Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a disorder caused by the brain's inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. At various times throughout the day, patients with narcolepsy suffer bouts with irresistible sleep. These episodes can last from a few seconds to several minutes. Three other major symptoms frequently characterize narcolepsy: cataplexy, or the sudden loss of voluntary muscle tone; vivid hallucinations during sleep onset or upon awakening; and brief episodes of total paralysis at the beginning or end of sleep. The cause of narcolepsy remains unknown. It is not generally diagnosed correctly until 10 or 15 years after symptoms first occur.

Treatment

While there is no cure for narcolepsy, In 1999, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug called modafinil for the treatment of narcolepsy. Drug therapy should be supplemented by behavioral strategies. Patients should maintaining a regular sleep schedule and avoid alcohol and caffeine-containing beverages before bedtime.

Prognosis

None of the currently available medications enables people with narcolepsy to consistently maintain a fully normal state of alertness. Patients find that the symptoms tend to get worse over the two to three decades after the first symptoms appear. Many older patients find that some daytime symptoms decrease in severity after age 60.

Patient Portal

For Existing patients - you have an opportunity to communicate with the healthcare team by logging into the Patient Portal:
- Send a non-emergent message to your doctor (messages will be checked Monday through Friday)
- Relay questions/concerns to our staff
- Request non-narcotic medication refills

Regional Neurological Associates

4256 Bronx Blvd. Suite 5
Bronx, New York 10466
(718) 515-4347

Participating Insurance Plans (varies by M.D.)

NBF1199, Aetna
Affinity
BC/BS Empire
Christian brothers
Cigna, Fidelis
GHI, Health First
Health Republic
HIP, Hudson Health Plan
Magnacare
Medicare
Montefiore IPA
Multi-Plan
Optum BH
Optum Medical
Oxford, UHC
Wellcare