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Kleine Levin syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Familial hibernation syndrome
  • Familial Kleine-Levin syndrome
  • Kleine-Levin hibernation syndrome
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Kleine Levin syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by episodes of excessive sleep. Affected individuals may sleep for up to 20 hours per day during an episode. These episodes usually last for a few days to a few weeks. An episode may start abruptly and is sometimes associated with flu-like symptoms. During an episode, people with Kleine Levin syndrome can also display abnormal behavior, such as excessive food intake, irritability, childishness, disorientation, hallucinations, and an abnormally uninhibited sex drive. Affected individuals do not experience any of these features between episodes, and they may not be able to remember everything that happened during an episode. The time between episodes varies among individuals with this condition. Kleine Levin syndrome primarily affects adolescent males, but it also affects females. It may be caused by abnormal function of the hypothalamus and thalamus, parts of the brain that control appetite and sleep. Episodes usually decrease in frequency and intensity after about eight to 12 years.[1]
Last updated: 3/2/2010


  1. NINDS Kleine-Levin Syndrome Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. March 12, 2009; Accessed 3/2/2010.
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Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • eMedicine has two articles that discuss this topic from the perspective of Psychiatry and Pediatrics. You may need to register to view the information online, but registration is free. Click on the links above to view the articles from this medical reference Web site.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Kleine Levin syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.