Definition of cataplexy in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkadəˌpleksē/ /ˈkædəˌplɛksi/


  • A medical condition in which strong emotion or laughter causes a person to suffer sudden physical collapse though remaining conscious.

    ‘Not enough people suffer from cataplexy for a major drug company to bother investing in research and development of this medicine.’
    • ‘You will often also experience cataplexy (sudden loss of muscular control) triggered by emotion, especially amusement, anger, and elation.’
    • ‘The combination of daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations suggested narcolepsy.’
    • ‘My major problem now is cataplexy associated with emotion, usually laughter.’
    • ‘Other symptoms such as cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle tone) with bucking of the knee and fall or drooping of the neck - which may be provoked by emotions like laughter, amusement or anger - can occur.’
    • ‘The patient had no change in weight and denied any symptoms of cataplexy.’
    • ‘There are two main classes of antidepressant used for treating cataplexy - the Tricyclic antidepressants and the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).’
    • ‘Children do not experience cataplexy or hypnagogic hallucination as frequently as adults do.’
    • ‘This debilitating disorder manifests itself in other symptoms, such as cataplexy.’
    • ‘I have Narcolepsy and as a result I experience cataplexy, automatic behavior, sleep paralysis, microsleeps, and hypnagogic hallucinations.’
    • ‘While medication and naps helped her deal with narcolepsy, no proven treatment for cataplexy has been found.’


Late 19th century from Greek kataplēxis ‘stupefaction’, from kataplessein, from kata- ‘down’ + plēssein ‘strike’.