What is it?

Cataplexy is a sudden and transient episode of muscle weakness accompanied by full conscious awareness, typically triggered by emotions such as laughing, crying, or terror. Cataplexy affects approximately 70% of people who have narcolepsy - a neurological condition that causes extreme sleepiness during the day and unexpected episodes of falling asleep.
narcolepsy with cataplexy is caused by a lack of hypocretin (also called orexin) in your brain, a chemical which regulates arousal and has a role in stabilization of the transition between wake and sleep states. Cataplexy without narcolepsy is rare.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Narcolepsy without Cataplexy
- Narcolepsy with Cataplexy

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of cataplexy can be different for each person. Cataplectic episodes also vary in length. Some possible symptoms of cataplexy episodes include:
* drooping eyelids
* jaw dropping
* head falling to the side
* whole body falling to the ground
* muscle twitching

in addition to the extreme sleepiness and unexpected episodes of falling asleep, other common symptoms of narcolepsy include:
* feeling paralyzed while you’re falling asleep
* hallucinations before you fall asleep
* hallucinations when waking up in the middle of the night


The diagnosis of narcolepsy and cataplexy can be made by:
* symptom presentation
* sleep studies
* Measurement of hypocretin (orexin) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)


treatment may include:
* lifestyle modifications, such as daytime napping, maintaining a regular and adequate sleep schedule, Avoidance of certain drugs.
* Psychosocial support
* medications

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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