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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 14, Issue 3-4, Pages 89-98
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2003/323060

Narcolepsy: Pathophysiology and Neuropsychological Changes

Angela Naumann and Irene Daum

Department of Neuropsychology, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Germany

Received 16 December 2003; Accepted 16 December 2003

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Narcolepsy is now recognized as a distinctive disorder with specific pathophysiology and neurochemical abnormalities. Findings on the role of the neuropeptide hypocretin are opening new avenues of research and new strategies for therapy. Recently, neuropsychological and electrophysiological studies have provided evidence for reduced memory performance on standard memory tests in addition to subjective complaints of forgetfulness which may be related to changes in attentional processing. Further studies are, however, necessary to clarify the neuropsychological profile in narcolepsy. This review focuses on the recent advances in understanding narcolepsy.