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Precis Future Med > Epub ahead of print
DOI:    [Epub ahead of print]
Published online November 30, 2018.
Updates on Structural Neuroimaging of Narcolepsy with Cataplexy
Eun Yeon Joo1,2
1Department of Neurology, Neuroscience Center, Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Health Sciences and Technology, SAIHST, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence  Eun Yeon Joo ,Tel: +82-2-3410-3597, Fax: +82-2-3410-0052, Email:;
Submitted: October 13, 2018  Accepted after revision: October 20, 2018
Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder associated with abnormal regulation of the sleep-wake cycle, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness, disturbed nocturnal sleep, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep phenomena including cataplexy. Developments in neuroimaging techniques have advanced the understanding and characterization of the pathophysiology of this disease. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, in particular, demonstrated distinct structural changes in multiple brain areas of patients with narcolepsy. Numerous studies, exploring gray matter and white matter, showed distinct aspects of disease and symptoms in narcolepsy with cataplexy related to the hypothalamus, thalamus, amygdalo-hippocampus, and frontoparietal cortex. Longitudinal MRI data have suggested progression in narcolepsy, showing progressive corticalthinning in disease, and that such progression may become fasterin the case of patients with earlier disease onset. Thus, structural neuroimaging may help clarify the underlying mechanism of certain phenotypes of narcolepsy syndrome.
Keywords: Cataplexy; Gray matter; Magnetic resonance imaging; Narcolepsy; White matter
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