Peripheral Leptin Levels in Narcoleptic Patients
Narcolepsy is a severe sleep disorder that in most patients is characterized by the deficiency of central orexin. Clinically, narcolepsy is associated with obesity. Currently, there is a literature controversy about the potential alteration of leptin levels in narcoleptic patients. Theoretically, diminished leptin levels could partially contribute to the observed overweight of patients. Two studies have reported decreased leptin levels, whereas a larger, recent study failed to detect differences between patients and controls.
To help settle the controversy, we have measured peripheral leptin levels in 42 narcoleptic patients and in 31 body mass index-matched controls.
No significant differences in leptin levels between the groups were observed. Mean leptin levels were 16.0 +/- 14.9 ng/mL in the narcoleptic men and 30.4 +/- 17.8 ng/mL in the narcoleptic women. The corresponding values for the controls were 21.2 +/- 17.0 ng/mL (P = 0.49, men) and 33.9 +/- 16.9 ng/mL (P = 0.31, women). In addition, no correlation was found between leptin levels and clinical symptomatology in the narcoleptic patients.
Taken together, the data argue against a major deterioration of leptin secretion in narcoleptic patients.
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