Narcolepsy is a neurological sleep disorder that leads to periods of intense sleepiness during the daytime and fragmented sleep and insomnia during the night.
Because of the great impact of the narcolepsy symptoms on a patient’s life the lack of early treatment as a consequence of a delayed diagnosis is likely to lead to serious consequences in education, work, relationships and psychological health. Early recognition of the onset of narcolepsy will prevent many of the psychological health problems and negative consequences of the disease on the patient’s daily life. Narcolepsy usually has an onset at an early age, mostly during adolescence. However, a long delay of a mean of 15 years until a diagnosis has been consistently reported in the literature. The symptoms and the delayed diagnosis often lead to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
Further research in the aetiology of narcolepsy and early diagnosis might eventually even lead to new methods to prevent the disease from developing. In order to facilitate the prevention of this sleeping disorder, the early diagnosis and the development of new medical and psychological treatment methods, the foundation recognizes the importance of interdisciplinary research and collaboration in pushing the field forward.