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Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients With Narcolepsy

A Review of the Literature

Raggi, Alberto, MD*; Plazzi, Giuseppe, MD†‡; Ferri, Raffaele, MD§

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: February 2019 - Volume 207 - Issue 2 - p 84–99
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000918
Review Article

Narcolepsy is a chronic disorder characterized by symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness, irresistible sleep attacks that may be accompanied by cataplexy brought on by emotions, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations. This is a review of 32 empirical articles on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) published in peer-reviewed journals over the past 37 years. Deleterious implications on education, recreation, driving, sexual life, and personality are associated with the disease with a consequent negative psychosocial impact. Sleepiness has an important influence on HRQoL, more than the other symptoms of this disorder that have disrupting roles, too. Therefore, patients with narcolepsy need assistance not only for medication prescription but also in terms of psychological and social support. It is also of importance to assess patients with narcolepsy carefully in terms of depressive symptoms because they may have a major impact on HRQoL with important clinical implications.

*Unit of Neurology, G.B. Morgagni–L. Pierantoni Hospital, Forlì;

Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna;

IRCSS, Institute of Neurological Sciences, Bologna; and

§Unit of Neurology I.C., Oasi Institute for Research on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging (IRCCS), Troina, Italy.

Send reprint requests to Alberto Raggi, MD, Unit of Neurology, G.B. Morgagni–L. Pierantoni Hospital, 34 Via Carlo Forlanini, I-47121 Forlì, Italy. E-mail:,

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