Updated: Aug 21
Over the past four decades, Prof. Michel Billiard has published numerous articles on narcolepsy with cataplexy and other hypersomnias of central origin, particularly Kleine-Levin Syndrome and Idiopathic hypersomnia. I spoke with Prof Billiard for the tribute “Bedřich Roth, His Life’s Work and the 35th anniversary of the book “Narcolepsy and Hypersomnia” that I wrote for the Idiopathic Hypersomnia Awareness Week 2015. The theme for the 2017 awareness week is research so I’m looking forward to speaking with him (and other researchers) again. In this interview with Revista de Neurología for the 8th European Narcolepsy Day 2017 Prof. Billiard talks about the aetiology of narcolepsy with cataplexy, his thoughts on new treatments in Narcolepsy such as Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem) and Pitolisant (Wakix) and also his study using a hierarchical cluster analysis (Sleep Med, 2015). This study was based on patients with narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia and it showed idiopathic hypersomnia with long sleep is distinct and unique and is therefore an independent sleep disorder of idiopathic hypersomnia without long sleep. The study also showed, which has been the long held belief of many researchers, that the clinical features of idiopathic hypersomnia without long sleep are more closely related to those found in narcolepsy without cataplexy (Type 2 Narcolepsy) and that those two disorders should be merged into one single condition.
Click here to read the interview. Who is Prof. Michel Billiard? Prof Billiard is Honorary Professor of Neurology at the School of Medicine, University Montpellier I and Honorary Chair of the Department of Neurology, Gui de Chauliac Hospital, Montpellier (France). He has been President of the European Sleep Research Society (1996-2000) and is the first Honorary member of the EU-NN, elected in the last European Narcolepsy Day in Helsinki (March 2016). He was the instigator of the European Collaborative Project on Genetic Susceptibility to Narcolepsy (1995). Over the past four decades, he has published numerous articles on narcolepsy with cataplexy and other hypersomnias of central origin, particularly Kleine-Levin Syndrome and Idiopathic hypersomnia.