Saturday, October 25, 2014

Narcolepsy - Risk Factors

Risk Factors


Narcolepsy affects around 1 in 2,000 people. Experts estimate that around 135,000 - 200,000 Americans have narcolepsy, but the number may be higher. Only about 25% of people who have narcolepsy are actually diagnosed with the disorder. Patients are often mistakenly diagnosed with other conditions, such as psychiatric or emotional problems. Many patients wait decades before receiving a proper diagnosis.

Age

Narcolepsy symptoms usually first appear in adolescence or young adulthood. However, narcolepsy can begin at any age. Growing evidence suggests that the disorder may emerge in early childhood in many patients. It can often be misdiagnosed as another disorder, such as ADHD or depression. People who develop it at a young age often have a family history of the disease and a severe condition, suggesting that genetic factors are important in this group.



Review Date: 07/04/2010
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)