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World Sleep 2022 | Autoimmunity – a potential cause for narcolepsy?

Emmanuel Mignot, MD, PhD, Stanford University Center for Sleep Sciences, Palo Alto, CA, discusses autoimmunity as a potential cause of narcolepsy. It is known that the cells which synthesize orexin are destroyed in narcolepsy – however, it is not fully understood why. Prof. Mignot states that he believes it to be a result of an autoimmune disease; all genes associated with narcolepsy are affiliated with the immune system or other autoimmune diseases. Prof. Mignot emphasizes that it is not truly understood how the immune system targets these orexin-producing cells – yet it is vital to figure out. This could result in more efficient ways of diagnosing narcolepsy, e.g., blood tests – which would be immense for the field of sleep disorders and narcolepsy. Furthermore, Prof. Mignot describes exciting progress in the treatment of narcolepsy using the TAK-925 drug. Data demonstrated that patients are hypersensitive, inferring that even a low dose appears to control symptoms well – this could also be greatly beneficial for other hypersomnia disorders. This interview took place at the World Sleep Congress 2022 in Rome, Italy.


Dr Mignot reports the following disclosures: Takeda, Jazz, Avedel, Dreem