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Lancet. 1989 Nov 4;2(8671):1067-9.

Treatment of narcolepsy with L-tyrosine: double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

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Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College Hospital, London.


A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of L-tyrosine was done in ten subjects with narcolepsy and cataplexy. Of twenty-eight visual analogue scales rating mood and arousal, the subjects' ratings in the tyrosine treatment (9 g daily) and placebo periods differed significantly for only three (less tired, less drowsy, more alert). Ratings of daytime drowsiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, night-time sleep, overall clinical response, and measurements of multiple sleep latency and tests of speed and attention did not differ significantly between tyrosine and placebo periods. Dietary supplementation with tyrosine 9 g daily for 4 weeks seems to have a mild stimulant action on the central nervous system but this effect is not clinically significant in the treatment of the narcoleptic syndrome.

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