Kleine-Levin syndrome misdiagnosed as schizophrenia

Eur Psychiatry. 1996;11(2):104-5.


A 27 year-old man initially considered as a schizophrenic patient was later diagnosed as having Kleine-Levin syndrome.

[PubMed – in process]

What is Kleine-Levin Syndrome?

Kleine-Levin syndrome is a rare disorder that primarily affects adolescent males (approximately 70 percent of those with Kleine-Levin syndrome are male). It is characterized by recurring but reversible periods of excessive sleep (up to 20 hours per day). Symptoms occur as “episodes,” typically lasting a few days to a few weeks. Episode onset is often abrupt, and may be associated with flu-like symptoms. Excessive food intake, irritability, childishness, disorientation, hallucinations, and an abnormally uninhibited sex drive may be observed during episodes. Mood can be depressed as a consequence, but not a cause, of the disorder. Affected individuals are completely normal between episodes, although they may not be able to remember afterwards everything that happened during the episode. It may be weeks or more before symptoms reappear. Symptoms may be related to malfunction of the hypothalamus and thalamus, parts of the brain that govern appetite and sleep. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


1 Comment

  1. I appreciate all this research you put together on your website. Among the many diagnoses my younger daughter had, KLS was one. We still do not know if it is a valid diagnosis as this, too, is made based on the symptoms of sleeping for days, weeks, or months without knowing why. Narcolepsy is another one of these sleep-related disorders that can get diagnosed as schizophrenia, and indeed, some of my daughter’s “schizophrenia” symptoms may have been a symptom of this.

    People (including me!) have been writing books about these topics for decades, and it is frustrating that the medical & psychiatric community is still ignoring all the possibilities. Thank goodness for people like you who are trying to make readily available the research about medical issues which can be misdiagnosed as a mental disorder. I put together a partial list here of medical issues that may look like a “mental disorder,” which I have been adding to over the years.

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