Following the first descriptions of narcolepsy with cataplexy by Westphal, Gelineau, and Fischer (1878-1880), Russian authors started to report on “narcolepsy cases” in 1894. It was, however, only in 1925 that Mankovsky reported a (postencephalitic) case, satisfying current diagnostic criteria for the disease. In the following 66¬†years (the last publication appeared in 1991), Russian authors including Davidenkov, Vein, and Yakhno made interesting contributions on the clinical features, neurophysiological correlates (e.g., sleep states and boundary dyscontrol), pathogenesis (e.g., hypothalamic origin), etiology (e.g., infectious, postvaccinal triggers, focal encephalitis), and treatment (e.g., use of sodium oxybate) of narcolepsy. Until recently, Pavlov’s theory of narcolepsy as a “cortical excitatory-inhibitory phenomenon” strongly influenced the Russian view on the disease, contrasting with the current neurobiological insights acknowledged internationally. A Narcolepsy Network, including currently 10 member centers, was recently founded to promote knowledge, awareness, management, and research on this still poorly known disease in Russia.

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