Narcolepsy is a lifelong disorder generally appearing in adolescence and typically exhibiting the tetrad of excessive sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations. Not all patients develop the full symptomatology. The etiology remains unknown and treatment is symptomatic. Narcolepsy was described a little over 100 years ago and remained a rather esoteric diagnosis until the advent of clinically accessible sleep laboratories. Today, narcolepsy is diagnosed more frequently than multiple sclerosis and constitutes a socially incapacitating disorder when fully developed.
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