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CONy 2020 | Why narcolepsy should not be considered an autoimmune disorder

Angela Vincent, MBBS (Hon PhD Bergen), FRCPath, FMedSci, FRS, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, discusses why narcolepsy should not be categorized as an autoimmune disorder. Narcolepsy is associated with a specific loss of hypocretin secreting cells in the hypothalamus. For narcolepsy to be considered an autoimmune disorder, specific antibodies would have to be produced by the body to target these cells. However, this type of damage is more likely to be due to T-cells. Nevertheless, no evidence has been found of specific antibodies or T-cells causing this damage. Additionally, Prof. Vincent discusses a study that identified neuronal surface antibodies in children with narcolepsy and active movement disorders. This interview took place during the Virtual World Congress on Controversies in Neurology (CONy) 2020.