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Doctor insights on: Cataplexy Attacks

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Dr. Mark Patterson
7 doctors shared insights

Cataplexy Attacks (Overview)

Cataplexy attacks are episodes where a person sudden loses all strength in their body and may drop to the ground. These attacks may be associated with laughter or sudden strong emotions. They also occur more frequently in people with narcolepsy (a sleep related disorder).


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New onset cataplexy attacks. What are the next steps?

New onset cataplexy attacks. What are the next steps?

See your doctor: Cataplexy is the sudden loss of muscle tone often triggered by strong emotions such as laughter, surprise, crying. It is a condition associated with narcolepsy. Cataplexy attacks can be mistaken for seizures. If you are having these types of spells, see your doctor and let them know your concerns. Treatment is available to help lessen the symptoms. ...Read more

Dr. Mark Patterson
7 doctors shared insights

Cataplexy Attacks (Overview)

Cataplexy attacks are episodes where a person sudden loses all strength in their body and may drop to the ground. These attacks may be associated with laughter or sudden strong emotions. They also occur more frequently in people with narcolepsy (a sleep related disorder).


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New onset cataplexy attacks. What are the next steps?

See your doctor: Cataplexy is the sudden loss of muscle tone often triggered by strong emotions such as laughter, surprise, crying. It is a condition associated with narcolepsy. Cataplexy attacks can be mistaken for seizures. If you are having these types of spells, see your doctor and let them know your concerns. Treatment is available to help lessen the symptoms. ...Read more

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When someone has a cataplexy attack, can they vocalize (like moaning)?

When someone has a cataplexy attack, can they vocalize (like moaning)?

Cataplexy: Is a sudden and transient episode of loss of muscle tone accompanied by full conscious awareness, often triggered by strong emotions such as laughing, crying, or being scared. Speech is often slurred, but vocalization is possible unless there is total collapse, but it usually only lasts for a short time with complete recovery from seconds to minutes. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of cataplexy?

What are the symptoms of cataplexy?

Cataplexy: Loss of muscle tone can present with sagging jaw, arm weakness, slumping shoulders, drooping head, slurred speech, generalized weakness. ...Read more

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How long after first episode of narcolepsy appear cataplexy?

How long after first episode of narcolepsy appear cataplexy?

Depends: Approximately 30% of narcoleptics do not experience cataplexy, making the diagnosis of narcolepsy a bit more difficult. Have you seen a neurology sleep specialist and undergone a sleep study? If not, see your physician in order to discuss your symptoms. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/narcolepsy/detail_narcolepsy.htm , http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/slpst/ ...Read more

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Where can I go to seek affordable help for narcelemspy with cataplexy?

Where can I go to seek affordable help for narcelemspy with cataplexy?

Possibly Cleveland: Looking at your location, you are not too far from cleveland. The cleveland clinic has a sleep disorders center, where you could be evaluated for narcolepsy and cataplexy. I don't know how affordable they are, but you could call them to discuss this issue. There may also be doctors closer to you. ...Read more

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What types of employment would a person that suffers from narcolepsy and cataplexy apply for?

Almost Anything : A patient with narcolepsy can do anything they want. There are a few reasonable restrictions: operating heavy maschines, professional driving, operating an airplane, surveillance jobs... ...Read more

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Can cataplexy occur without narcolepsy? And is it possible for it to regress to no episodes at all?

Complex: Cataplexy is part of narcolepsy, which also may or may not include daytime sleep attacks, sleep paralysis, vivid nitemares, but there may be only parts of the syndrome, and the full tetrad is not always present. Cataplexy with out the sleep attacks would be unusual but not unheard of, but get an eeg, just to be sure these are not actually seizures instead. ...Read more

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Does narcolepsy and cataplexy usually get worse over time? Is rapid change in severity over 12 months normal?

Does narcolepsy and cataplexy usually get worse over time?  Is rapid change in severity  over 12 months normal?

It slowly progresses: Both narcolepsy and cataplexy gradually worsen over decades. Rapid change is likely some other factor; consider a repeat overnight sleep study to rule out coexisting sleep apnea, restless legs, poor sleep efficiency, or other causes of unrestful sleep. General tips: daytime naps, regular sleep-wake cycle, good sleep hygiene, routine activity during daytime, aerobic exercise, and sunlight exposure. ...Read more

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Have had either signs of a brian tumor or just cataplexy. I guess my question is can you have cataplexy symptoms with a tumor and if so what kind?

Have had either signs of a brian tumor or just cataplexy. I guess my question is can you have cataplexy symptoms with a tumor and if so what kind?

Go see a good doctor: Please do not try to make a difficult diagnosis all by yourself. Go see a doctor. No one can tell what is wrong with you, via email . It will take a doctor to meet you, get a history and do a clinical/neurological examination and possibly a brain ct or MRI study if indicated, and you will get a clear answer. ...Read more

Dr. Louis Gallia
48 doctors shared insights

Cataplexy (Definition)

The syndrome of narcolepsy, which causes daytime sleep attacks, may be associated with episodes of complete temporary loss of muscular tone, associated with intense emotions, such as crying or laughing. The pt may collapse to the ground, but does not go unconscious. This seems to be a ...Read more