Narcolepsy is a condition of excessive sleepiness that may considerably impact all aspects of a child’s life including social and academic functioning. Children with narcolepsy experience the following:
• constant excessive daytime sleepiness
• ongoing struggles to stay awake
• falling asleep at unusual times and locations that may be unexpectedly sudden in the form of sleep attacks
HOW IS NARCOLEPSY IN CHILDREN DIAGNOSED?
A paediatric specialist will conduct a thorough physical examination and check for medical history of the child. Sleep specialist will conduct a sleep study, better known as polysomnography. Multiple sleep latency test is then performed the next day to further evaluate the sleep patterns.
HOW IS NARCOLEPSY IN CHILDREN TREATED?
Narcolepsy cannot be cured, but its symptoms can usually be controlled so that a person with narcolepsy can lead a fairly normal life. Treatment needs to be individualized, as each person with narcolepsy is different. Each treatment plan will have several important aspects to it, including medication, behavioral treatment, and management of environment.