How hypocretin agonists may improve the quality of wake in narcolepsy

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is a complex symptom characterized by a strong urge to sleep during daytime accompanied by problems such as attention deficits, anxiety, and lower cognitive performance. The efficacy of treatments for EDS is determined by their ability to decrease sleepiness, and less attention has been given to the effects these compounds have on the quality of the wake itself. Hypocretin (HCRT; orexin) signalling is implicated in narcolepsy, and hypocretin receptor 2 (HCRTR2) agonists are in clinical trials for treating EDS in narcolepsy. Here, we review preclinical research to determine how HCRTR2 agonists may affect attention and anxiety compared with other EDS treatment strategies. We conclude that such compounds may improve not only the quantity but also the quality of wake, and we hope that they will create opportunities for more nuanced treatment strategies in narcolepsy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

    Research areas

  • anxiety, attention, excessive daytime sleepiness treatment, hypocretin, narcolepsy, wake

ID: 326841807