Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS) is a rare and complex disorder characterized by recurring periods of excessive sleep, as well as altered cognition and behavior. Symptoms occur in cycles that can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. While experiencing symptoms, patients sleep most of the day and night. During the brief periods when they are awake, they are often confused, disoriented and may lack emotions. In some cases, excessive food cravings (hyperphagia) and/or uninhibited hypersexuality are present during an episode.
During an episode, patients report feeling separated from the reality, like they are in a fog. However, between cycles, patients are healthy and completely aysymptomatic. The disorder usually begins in adolescence, and is more common in males than females. Typically, the episodes become shorter and less frequent until disappearing all together in middle age.
At Stanford we are working to identify blood markers or gene(s) associated with or responsible for the development of KLS and then to recognize how those genes affect people at the molecular level. If we can identify one or more unique gene or blood marker, physicians would have a simple, minimally invasive test to help diagnose KLS. Additionally, if the Stanford Center for Narcolepsy Research (SCNR) succeeds in identifying a marker, any lingering debate about the legitimacy of KLS will all but cease.
We are actively recruiting subjects and controls, to learn more about becoming a research participant in a KLS study, contact Mali Einen.