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VOLUME 36, ISSUE 01

HEART RATE RESPONSE AND HYPOCRETIN DEFICIENCY IN NARCOLEPSY
Attenuated Heart Rate Response is Associated with Hypocretin Deficiency in Patients with Narcolepsy

http://dx.doi.org/10.5665/sleep.2308

Gertrud Laura Sorensen, MScE1,2,3; Stine Knudsen, MD, PhD1; Eva Rosa Petersen, MD1; Jacob Kempfner, MScE1,2,3; Steen Gammeltoft, MD, Dr. Med Sci4; Helge Bjarup Dissing Sorensen, MScE, PhD4; Poul Jennum, MD, Dr. Med. Sci1,2

1Danish Center for Sleep Medicine, Glostrup University Hospital, Glostrup Hospital, Denmark; 2Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; 3Department of Electrical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark; 4Department of Diagnostics, Glostrup University Hospital, Denmark



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Study Objective:

Several studies have suggested that hypocretin-1 may influence the cerebral control of the cardiovascular system. We analyzed whether hypocretin-1 deficiency in narcolepsy patients may result in a reduced heart rate response.

Design:

We analyzed the heart rate response during various sleep stages from a 1-night polysomnography in patients with narcolepsy and healthy controls. The narcolepsy group was subdivided by the presence of +/− cataplexy and +/− hypocretin-1 deficiency.

Setting:

Sleep laboratory studies conducted from 2001-2011.

Participants:

In total 67 narcolepsy patients and 22 control subjects were included in the study. Cataplexy was present in 46 patients and hypocretin-1 deficiency in 38 patients.

Interventions:

None.

Measurements and Results:

All patients with narcolepsy had a significantly reduced heart rate response associated with arousals and leg movements (P < 0.05). Heart rate response associated with arousals was significantly lower in the hypocretin-1 deficiency and cataplexy groups compared with patients with normal hypocretin-1 levels (P < 0.04) and patients without cataplexy (P < 0.04). Only hypocretin-1 deficiency significantly predicted the heart rate response associated with arousals in both REM and non-REM in a multivariate linear regression.

Conclusions:

Our results show that autonomic dysfunction is part of the narcoleptic phenotype, and that hypocretin-1 deficiency is the primary predictor of this dysfunction. This finding suggests that the hypocretin system participates in the modulation of cardiovascular function at rest.

Citation:

Sorensen GL; Knudsen S; Petersen ER; Kempfner J; Gammeltoft S; Sorensen HBD; Jennum P. Attenuated heart rate response is associated with hypocretin deficiency in patients with narcolepsy. SLEEP 2013;36(1):91–98.

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