Julie Flygare Speaks at Italian Narcolepsy Seminar

On December 16, 2023, Project Sleep’s President & CEO, Julie Flygare spoke in Bologna, Italy at a Seminar on Narcolepsy hosted by the Italian Narcolepsy Association, AIN (Associazione Italiana Narcolettici e Ipersonni). About 70 people (individuals living with narcolepsy or idiopathic hypersomnia and family members were gathered at the University of Bologna for this meeting.

AIN president, Massimo Zenti kicked off the meeting sharing the results of a recent awareness campaign AIN conducted on the streets of Bologna. Next, Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, Craig Reynolds Professor of Sleep Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and the Director of the Stanford Center for Narcolepsy, delivered a fascinating talk on recent narcolepsy scientific advancements. Dr. Mignot was recently awarded the 2023 Breakthrough prize in Life Sciences for having discovered the cause of narcolepsy.

Next, Julie shared her story of developing type 1 narcolepsy with cataplexy, discovering her diagnosis at age 24,  and eventually raising her voice to write a book and found a nonprofit. Previously in 2016, Julie presented to the Italian narcolepsy community so this presentation was prepared as an update, focusing on some of the personal and professional challenges and the day-to-day realities of living with narcolepsy. In particular, Julie was excited to thank Massimo and the Italian narcolepsy community for their wonderful efforts every year for World Narcolepsy Day.

After Julie’s presentation, the audience asked great questions about how to get loved ones to better understand narcolepsy and privacy considerations when speaking publicly about this misunderstood condition. Next, Dr. Giuseppe Plazzi spoke to the group about recent updates to the European diagnostic criteria for narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia. Lastly, there was a spirited discussion about driving guidelines related to narcolepsy.

The narcolepsy symposium was a wonderful event, bringing together patient, clinical, and scientific leaders from the United States and Italy to exchange insights and experiences. “I was thrilled to represent Project Sleep and our amazing community at this event,” described Julie Flygare. “I cherish our international connections across many countries and languages.”

Huge thanks to Massimo Zenti , Dr. Plazzi, and AIN for organizing this fantastic meeting. Learn more about the great work of the Italian Narcolepsy Association here.

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