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Volume 14 No. 09
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Accepted Papers

Case Reports

Pseudo Status Cataplecticus in Narcolepsy Type 1

Candace N. Meinen, DO; Kelsey M. Smith, MD; Jan-Mendelt Tillema, MD; Suresh Kotagal, MD
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

The rare constellation of multiple episodes of cataplexy that are refractory to therapy is called status cataplecticus. We describe a young adult with known narcolepsy type 1 who reported a marked exacerbation of her symptoms that was initially suspicious for status cataplecticus. Neurological evaluation, polysomnography, and additional history revealed that the spells were not consistent with cataplexy, but rather with a somatoform disorder. The case highlights the importance of considering psychosomatic factors in narcolepsy type 1 when presumed cataplexy remains suboptimally controlled despite adequate dosing with appropriate medications.


Meinen CN, Smith KM, Tillema JM, Kotagal S. Pseudo status cataplecticus in narcolepsy type 1. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(9):1625–1627.

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