person yawning narcolepsy

“What do I need to know about neurophysiology?”

Narcolepsy is a serious neurological disorder.1-3

Neurophysiology overview.

  • Animal studies suggest that wakefulness and muscle tone are regulated by various neuronal systems controlling the interaction between activating and inhibitory neurons.4-9
During the Day

During the Day

  • Wake-promoting neurons are active.4-6
  • These include dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurons, and other neurons connecting the thalamus to the cortex (thalamocortical neurons).4-6,9,10
  • In addition, activation of noradrenergic neurons is thought to be involved in maintaining skeletal muscle tone.5,7
At Night

At Night

  • GABAergic neurons are thought to inhibit these activating neurons to reduce wakefulness and skeletal muscle tone.5,6
GABA = gamma-aminobutyric acid.
  • Other neuronal systems are also thought to be involved in the regulation of wakefulness and skeletal muscle tone.5,6,8