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Three other classic symptoms of narcolepsy, which may not occur in all patients, are:
In most cases, the first symptom of narcolepsy is excessive and overwhelming daytime sleepiness. The other symptoms may begin alone or in combination months or years after the onset of the daytime sleep attacks.
There are wide variations in the development, severity, and order of appearance of cataplexy, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations in individuals. Only about 20 to 25 percent of people with narcolepsy experience all four symptoms. The excessive daytime sleepiness generally persists throughout life, but sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations may not.
The symptoms of narcolepsy, especially the excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy, often become severe enough to cause serious disruptions in a person's social, personal, and professional lives and severely limit activities.
You should be checked for narcolepsy if:
Although it is estimated that narcolepsy afflicts as many as 200,000 Americans, fewer than 50,000 are diagnosed. It is as widespread as Parkinson's Disease or Multiple Sclerosis and more prevalent than Cystic Fibrosis, but it is less well known. Narcolepsy is often mistaken for depression, epilepsy or the side effects of medications.
Narcolepsy can occur in both men and women at any age, although its symptoms are usually first noticed in teenagers or young adults. There is strong evidence that narcolepsy may run in families; eight to 12 percent of people with narcolepsy have a close relative with the disease.
Note: This information is from the NIH web site. Please visit www.nih.gov for further details