Restless Legs Syndrome

Roger M. Kurlan

in Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2015 | ISBN: 9780199925643
Published online July 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780199375479 | DOI:

Series: Contemporary Neurology Series

Restless Legs Syndrome

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Restless legs syndrome is characterized by uncomfortable feelings in the legs associated with an urge to move the legs in order to seek relief. Symptoms typically begin soon after lying down for sleep. The main disability is interference with sleep. Many patients have periodic movements of sleep, involuntary flexion jerks, and spasms of the legs. The disorder is thought to be related to impaired brain dopaminergic neurotransmission, although some evidence suggests an abnormality of the endogenous opioid system. There is a strong genetic influence, and some gene loci linked to the condition have been identified. Restless legs syndrome is associated with certain medical conditions, including anemia, iron deficiency, chronic renal failure/renal dialysis, pregnancy, lumbar spine disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Tolerance is a common problem with pharmacotherapy for restless legs syndrome, and augmentation can be a major complication, particularly with dopaminergic therapy.

Chapter.  3688 words. 

Subjects: Neurology

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