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April 25, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(17):1370-1372. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720430020006

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Encouraging results in the treatment of narcolepsy have prompted us to make a survey of the therapeutic measures that have been described, and to report our experience in the treatment of the condition. The accumulating literature would indicate that the condition is not uncommon. Some cases are not recognized because the patients do not regard the syndrome as indicative of disease. If the symptoms are pronounced, however, the condition may lead to profound embarrassment, may seriously interfere with the earning of a livelihood and may even result in serious accidents.

This condition was described by Westphal in 1877 and was recognized as a clinical entity by Gélineau in 1880, who coined the term narcolepsy.1 It is characterized, first, by a recurring desire to sleep without apparent cause, which may be irresistible or resisted only with considerable effort, and, secondly, by a peculiar and sudden loss of muscular tonus and

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