Narcolepsy and psychiatry: an evolving association of increasing interest
until further notice
SourceSleep Medicine, 12, (2011), pp. 714-719
Article / Letter to editor
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PI Group Memory and Emotion
F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
Subject110 012 Social cognition of verbal communication; 150 000 MR Techniques in Brain Function; DCN 1: Perception and Actions NCEBP 9: Mental Health; DCN 2: Functional Neurogenomics
Gelineau originally described narcolepsy as a disease with an organic cause. However, the disorder had undeniable emotional triggers and psychiatric-like expressions, and soon a psychiatric etiology of narcolepsy became a seriously considered option. In fact, the psychiatric view dominated scientific thinking for a long time, not necessarily to the benefit of patients. When hypocretin (orexin) defects were proven to be the cause of narcolepsy Gelineau's original disease model was shown to be right. However, the psychiatric symptoms of the disease were not forgotten afterwards, but gained a different significance: as psychiatric expressions of a brain disease. These symptoms, such as anxiety and eating disorders, can be highly debilitating and warrant clinical attention. Here, we describe the role of psychiatry in the history of narcolepsy, showing their evolving association.
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