Rip van Winkle Syndrome: a Medical Phenomenon from the Peaks of the Hudson Valley
Pp. 185-189 (5)
William James Maloney
Washington Irving was an American author who wrote a short story about a
man who fell asleep for twenty years and then suddenly awoke to find that the world
had changed dramatically during his odd slumber. This eponymous literary character
has given his name to a condition known in the medical literature as Kleine-Levin
Syndrome. Rip Van Winkle Syndrome refers to this disorder which is found mainly in
adolescent boys and is characterized by hypersomnolence. There is no cure for this
syndrome. However, like Rip van Winkleʼs slumber, the disorder suddenly disappears
after a period of years.
Adolescent, antiepileptic mood stabilizer, apathy, Catskills, childlike
behavior, confusion, hypersexuality, Kleine-Levin Syndrome, lethargy,
New York University College of Dentistry 345 First Avenue New York NY 10010 USA.