepsy diagnosis criteria, you and your physician can decide whether you’re likely to be suffering from this condition.

Within the International classification of sleep disorders (ICSD) manual there are two sets of minimal criteria for diagnosing narcolepsy. One of them in narcolepsy when the sufferer has cataplexy

Narcolepsy Diagnosis Criteria When The Sufferer Has Cataplexy

The first set of criteria is used for diagnosing narcolepsy is if you suffer from cataplexy.

Cataplexy is a sudden, unexpected loss of muscle function. This can cause a complete collapse of the body, but might also be less severe and just involve a temporary slackening of facial features, weakness at the neck or knees, or slurred speech.
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If you suffer from cataplexy as well as lapsing into sleep during the day most days, that’s sufficient to diagnose narcolepsy. But not all cases of narcolepsy include cataplexy, in which case additional symptoms need to be observed as well as sleepiness to make a diagnosis.

If You Experience Narcolepsy And Cataplexy

Being diagnosed with narcolepsy and cataplexy is a common way to be diagnosed with narcolepsy. The good news is there are effective treatments for this condition.

Previously, dexamphetamine was used for all narcolepsy treatments. Although it had significant drawbacks in the form of side effects and dependency, for a long time it was the only treatment available.

Now there is a new, more superior treatment available in the form of modavigil. Modavigil (modafinil) is a new and effective treatment for narcolepsy patients, even if they have cataplexy too.