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I've got narcolepsy with cataplexy and now they are considering Parkinson or other neuromuscular conditions. Is carbidopa-levodopa contraindicated for narcolepsy with cataplexy? How can the cataplexy tremors, twitches, etc. be differentiated from Parkinson et al? Thank you for your insights in advance!
Hi, I hope I'm not intruding here, as I, myself, do not have Parkinson's - my dad (76) does. He started showing symptoms in the form of hand tremors over a decade ago. I don't know exactly when he was diagnosed (he doesn't like to worry family). From the time I was a kid, I remember my dad coming home from work, getting washed up, having dinner & within the hour be stretched out on the sofa or recliner, fast asleep. I always chalked it up to working hard (he was a carpenter/contractor) and often outside. He worked steadily until he was 67 before retiring. I have Narcolepsy, while my diagnosis was not confirmed (via MSLT - Multiple Sleep Latency Test) until this past August (2012) I'd been from doctor to doctor for a couple years in effort to find an answer to my excessive daytime sleepiness. Looking back, I believe I was symptomatic back in my teens, but they never disrupted my daily life until around 2003. I spend a lot of time with my dad and have noticed he and I share a number of symptoms - namely diminished automatic movements, like smiling, changes in speech - as my meds wear off I tend to slur & hesitate/word search, sleep disturbances - either chronic fatigue, occasional insomnia, sleepwalking, talking in sleep, short term memory loss. Narcolepsy is so often misdiagnosed and it's quite difficult for even some doctors to understand completely because there's so little research being done. One thing I found is that along with sharing some symptoms with my dad, what I've read shows that people with Parkinson's as well as Narcolepsy have significantly lowered hypocretin levels. There's a support group (one of many for people with Narcolepsy) on Facebook - i posted a query as to how many members had immediate family with Parkinson's and was floored to see within minutes a half dozen members reply that a parent or grandparent was diagnosed. My question for those in this forum is do any of you with Parkinson's have immediate family members who have Narcolepsy - or a sleep disorder that has not yet been diagnosed? Often Narcolepsy symptoms are mistaken for depression & patients (don't have sleep studies) are given antidepressants - which mask many Narcolepsy symptoms, thus one could have Narcolepsy, but believe what they have is depression. Thank you for your time & consideration