Australia’s narcolepsy management is inadequate by international standards and should be aligned with that of other first class health services
Narcolepsy types 1 and 2 and idiopathic hypersomnia are central disorders of hypersomnolence. Narcolepsy type 1 is a debilitating disorder of hypersomnolence, associated with selective loss or dysfunction of orexinergic (hypocretinergic) neurons in the hypothalamus.1 Patients with narcolepsy type 1 experience cataplexy and may also demonstrate hypnagogic hallucinations, sleep fragmentation and sleep paralysis. Narcolepsy type 2 may be caused by less extensive injury to orexinergic neurons and is not associated with cataplexy. A diagnosis of narcolepsy is associated with a substantial adverse impact on mental health, health‐related quality of life impairment, long term disability, absenteeism and greater use of health care resources including increased frequency of hospitalisation and emergency department and specialist visits.2,3
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- 17. Parliament of Australia, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport. Bedtime reading: Inquiry into sleep health awareness in Australia. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2019. https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/reportrep/024220/toc_pdf/BedtimeReading.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf (viewed Aug 2020).
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