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Normal Morning MCH Levels and No Association with REM or NREM Sleep Parameters in Narcolepsy Type 1 and Type 2

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STUDY OBJECTIVES: Other than hypocretin-1 (HCRT-1) deficiency in narcolepsy type 1 (NT1), the neurochemical imbalance of NT1 and narcolepsy type 2 (NT2) with normal HCRT-1 levels is largely unknown. The neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is mainly secreted during sleep and is involved in rapid eye movement (REM) and nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep regulation. Hypocretin neurons reciprocally interact with MCH neurons. We hypothesized that altered MCH secretion contributes to the symptoms and sleep abnormalities of narcolepsy and that this is reflected in morning cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) MCH levels, in contrast to previously reported normal evening/afternoon levels.

METHODS: Lumbar CSF and plasma were collected from 07:00 to 10:00 from 57 patients with narcolepsy (subtypes: 47 NT1; 10 NT2) diagnosed according to International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Third Edition parameters and 20 healthy controls. HCRT-1 and MCH levels were quantified by radioimmunoassay and correlated with clinical symptoms, polysomnography (PSG), and multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) parameters.

RESULTS: CSF and plasma MCH levels were not significantly different between narcolepsy patients regardless of ICSD-3 subtype, HCRT-1 levels, or compared to controls. CSF MCH and HCRT-1 levels were not significantly correlated. Multivariate regression models of CSF MCH levels, age, sex, and body mass index predicting clinical, PSG, and MSLT parameters did not reveal any significant associations to CSF MCH levels.

CONCLUSION: Our study shows that MCH levels in CSF collected in the morning are normal in narcolepsy and not associated with the clinical symptoms, REM sleep abnormalities, nor number of muscle movements during REM or NREM sleep of the patients. We conclude that morning lumbar CSF MCH measurement is not an informative diagnostic marker for narcolepsy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)235-243
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ID: 49648343