Report of a case of immunosuppression with prednisone in an 8-year-old boy with an acute onset of hypocretin-deficiency narcolepsy

Marketa Hecht, Ling Lin, Clete A. Kushida, Dale T. Umetsu, Shahrad Taheri, Mali Einen, Emmanuel Mignot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To explore whether acute destruction of hypocretin cells in a patient with narcolepsy could be detected and if the course of the disease could be reversed or altered by the use of prednisone for immunosuppression. Design: Case report. Setting: A sleep-clinic population in a tertiary-care hospital Patient: An 8-year-old boy with a very acute recent (< 2 month) onset of sleepiness. Methods: Sleep studies; fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and gadolinium magnetic resonance imaging studies with a focus on the hypothalamus; examinations of cerebrospinal fluid for cytology, protein, and hypocretin-1 levels; and HLA typing were performed. Intervention: A 3-week regimen of 1 mg kg-1-day-1 of prednisone was administered in an attempt to modify the course of the disease. Results and Conclusion: Sleep evaluations were consistent with a diagnosis of narcolepsy. Hypocretin-1 was absent in the cerebrospinal fluid, and HLA-DQB1*0602 was present. All other results were within normal limits, and prednisone did not have any noticeable effects. Clinical manifestation of narcolepsy might occur when the hypocretin cell damage is too advanced to be reversible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-810
Number of pages2
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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