Cataplexy is defined as generally brief, usually bilaterally symmetrical sudden loss of muscle tone with retained consciousness.1 Cataplexy attacks are often triggered by strong emotions or certain situations.1-3 Up to two-thirds of all people with narcolepsy have cataplexy.4,5 However, manifestations may differ widely among patients,1 and cataplexy can vary over the course of a patient’s life.6,7

  • While laughter is the most common trigger, a range of other emotions or situations can provoke cataplexy (eg, anger, excitement, being startled)3,8,9
  • Muscle weakness may involve most major skeletal muscles, but more often, cataplexy is partial and limited to one area of the body2,10,11