English translations of the first clinical reports on narcolepsy and cataplexy by Westphal and Gélineau in the late 19th century, with commentary

Carlos H. Schenck, Claudio L. Bassetti, Isabelle Arnulf, Emmanuel Mignot

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study Objectives: To publish the first English translations, with commentary, of the original reports describing narcolepsy and cataplexy by Westphal in German (1877) and by Gélineau in French (1880). Methods: A professional translation service translated the 2 reports from either German or French to English, with each translation then being slightly edited by one of the authors. All authors then provided commentary. Results: Both Westphal and Gélineau correctly identified and described the new clinical entities of cataplexy and narcolepsy, with recurrent, self-limited sleep attacks and/or cataplectic attacks affecting 2 otherwise healthy people. Narcolepsy was named by Gélineau (and cataplexy was named by Henneberg in 1916). The evidence in both cases is sufficiently convincing to conclude that they were likely each HLA-DQB1*0602 positive and hypocretin deficient. Conclusions: The original descriptions of narcolepsy and cataplexy are now available in English, allowing for extensive clinical and historical commentary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-305
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2007

Keywords

  • C. Westphal
  • Cataplexy
  • Excessive sleepiness/sleep attacks
  • History of medicine
  • JBE Gélineau
  • Late 19th century
  • Motor dyscontrol
  • Narcolepsy
  • Neurology
  • Sleep disorders

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