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June 1943


Author Affiliations

From the Subdepartment of Neurology, the Johns Hopkins University.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1943;29(6):942-955. doi:10.1001/archopht.1943.00880180092008

Narcolepsy is a syndrome characterized by two elements: (a) brief attacks of sleep; (b) brief attacks of flaccid paralysis without loss of consciousness, occurring usually in response to some emotion, such as laughter or excitement, pleasant or unpleasant. When the paralysis occurs in response to emotion it is called cataplexy. It may also occur without relation to emotion. It may occur just before the patient falls asleep or just after he wakes up, a fact which will be discussed hereafter, or it may occur out of a clear sky, apparently spontaneously. The syndrome is about three times as common in men as in women and usually starts in the second or third decade. Either symptom may antedate the other, or the two may appear at about the same time. Once started, the syndrome usually persists throughout the remainder of life. In a few cases it is symptomatic of an organic