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A 33-year-old member asked:

Is narcolepsy a genetically inherited medical problem?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Christopher Wilson
Sleep Medicine 21 years experience
Sometimes: It may be genetic sometimes. I have a couple families in my practice.
Dr. Mark Patterson
Pediatrics 32 years experience
Yes for Some People: Most patients with narcolepsy with cataplexy have a genetic marker called hla dqb1*0602. However, many people without narcolepsy also this same marker. As such, simply having the marker is not sufficient to cause the condition. The current thought is that in narcolepsy an infection triggers the immune system to attack cells in the brain which secrete a chemical (orexin) needed to keep you awake.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2014
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