Narcolepsy is a lifelong disorder—the journey doesn’t end at diagnosis. Symptoms can change over time. Excessive daytime sleepiness is usually the first symptom to occur, but other symptoms can start later. Cataplexy sometimes does not show up until years after the excessive sleepiness starts.
That’s why you should continue to monitor the symptoms of narcolepsy on a regular basis. Regular follow-up can also help identify the presence of other conditions that may develop along with narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy in children and adolescents can affect their mental and intellectual function. Children with narcolepsy are at risk for emotional problems or cognitive impairment.
Parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals should work together to carefully monitor school-aged children with narcolepsy to help reduce its impact on their lives.