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What is Narcolepsy? (Signs, Symptoms, and Diagnosis)

Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH

Boston lawyer and marathoner Julie Flygare brought national attention to the sleep disorder known as narcolepsy with the release of her memoir, Wide Awake & Dreaming, in 2013. At age 22, she was diagnosed with this unusual—though not altogether rare—sleep disorder while studying at Harvard Law School.

Prior to Flygare's emergence as an advocate for narcolepsy research and awareness, Americans had no real spokesperson to put a humanizing face on this perplexing neurological disorder, except perhaps the classic cartoon character, Mr. Magoo, well known for falling asleep at odd times during the day.

Flygare has since shown that narcolepsy is not the amusing condition people may have guessed it to be, but a real and disabling condition that has no cure and few therapies to provide relief and support to its sufferers. 

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