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A Complete Guide on Kleine-Levin Syndrome – 2023

Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS)

Kleine-Levin syndrome, also Sleeping Beauty syndrome, is an infrequent neurological mess that involves episodes of excessive sleep and altered conduct.

During these acts, affected individuals sleep for up to 20 hours per day and are often unable to meet their daily lives’ work and social demands. These episodes generally last for a few weeks. Then the individual returns to near-perfect health until the release of the next act.

The syndrome typically presents in adolescence, but symptoms can start at any age, from childhood to adulthood.

It affects extra males than females, with approximately 70% of Kleine-Levin patients being male. However, females that involve tend to have a longer course of the disease than males.

What are the Symptoms of Kleine-Levin Syndrome?

Kleine-Levin Syndrome

Periodic episodes of Kleine-Levin syndrome experience altered sleep habits and conducts. Between these acts, patients do not notice any symptoms and appear to be in otherwise excellent health.

During an episode of Kleine-Levin syndrome, the patient becomes very tired and sleeps at night and most of the day, known as hypersomnolence. In some cases, individuals sleep continuously and wake up only for short periods to eat or go to the bathroom, considerably disrupting their professional or social life.

Characteristic symptoms may include:

  • Infantile or spacey demeanour
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Lack of emotion and focus
  • Photosensitivity
  • Mood changes
  • Mandatory hyperphagia (food cravings)
  • Hyper-sexuality

Symptoms during the episode can last for a few days but can continue for several months in some cases, inhibiting normal daily activities. They then spontaneously resolve for some time until another episode suddenly begins sometime later.

What are the Causes of Kleine-Levin Syndrome?

  • The causes of this neurological disorder are unknown. However, it speculates that there are alterations in the hypothalamus’s functioning and the entire limbic system.
  • And some other subcortical structures linked to regulating emotions and sleep.
  • Specifically, it has observed hypoperfusion in the limbic system, thalamus, and frontotemporal cortex in many patients. Also, electro encephalic activity seems to slow down.
  • Although it has been found that on some occasions, there are several cases in the same family, there is no evidence to confirm it. It has also speculated that it may be due to head trauma, infectious medical diseases, or severe stress.

Diagnosis of Kleine-Levin Syndrome

Kleine-Levin Syndrome

Kleine-Levin syndrome diagnosis generally delays for several years after the first episode’s presentation, as the symptoms initially attribute to other sleeping disorders.

The distinctive design of Kleine-Levin syndrome occurs in distinct periodic episodes, which sets the condition apart from other sleeping disorders.

Diagnostic considerations for Kleine-Levin syndrome are periodic episodes of severe hypersomnia (2-31 days), interspersed with long periods of regular sleep habits, cognition mood, and behaviour. During attacks, they will also exhibit at least one of:

  • Cognitive abnormalities (e.g., confusion or hallucinations)
  • Abnormal behaviour (e.g., irritability or aggression)
  • Binge drinking
  • Hyper-sexuality

Kleine-Levin syndrome diagnosis must distinguish from other cyclical hypersomnia disorders, such as premenstrual syndrome in adolescent women, encephalopathy, periodic depression, and rare psychosis.

Treatments of Kleine-Levin Syndrome


  • There is no specific treatment for preventing Kleine-Levin syndrome episodes, and watchful waiting is generally the recommended approach, rather than drug therapy.
  • During an episode, medications may recommend managing excessive symptoms of drowsiness. It can include stimulant medications, such as modafinil, amphetamines, or methylphenidate.
  • However, these medications cannot effectively improve cognitive abnormalities associated with side effects such as irritability and other mood changes.
  • Other drug therapy options that sometimes recommend include lithium and carbamazepine. These drugs suggest for use because of the similarity in symptoms between Kleine-Levin syndrome and other mood disorders.
  • They can be useful in preventing or prolonging the period before the release of another episode.
  • Also, some alternative drug treatments currently use to test an individual’s reaction. It includes the anticonvulsant medication, phenytoin, which has appeared to precipitate a positive response in some patients.


Your outlook depends on many of your symptoms. Symptoms generally decrease with each passing year, primary attacks to become more mild and infrequent.

Although KLS symptoms can appear and disappear over many years, your symptoms can disappear one day and never return. People with KLS typically consider being “cured” when they haven’t had an episode for six or more.


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