J Sleep Med.  2020 Jun;17(1):1-10. 10.13078/jsm.200006.

Narcolepsy, How do We Manage it?

  • 1Department of Neurology, Research Institute for Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan, Korea


Narcolepsy is a chronic neurologic disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy arising from dysregulation of pathway controlling the wake and sleep states. Despite advances in our understanding of the pathophysiology of narcolepsy, to date, only symptomatic treatments exist for this disease. Especially in Korea, only limited medication for narcolepsy has been available. In general, psychostimulants such as modafinil, armodafinil, and methylphenidate were prescribed to improve wakefulness, and cataplexy was managed with antidepressants. Recently many new agents has been developed and widely used in the United States and European countries. Some of those medications are expected to be available in Korea soon. Education of lifestyle modification and regular naps are also important strategy for the treatment of narcolepsy. This review summarizes briefly current and future medication, and nonpharmacological management of narcolepsy as well.

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