Background: A large observational French study of central hypersomnia, including narcolepsy with cataplexy (C+), without cataplexy (C−) and idiopathic hypersomnia (IH), was conducted to clarify the relationships between the severity of the condition, psychological health and treatment response.
Methods: 601 consecutive patients over 15 years of age suffering from central hypersomnia were recruited on excessive daytime sleepiness, polysomnography and Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) results. 517 (47.6% men, 52.4% women) were finally included: 82.0% C+, 13.2% C− and 4.8% IH. Face to face standardised clinical interviews plus questionnaires (Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), short version Beck Depression Inventory (S-BDI), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36)) were performed. Patients affected with a different diagnosis and with and without depressive symptoms were compared.
Results: Mean ESS and body mass index were higher in C+ compared with C−/IH patients. Half of the patients (44.9%) had no depressive symptoms while 26.3% had mild, 23.2% moderate and 5.6% severe depressive symptoms. C+ patients had higher S-BDI and PSQI and lower SF-36 scores than C−/IH patients. Depressed patients had higher ESS scores than non-depressed patients, with no difference in age, gender, duration of disease or MSLT parameters. Finally, C+ patients treated with anticataplectic drugs (38.7%) had higher S-BDI and lower SF-36 scores than C+ patients treated with stimulants alone.
Conclusion: Our data confirmed the high frequency of depressive symptoms and the major impact of central hypersomnias on health related quality of life, especially in patients with cataplexy. We recommend a more thorough assessment of mood impairment in central hypersomnias, especially in narcolepsy–cataplexy.
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Funding: The study was supported by Cephalon, which participated in the data collection and analysis.
Competing interests: All authors have received honoraria from Cephalon Inc as investigators.