Causes of narcolepsy

What are the causes of narcolepsy? 

It is now firmly established that narcolepsy type 1 is caused by deficiencies in hypocretin (orexin) signaling, most likely due to a selective loss of hypothalamic hypocretin-producing neurons.

The majority of patients (90% to 95%) with narcolepsy type 1 have undetectable or low levels in the CSF.

There is a strong human leukocyte antigen (HLA) association in narcolepsy—HLA DQB1∗0602—that has led to the hypothesis that there is an autoimmune mechanism that could potentially explain the selective destruction of the hypocretin-containing neurons in the hypothalamus.

However, this is not diagnostic of narcolepsy.


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