6 doctors weighed in:
Is narcolepsy inherited?
6 doctors weighed in

Dr. Aaron Milstone
Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
3 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Up to 10% of narcolepsy patients have family members with the illness.
Twins have an even higher chance of both having the illness.

In brief: Yes
Up to 10% of narcolepsy patients have family members with the illness.
Twins have an even higher chance of both having the illness.
Dr. Aaron Milstone
Dr. Aaron Milstone
Thank
2 comments
Dr. Mark Patterson
Cells in your blood system have markers on them call HLA, which allows the immune system to identify them. These markers can be passed along in families. 90% of people with narcolepsy have one specific HLA marker (HLA-DQB1*0602). However, simply having the marker is not enough to cause narcolepsy, as there seems to be some other biological event that leads to the condition.
Dr. Marcel Hungs
Most cases of narcolepsy are not inherited
Dr. Mark Patterson
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Yes
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.

In brief: Yes
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.
Dr. Mark Patterson
Dr. Mark Patterson
Thank
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