Quick Answer: How Do You Diagnose Cataplexy?

How do you test for cataplexy?

If a doctor suspects cataplexy and/or narcolepsy type 1, they may order an overnight sleep test and daytime sleep test.

Cataplexy may look different in children compared to adults11..

How does cataplexy differ from narcolepsy?

Clinicians now recognize two major types of narcolepsy: narcolepsy with cataplexy (muscle weakness triggered by strong emotions) and narcolepsy without cataplexy. People who have narcolepsy without cataplexy have sleepiness but no emotionally triggered muscle weakness, and generally have less severe symptoms.

Is narcolepsy a physical or mental disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not recognize narcolepsy as a medical condition that automatically qualifies you for disability benefits. Therefore, you must provide a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment that provides evidence of your disorder and how it affects your ability to work.

Is narcolepsy a mental illness?

However, narcolepsy is frequently misdiagnosed initially as a psychiatric condition, contributing to the protracted time to accurate diagnosis and treatment. Narcolepsy is a disabling neurodegenerative condition that carries a high risk for development of social and occupational dysfunction.

Can cataplexy go away?

A more severe episode may involve a total body collapse. Although it is a different condition, cataplexy is sometimes misdiagnosed as a seizure disorder. There is no cure for cataplexy, but it can be managed with medications and modification of potential triggers.

How long do cataplexy attacks last?

Cataplexy attacks generally last less than two minutes, and they may only last a few seconds, though some people have repeated attacks of cataplexy which persist for up to 30 minutes. During both mild and severe attacks, the person stays fully conscious.

How do you prevent cataplexy?

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals several hours before bedtime. Don’t smoke. Do something relaxing, such as take a warm bath or read a book before going to sleep. Get regular exercise every day, which can help you sleep at night.

What happens when Narcolepsy is untreated?

When left untreated, narcolepsy can be socially disabling and isolating. It often leads to the onset of depression. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may occur more often in people with narcolepsy.

What is Type 2 narcolepsy?

Type 2 narcolepsy (previously termed narcolepsy without cataplexy). People with this condition experience excessive daytime sleepiness but usually do not have muscle weakness triggered by emotions. They usually also have less severe symptoms and have normal levels of the brain hormone hypocretin.

What mimics narcolepsy?

Other sleep disorders that cause daytime sleepiness are often mistaken for narcolepsy. These include sleep apnea, circadian rhythm sleep disorders and restless legs syndrome. Medical conditions, mental health disorders and use of certain medications or substances can also cause symptoms similar to narcolepsy.

What can cause cataplexy?

Cataplexy. This sudden loss of muscle tone while a person is awake leads to weakness and a loss of voluntary muscle control. It is often triggered by sudden, strong emotions such as laughter, fear, anger, stress, or excitement.

How common is cataplexy?

However, only about 1 in 2000 people have narcolepsy in the world, and those with cataplexy are even less common.

How long is a narcolepsy test?

Types of sleep tests The Multiple Sleep Latency Test is often the most important test for diagnosing narcolepsy. It is a series of five scheduled naps spread across the day. Every two hours, the patient is given an opportunity to sleep for 20 minutes or more.

Can you legally drive if you have narcolepsy?

People with narcolepsy usually take a combination of stimulants and antidepressants to combat daytime sleepiness. The prescriptions are customized to the patient, Scannell said. “Treated narcoleptic patients can drive safely,” said Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, a sleep researcher at Stanford University.

How does narcolepsy get diagnosed?

Two tests that are considered essential in confirming a diagnosis of narcolepsy are the polysomnogram (PSG) and the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT). In addition, questionnaires, such as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, are often used to measure excessive daytime sleepiness.

What does cataplexy look like?

Cataplexy: Sudden loss of muscle tone that makes you unable to move. Hallucinations: Unreal sensations that are perceived as real. Sleep paralysis: Total paralysis just before falling asleep or just after waking up.

Is cataplexy a disability?

As you can imagine, suffering from narcolepsy with cataplexy can be quite disabling. Experiencing episodes of random extreme sleepiness or muscle weakness leading to total body collapse can be quite scary, and frankly unsafe. Individuals suffering from this condition certainly should not be driving vehicles.

What does a cataplexy attack feel like?

Cataplexy is sudden muscle weakness triggered by strong emotions like embarrassment, laughter, surprise, or anger. Cataplexy can cause your head to drop, your face to droop, your jaw to weaken, or your knees to give way. Attacks can also affect your whole body and cause you to fall down.

What causes catalepsy?

Causes of Catalepsy Catalepsy is a symptom of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. Withdrawal from some drugs, particularly cocaine, may also cause catalepsy.

What are the five signs of narcolepsy?

There are 5 main symptoms of narcolepsy, referred to by the acronym CHESS (Cataplexy, Hallucinations, Excessive daytime sleepiness, Sleep paralysis, Sleep disruption). While all patients with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness, they may not experience all 5 symptoms.

What is Type One narcolepsy?

Type 1 narcolepsy (previously termed narcolepsy with cataplexy). This diagnosis is based on the individual either having low levels of a brain hormone (hypocretin) or reporting cataplexy and having excessive daytime sleepiness on a special nap test. Type 2 narcolepsy (previously termed narcolepsy without cataplexy).