Narcolepsy secondary to a rare fatal disease
Introduction. ROHHAD (rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysfunction, hypoventilation and autonomic dysregulation) is a rare disease, with only about two hundred cases reported to date, that starts in previously healthy children. The first sign is usually obesity, followed by hypothalamic dysfunction and sleep-disordered breathing, which rapidly progresses until the death of the patient. ROHHAD with narcolepsy is even rarer, with only two cases described so far.
Case report. We report the case of a boy who showed signs of obesity and sleepiness since he was 5 years old. At the age of 7, he suffered two tonic-clonic seizures and, over the next four years, displayed signs and symptoms of significant hypothalamic dysfunction; after multiple tests, he was then diagnosed with ROHHAD. Despite receiving a large number of treatments, the patient died at the age of 11.
Conclusion. The pathophysiology of this disease needs to be clarified in order to investigate effective treatments in the future.
Key words. Hypothalamus. Hypoventilation. Narcolepsy. Obesity. Orexin. ROHHAD.