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World Sleep 2022 | Diagnostic biomarkers in pediatric narcolepsy type-1

Kiran Maski, MD, MPH, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, discusses the work on biomarkers in pediatric narcolepsy type-1. Much attention has been placed on the nocturnal sleep biomarkers present on a polysomnogram (PSG) alone –nocturnal sleep onset REM holds very high specificity yet low sensitivity in both normal and pediatric narcolepsy. Some of the work presented at the World Sleep Congress looked at additional biomarkers, e.g., evidence of REM without atonia coupled with a short REM latency. Previous work looked at measures of disrupted nighttime sleep and REM latency. Dr Maski states that the direction a lot of these biomarkers are taking is in a combined approach, allowing for better sensitivity and specificity overall. The goal is in finding biomarkers that are easily identifiable for the average clinical provider – having interpretability whereby the nocturnal PSG alone could be used diagnostically for narcolepsy. This interview took place at the World Sleep Congress 2022 in Rome, Italy.