Cataplexy is a sudden and transient episode of loss of muscle tone, often triggered by emotions. It is a rare disease (prevalence of fewer than 5 per 10,000 in the community), but affects roughly 70 % of people who have narcolepsy.

The term cataplexy originates from the Greek κατά (kata, meaning "downwards"), and πληξις (plēxis, meaning "striking" or "hitting" [from plessein meaning "to strike or hit"]).

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