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What increases my risk for narcolepsy?

Often mistaken for depression, epilepsy or the side effects of medications, narcolepsy can occur in men or women at any age although its symptoms are typically first noticed in adolescence and young adulthood. There is some evidence that narcolepsy may run in families. Up to 10% of people with narcolepsy report having a close relative with the same symptoms.

Because the exact cause of narcolepsy is unknown, the factors that increase your risk are unclear. Narcolepsy may have a genetic component, so having people in your family suffer from it may raise your risk. Exposure to certain substances may play a part, although this has not been proven.

Continue Learning about Narcolepsy

Is narcolepsy serious?
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Having narcolepsy is potentially serious. The condition itself will not harm you. But your work or...
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How is narcolepsy treated?
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Many doctors prescribe the drug modafinil (Provigil) first for narcolepsy because it is less addicti...
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Do people with narcolepsy sleep more than people without it?
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When you add up the total hours of sleep time, people with narcolepsy don’t necessarily sleep any mo...
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How common is narcolepsy?
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About one in 2,000 people have some form of narcolepsy. However, many people with narcolepsy do not ...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.