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Narcolepsy and Hypersomnia

2006 Edition, December 21, 2006

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Active, Most Current

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ISBN: 978-0-8493-3715-4
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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2006 Edition, December 21, 2006
  • Published Date: December 21, 2006
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: CRC Press (CRC)
  • Page Count: 738
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:


It has been almost 30 years since the First International Symposium on Narcolepsy was held in La Grande Motte (France) in 1975, under the leadership of William C. Dement, Christian Guilleminault and Pierre Passouant. In this first symposium, a milestone in the area of narcolepsy, the basis of the questions we are still exploring today were laid out. It was recognized that narcolepsy symptoms were intimately related to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep abnormalities. A natural animal model of narcolepsy, canine narcolepsy, was first reported. The first epidemiological and family studies of the condition were described. New classes of pharmacological agents including tricyclics and gammahydroxybutyrate were found to be useful in the treatment of cataplexy, leading to a better codification of narcolepsy therapies.

The discovery of the HLA-narcolepsy association in 1983 rekindled interest in the condition and raised the possibility of immune abnormalities in the disorder. Several international symposia on narcolepsy were then held, including one at Stanford (USA) in 1985, one in Oak Park (USA) in 1989, one in Paris (France) in 1993 and one in Tokyo (Japan) in 1994.

In 1999, the positional cloning of the canine narcolepsy gene and its identification as the hypocretin (orexin) receptor 2 gene was another milestone in the field. A mouse knockout model for the hypocretin gene was also found to display narcolepsy-like symptoms. In 2000, these discoveries were followed by the report that most cases of human narcolepsy-cataplexy are associated with hypocretin deficiency. Together with the HLA association, these results suggest that narcolepsy may be an autoimmune disorder targeting hypocretin-containing cells in the hypothalamus.

These discoveries are leading to new diagnostic procedures, for example the measurement of cerebrospinal fluid hypocretin-1 levels, and have rekindled research interest in brain mechanisms hypersomnia. New animal models and novel therapeutic strategies targeting the immune or the hypocretin systems are being developed. Improved epidemiological surveys, a better definition of the narcolepsy spectrum, the finding of hormonal and metabolic abnormalities in narcolepsy, the identification of non-HLA genes involved in narcolepsy are other areas under active investigation.

The explosion of research in the area of narcolepsy and hypocretin mandated the need for an international body to meet, discuss and report on these new developments. Switzerland, a country with a long tradition in sleep research and medicine, was chosen for this event. The event will take place at the Centro Stefano Franscini in the serene and picturesque surroundings of Monte-Verita`, Ascona (Ticino, Switzerland).

In the spirit of communicating the great changes that have occurred in the field, we felt it was time to publish an updated monograph reporting on Narcolepsy and Hypersomnia. We took great care in inviting leading experts who could cover all aspects of narcolepsy and hypersomnia in a comprehensive textbook to be used by clinicians and researchers alike as a reference book for many years to come. We hope you will enjoy the resulting book, Narcolepsy and Hypersomnia, published by Informa Healthcare and the series editor Claude Lenfant.