Advocacy group announces nationwide initiative to boost awareness of narcolepsy
Fairfield, NJ, June 29, 1999 -- The Narcolepsy Network announced today that it is joining forces with sleep centers nationwide to launch "Wake Up to Narcolepsy," an educational initiative to raise awareness and increase understanding of narcolepsy and its treatment. An estimated 125,000 Americans suffer from narcolepsy, a chronic, lifelong, and often misdiagnosed neurological sleep disorder that results in frequent, irresistible "sleep attacks," regardless of the amount or quality of prior nighttime sleep. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of people with narcolepsy are properly diagnosed. The Wake Up to Narcolepsy initiative is designed to help persons with narcolepsy, as well as their physicians, recognize the symptoms of the condition so that it can be correctly diagnosed and properly treated.
"Most people with narcolepsy are unaware they have a specific, treatable medical condition. Even worse, it can take up to 15 years from symptom onset before they obtain an accurate diagnosis, because their condition is often mistaken for other disorders, such as depression, a metabolic disorder or a learning disability," said Bob Cloud, executive director of the Narcolepsy Network. "Our mission is to help people eliminate this unnecessary delay and get the treatment they need, by empowering them and their physicians with critical information about the condition and offering the support that is essential to coping with this chronic medical disorder."
"Wake Up to Narcolepsy" includes written materials about narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness and a toll-free number, 1-888-41-AWAKE, through which callers can obtain informational brochures. Consumers may also call 1-877-BE-AWAKE to take a verbal test over the phone which may indicate that they have a sleep disorder.