Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS)

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Kleine-Levin Syndrome or KLS (also known as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome) is a neurological disorder characterized by recurring periods of excessive amounts of sleeping and eating. At the onset of an episode the patient becomes drowsy and sleeps for most of the day and night (hypersomnolence), waking only to eat or go to the bathroom. When awake, the patient’s whole demeanor is changed, often appearing “spacey” or childlike. They also experience confusion, disorientation, complete lack of energy (lethargy), and lack of emotions (apathy). Individuals are not able to attend school or work or care for themselves. Most are bedridden, tired, and uncommunicative even when awake.

Most patients report that everything seems out of focus, and that they are hypersensitive to noise and light. In some cases, food cravings (compulsive hyperphagia) are exhibited. In males, instances of uninhibited hypersexuality during episodes have also been reported. In females, instances of depression have been reported. Most cases of Kleine-Levin syndrome are seen in teenage boys.

Affected individuals may go for a period of weeks, months or even years without experiencing any symptoms, and then they reappear with little warning. In between episodes those diagnosed with KLS appear to be in perfect health with no evidence of behavioral or physical disfunction.

The cause of Kleine-Levin syndrome is not known. Thus, family support and education are the best management currently available