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April 1946

NARCOLEPSY: II. Theory of Pathogenesis of the Narcolepsy-Cataplexy Syndrome

Author Affiliations


Arch NeurPsych. 1946;55(4):353-363. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1946.02300150057004

IN a careful review of the literature on narcolepsy, Wilson1 found that authors had classified narcolepsy according to the following etiologic factors: (1) trauma; (2) toxi-infectious states, such as encephalitis; (3) epilepsy; (4) endocrine disturbances, such as obesity; (5) psychopathologic disturbances; (6) local lesions (vascular lesions, tumor), and (7) cryptogenic conditions. He criticized these categories because they were not mutually exclusive, because presumably "predisposing" factors may be only accompaniments and because the influence of trauma can be overrated. He argued, further, that autopsy had not been performed in any case to ascertain the existence of such groups and that pathologic information at one's disposal was derived from cases of prolonged or continuous sleep and not from cases of the true narcolepsy-cataplexy syndrome. Therefore, although many researches tended to point to the floor, sides and posterior end of the third ventricle as a part of the neuraxis the mechanisms of