University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Primary Care


Dr. Nancy Reid



The purpose of this article is to review the previous studies of narcolepsy highlighting the significance of weight gain in this patient population and addressing the most effective ways to manage their obesity.

Method: A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms narcolepsy, obesity, weight loss, exercise, diet, and treatment. Twenty-seven pertinent articles were retrieved. After excluding redundancies and those not pertinent to the topic, 12 articles remain, and they serve as the basis for this clinical review.

Results: A sufficient lack of evidence-based research to address obesity in narcoleptic patients remains despite clear evidence of physiologic causes responsible for the weight gain.

Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of obesity in patients with narcolepsy. There is evidence to suggest that orexin deficiency has a significant impact on the weight gain narcoleptic patients experience. There is limited research available addressing the management of obesity in narcoleptics. While some of the current therapies used to manage narcolepsy have shown stimulation of lipolysis and decreases in systemic insulin sensitivity resulting in weight loss, others may contribute to weight gain or have no effect on weight at all. Further research is needed to establish if there are more efficient and effective ways to manage the symptoms of narcolepsy and prevent obesity concurrently.

Keywords: Narcolepsy, Obesity, Weight gain, Orexin, Treatment.


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