Since 2009, Wake Up Narcolepsy has raised more than $367,000 to support research for narcolepsy treatment and to find a cure. Doctors engaged in narcolepsy research say the unrestricted grant funding from Wake Up Narcolepsy supports innovative experiments that may otherwise go unsupported.

Research has identified the genetic cause of the autoimmune disorder that affects the ability of the brain to regulate its sleep-wake cycle. Additionally new findings suggest that people with narcolepsy have additional histamine neurons in the brain.

Wake Up Narcolepsy is dedicated to accelerating the pace of medical discovery in narcolepsy toward greater understanding of the cause of the disease, development of improved treatment and a cure. WUN advances narcolepsy research by directly funding the work of the world’s most respected scientific investigators.

Wake Up Narcolepsy welcomes applications for narcolepsy research grants from qualified scientific investigators. Click here to access a grant application.

Following are highlights of current narcolepsy research supported by Wake Up Narcolepsy.

Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, Director of the Center for Sleep Sciences and the Center for Narcolepsy at Stanford University’s School of Medicine

  • Mignot is internationally recognized for discovering the gene that causes narcolepsy.
  • Mignot’s research indicates that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the brain attacks its hypocretin cells which control the sleep-wake cycle.
  • Wake up Narcolepsy is supporting Dr. Mignot’s research in the genetic and environmental co-factors that contribute to the development of narcolepsy.

Thomas Scammell, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Medical Director, The Sleep Center, Boston Children’s Hospital

  • Identifying the neural mechanisms in the brain which control sleep and wakefulness and to determine how the loss of hypocretin/orexin peptides produces rapid transformations from wakefulness to sleep.
  • How positive emotions, such as laughter and surprise trigger cataplexy, the sudden loss of muscle control among some persons with narcolepsy.
  • Why people with narcolepsy have more histamine neurons in their brains.
  • Potential gene therapy for mice with narcolepsy that triggers other neurons to produce more hypocretin in the brain

Dr. Indra Narang, Director of Sleep Medicine at Sick Kids Hospital, Toronto, and Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at the University of Toronto

  • Wake Up Narcolepsy supports her studies of narcolepsy in children.


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