Narcolepsy is a chronic, disabling sleep disorder with a significant diagnostic delay. Nowadays, treatment is focused on managing symptoms that impacts patient’s life, such as at workplace, social events or even at school, but not aimed cure the disease. However, we have pharmacological treatments that effectively help control the main symptoms (excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, fragmentation of nocturnal sleep, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations). On the other hand, pharmacological treatment must be individualised as there are great variations in severity, order of appearance symptoms and development of the disease. We intend to expose the different symptomatic treatments recommended by clinical guidelines and the clinical management from a practical point of view. Future treatments include therapies based on the replacement of hypocretin or the administration of agonist receptors. Other techniques such as hypothalamic stem cell transplantation, gene replacement therapy or immunotherapy are also being investigated.
Part of the book: Sleep Medicine and the Evolution of Contemporary Sleep Pharmacotherapy