Narcolepsy-cataplexy: Is streptococcal infection a trigger?

Niranjana Natarajan, Sejal V. Jain, Hina Chaudhry, Barbara E. Hallinan, Narong Simakajornboon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Narcolepsy-cataplexy is an uncommon sleep disorder which may present in childhood. We report a case of an 8-year-old presenting with narcolepsy-cataplexy following a streptococcal infection. Autoimmune etiology for narcolepsy has been suggested. In our patient increased anti-streptolysin O and anti- DNAse B titers were noted. As suggested by recent cases, the streptococcal infection was likely a trigger for narcolepsy onset in this genetically predisposed child. The patient was initially diagnosed as having Sydenham chorea due to motor movements. However, these transient movements may be due to the narcolepsy onset. Narcolepsy in childhood may present with atypical symptoms; it might be diffi cult to obtain accurate history and can be misdiagnosed as in the reported case. A high index of clinical suspicion is needed to diagnose these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-270
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Narcolepsy
  • Streptococcal infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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