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Prevalence of narcolepsy with cataplexy in Norway

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Heier MS, Evsiukova T, Wilson J, Abdelnoor M, Hublin C, Ervik S. Prevalence of narcolepsy with cataplexy in Norway.

Acta Neurol Scand: 2009: 120: 276–280.

© 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Munksgaard. Objectives – 

Narcolepsy is a lifelong disabling disorder that may be alleviated by relevant treatment. Patients frequently report 10–15 years from the first symptoms to the time they get the diagnosis and treatment can be started. In order to offer a sufficient diagnostic and therapeutic service to this patient group, a reliable estimation of the prevalence of the disorder is important. A study of the prevalence of narcolepsy with cataplexy in Norway was therefore undertaken. Materials and methods – 

The Ullanlinna Narcolepsy scale (UNS) was sent to 14548 randomly selected Norwegians between 20 and 60 years. Additionally, the study included telephone interviews and clinical evaluation of responders with ≥14 points on the UNS, and in those with suspected narcolepsy, polygraphic sleep recordings and human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-typing. Results – 

A total of 8992 responders answered the questionnaire (response rate 61.8%), 267 had ≥14 points on the UNS, 156 were interviewed and 15 had sleep recordings. In two HLADQB1*0602-positive patients sleep recordings were compatible with narcolepsy. Conclusions – 

The results indicate a prevalence of 0.022% and approximately 1000 patients with narcolepsy with cataplexy in Norway.

Keywords: cataplexy; epidemiology; hypersomnia; narcolepsy; prevalence

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Norwegian Resource Center for AD/HD, Tourettes Syndrome and Narcolepsy, Ullevål University Hospital, Oslo, Norway 2: Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Ullevål University Hospital, Oslo, Norway 3: Department of Clinical Research, Ullevål University Hospital, Oslo, Norway 4: Brain@Work Research Center, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: October 1, 2009


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