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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Kleine-Levin Syndrome

Q. I'm looking for a specialist who is familiar with Kleine-Levin syndrome. Can you help me locate an expert?

A. Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS) is a rare disorder, usually appearing in adolescence, characterized by excessive sleeping (hypersomnia), excessive eating, and various emotional or behavioral changes. The cause is not known, though viral factors have been implicated.

There are not many experts on this in the U.S., but you could try contacting the following researchers who have published on KLS: Dr JD Katz or Dr AH, Ropper, Neurology Service, St Elizabeth's Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02135, USA. [neuron@massmed.org]; or, Dr F. Rosenow or BH Cohen, Section of Pediatric Epilepsy, Department of Neurology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio, USA.

Since you may not live near either of these facilities, you may want to consult a neurologist or a sleep-disorders specialist in your area. KLS must be distinguished from other problems causing hypersomnia, and there are tests (such as a polysomnogram, an overnight sleep study) that can help with this.

November 2003

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