A child with narcolepsy

  • Silvério Macedo Psychiatry Service, Centro Hospitalar Tâmega e Sousa.
  • Inês Portinha Child Psychiatry and Children and Adolescents Mental Health Department, Centro Hospitalar do Porto
  • Zulmira Correia Child Psychiatry and Children and Adolescents Mental Health Department, Centro Hospitalar do Porto
Keywords: Behavioural disturbances, cataplexy, excessive daytime sleepiness, narcolepsy

Abstract

Introduction: Narcolepsy is a chronic disease characterized by sleep attacks, excessive daytime sleepiness and nocturnal sleep fragmentation. It can be associated cataplexy and other disturbance of REM sleep (sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations and hypnopompic).

Case report: A 10-year old boy was referred to Pedopsychiatry because of behavioural disturbance, irritability, sleepiness and distraction, being interpreted as an “ill-mannered child.” After clinical evaluation and comprehensive laboratory studies we concluded that he presented narcolepsy with cataplexy.

Discussion/conclusion: Patients with narcolepsy face several problems due to the disease which, if left untreated or ineffectively treated, cause embarrassing or distressing symptoms, affecting their quality of life. The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to this problem since it is a rare condition and therefore seldom not recognized by the general public or even by health professionals.

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Published
2016-02-24
Section
Case Reports