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Neurology. 1997 Apr;48(4):1097-9.

Absence of pontine lesions in narcolepsy.

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Division of Neurology, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ 85013, USA.


A recent study reporting pontine lesions on magnetic resonance imaging in three patients with idiopathic narcolepsy postulated that the lesions represented tissue change secondary to long duration of disease. We studied twelve narcoleptic patients with MRI to validate these findings. The diagnosis of narcolepsy was established with both clinical and electrophysiological criteria in all twelve patients. Pontine lesions were present in two patients, both of whom were hypertensive. The lesions were associated with similar lesions in the hemispheres and were indistinguishable from ischemic change. No lesions were evident in the other ten patients, eight of whom were normotensive, and six of whom had narcolepsy for more than 37 years. We were unable to confirm the presence of pontine lesions specific to narcolepsy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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