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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Patients May Have Undiagnosed Narcolepsy

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  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Patients May Have Undiagnosed Narcolepsy

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336577/
    Wilenius L, Partinen M. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Patients May Have Undiagnosed Narcolepsy. Cureus. 2020;12(6):e8436. Published 2020 Jun 4. doi:10.7759/cureus.8436
    Abstract


    Background
    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients have many comorbidities. Narcoleptic patients have a big prevalence of ADHD (15%-30%). Both groups suffer from similar symptoms and benefit from the same class of medications. As such, narcolepsy could be masked in ADHD patients. Low serum ferritin has been found both in ADHD patients as well as in patients with narcolepsy.
    Materials & methods
    We enrolled 26 participants (14 ADHD patients and 12 controls). They answered several questionnaires, and blood samples were obtained from 20 participants. We had clear exclusion criteria.
    Results
    Using the Ullanlinna Narcolepsy Scale (UNS), we identified three possible narcolepsy patients within the ADHD group and no suspects in the control group. There was a statistically significant negative correlation between serum iron levels and ADHD symptom severity. No correlation was found measuring serum ferritin levels.
    Conclusions
    Narcolepsy may be more common within ADHD patients than in the general population. Some of these patients could benefit from a change in medication. Low serum iron and ferritin levels could be relevant in ADHD pathophysiology. This requires further exploratory research.

    Keywords: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd), narcolepsy, serum iron, serum ferritin, adult adhd, excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy
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