Alon Avidan, MD, MPH: Comorbidities Associated With Narcolepsy

March 23, 2020

The director of the Sleep Disorders Center and vice chair of the department of neurology at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine detailed the comorbidities related to narcolepsy.

“Obesity is often related to the fact that this individual cannot maintain alertness during the day and they cannot participate in sports activities.”

While narcolepsy is commonly associated with difficulties staying awake for long periods of time, sudden loss of muscle tone, sleep paralysis, and changes in rapid eye movement, many patients have accompanying comorbidities linked to the disease which can often take an equivalent toll on a patient’s daily life.

Among these comorbidities that patients may experience are depression, obesity, social anxieties, and schizophrenic conditions due to the effects of narcolepsy. Alon Avidan, MD, MPHD director, Sleep Disorders Center, and vice chair, department of neurology, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, feels as though an additional challenge for diagnosis at times can be triggered because medications can have adverse effects that trigger these comorbidities.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Avidan breaks down the comorbidities associated with narcolepsy, as well as the ways they can impact a patient’s daily function. Additionally, he touches on how clinicians can confuse narcolepsy with underlying schizophrenia.