To characterize factors that contribute to symptomatic narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness in neuromyelitis optica and multiple sclerosis.
Japanese university hospitals.
Seven Japanese patients whose initial diagnoses were multiple sclerosis and who were exhibiting excessive daytime sleepiness.
Main Outcome Measures
Lesions on magnetic resonance imaging, cerebrospinal fluid hypocretin-1 levels, and serum anti–aquaporin 4 (AQP4) antibody titer.
Bilateral and symmetrical hypothalamic lesions associated with marked or moderate hypocretin deficiency were found in all 7 cases. Four of these patients met the International Classification of Sleep Disorders 2 narcolepsy criteria. Three patients, including 2 patients with narcolepsy, were seropositive for anti-AQP4 antibody and diagnosed as having neuromyelitis optica–related disorder.
Since AQP4 is highly expressed in the hypothalamic periventricular regions, an immune attack on AQP4 may be partially responsible for the bilateral and hypothalamic lesions and hypocretin deficiency in narcolepsy/excessive daytime sleepiness associated with autoimmune demyelinating diseases.